The No. 7 USC Trojans (3-0, 1-0 in the Pac-12) head to Reser Stadium Saturday to play the Oregon State Beavers (3-0) in a conference matchup.
USC is 3-0 against the spread (ATS) with a +31.0 points per game (PPG) margin of victory and a +13.2 ATS margin. The Trojans’ three wins came vs. the Rice Owls, Stanford Cardinal and Fresno State Bulldogs.
Oregon State is also 3-0 ATS with victories over the Boise State Broncos, Fresno State and the FCS Montana State Bobcats. The Beavers hammered the Trojans 45-27 in last year’s meeting. But, USC had an interim head coach, filling in for Clay Helton who was fired after Week 2.
The Trojans now have an established head coach, Lincoln Riley, running things. Also, USC QB Caleb Williams might be the best quarterback in the nation.
Betting Deets (DraftKings)
USC Will Build A Statue For Lincoln Riley One Day
Perhaps I’m taking crazy pills but no Pac-12 head coach is in Riley’s league. I’ve already made this point when instructing OutKick readers to bet USC wins the 2022 Pac-12 Championship Game (+220) at DraftKings Sportsbook. Currently, DraftKings price the Trojans to win the Pac-12 title at +170.
Southern California hit the transfer portal the hardest this offseason. The Trojans added the Pac-12’s second-leading rusher last season (RB Travis Dye), the reigning Fred Biletnikoff award winner (WR Jordan Addison) and much more. Riley already has USC’s offense humming.
The Trojans are averaging 50.7 PPG and rank in the top-10 of non-garbage time expected points added per play (EPA/play) and offensive success rate. More importantly, Williams will be at the Heisman Trophy Ceremony at the end of the season.
Get Used To Hearing About Trojans QB Caleb Williams
Williams to win the Heisman Trophy (+700) was another college football future I gave out in the preseason. Obviously, a lot can change but, at this point, I’ve gotten incredible line value.
DraftKings Sportsbook now lists Williams’ odds to win the Heisman Trophy at +300. Williams is second behind Ohio State Buckeyes QB C.J. Stroud.
For my money, Williams is the best quarterback in the country. This includes the reigning Heisman, Alabama Crimson Tide QB Bryce Young.
His athleticism and arm talent is No. 1 and Williams’ pocket awareness is second to Young’s. Williams is fifth in EPA/play, fourth in completion rate (74.4%) and seventh in passer efficiency rating (190.5) with an 8/0 TD/INT ratio.
How USC Wins By Margin
Oregon State’s defense isn’t stopping USC. If the Trojans commit several penalties and/or turnovers then the Beavers could win this game. But that can be said for any football game.
Most likely Oregon State will have to keep up with USC on the scoreboard. I’m confident the Trojans get to 40+ points and not confident the Beavers will score 30.
USC will win ATS vs. Oregon State on 3rd downs and with the ground game. The Trojans are 26th in 3rd-down conversion rate and the Beavers are 119th (48.2-26.1%). Southern California is second in sack rate (13.1%) while Oregon State is 103rd (3.6%).
The Trojans can bypass 3rd downs running the ball. USC’s offense averages the most line yards per snap in the nation. Southern California is sixth in rushing EPA/play and 11th in rushing success rate.
Whereas Oregon State’s defense ranks 83rd in line yards per snap, 107th in rushing EPA/play and 109th in rushing success rate.
Barring a fluke, the Trojans will march up and down the field on the Beavers. I’ll lay anything under a touchdown with the Trojans if they are playing a team that cannot stop the run. Williams and Co. are too good. They’ll eventually land a knockout punch after body blows with the run game.
BET the USC TROJANS -5.5 (-115) at DraftKings Sportsbook.
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