USC has never made the College Football Playoff and no Pac-12 team has done so since 2016. Both will change if the No. 4 Trojans beat No. 11 Utah in the Pac-12 Championship Game on Friday from Allegiant Stadium – the only power conference title game not played on Saturday. USC is a 2.5-point favorite, but bettors at Caesars Sportsbook are split on the spread. Another storyline: USC quarterback Caleb Williams can essentially lock down the 2022 Heisman Trophy. Click here for model picks.
USC opened as a 1-point favorite and got up to -3 before coming back down to -2.5. The Trojans are the most lopsided spread bet on the board this weekend by tickets, racking up 84.0% of them to cover. USC has taken 37% more spread bets than the next-closest team on conference championship weekend (LSU). However, Utah is taking 57.4% of the handle, boosted by a $110,000 wager from a Nevada bettor on Utah +3 (-110).
The Utes beat USC 43-42 in Salt Lake City on Oct. 15. Utah quarterback Cameron Rising threw for 415 yards and ran for three touchdowns, including a 1-yard run with 48 seconds left to cut the Trojans' lead to 42-41. Utah coach Kyle Whittingham opted to go for the win and Rising ran it in for the winning two-point conversion.
"Utah is the sharp side here. In the first matchup, the sharps were on USC which surprised me," said Joey Feazel, lead college football trader at Caesars Sportsbook. "But from the angle they're seeing here, this is a well-balanced matchup and if there's any edge here it's taking the points. The sharps were all over 3 when the line got there. But the spread doesn't matter as much for us here, we want Utah to win after that big USC moneyline bet."
To make the College Football Playoff, USC is -155 with No at +135. If the Trojans lose, they won't be in the playoff. Utah won't make it in either way.
Barring some sort of ugly four-interception game and the Trojans getting massacred, Williams will take home the Heisman Trophy on Dec. 10 in New York. He's a massive -2800 favorite. Second is TCU quarterback Max Duggan at +2000. In the first matchup against Utah, Williams threw for 381 yards and five scores. Caesars has a prop on which player throws for the most yards in all conference title games and Williams is the +400 favorite.
Before this season, the Pac-12 had North and South Divisions. Both Utah and USC were in the South, so they could not play each other in the Pac-12 Championship Game. Either USC or Utah represented the South in this game in each season from 2017-21. It's the fourth appearance in the game for both and they are each 1-2.
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