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USC Odds & Best Bets

Last Updated: Aug 7, 2023

The 2023 season will be USC’s Pac-12 swansong.

Heisman Trophy winner Caleb Williams is back for what will probably be his final college season. If he’s healthy, the Trojans, who went 11-3 in 2022, should be a national contender again in Lincoln Riley’s sophomore season coaching in LA.

Here’s the USC outlook for 2023.

USC Betting Odds

USC Futures Lines

USC Preseason Lines

USC odds used in this report are current as of July 14, 2023 at 11 a.m. PT at the sportsbook cited.

USC: Win National Championship (+1600)

DraftKings Sportsbook

The Trojans have the sixth-shortest odds in all of college football and the shortest odds of any Pac-12 team to win the championship. USC is still the most recent Pac-12 school to win the national title, doing so in 2004.

Despite losing star skill-position players to graduation, the Trojans worked the transfer portal again and landed the seventh-best recruiting class in the country, according to Rivals. With Williams, the reigning Heisman winner and favorite to win again, the Trojans are a strong darkhorse candidate to claim the title in Houston.

Will USC Make The College Football Playoffs? (+260)

DraftKings Sportsbook

The Trojans have not yet qualified for the playoff in its eight-year history but were a victory in the Pac-12 title game away in 2022.

Their offense should be dynamic again, led by Williams and returning RB Austin Jones and WRs Mario Williams and Brenden Rice. Plus, the Trojans landed transfer RB MarShawn Lloyd from South Carolina and wide receiver Dorian Singer from Arizona.

Whether the Trojans qualify for the playoff will likely come down to their defense. However, Riley worked the portal on that side of the ball, landing 14 defensive transfers from Power-5 conference teams, notably including interior lineman Bear Alexander from defending-champion Georgia.

USC Win Pac-12 Conference (+190)

DraftKings Sportsbook

The Trojans are the favorites to win the conference, ahead of Oregon (+300) and Washington (+320). Two-time defending champion Utah is fourth at +600.

USC’s defense was a liability in 2022 but was opportunistic, leading the nation with a plus-22 margin. It may not be as lucky, turnover-wise, this season but should be better in Riley’s second season at the helm.

If USC’s defense can limit teams to 30-or-so points per game, its offense is good enough to outscore most opponents.

USC: To Make Pac-12 Title Game (-160)

DraftKings Sportsbook

The Pac-12 eschewed the North vs South division format in 2022 and broke its standings so the top two teams in the conference would face off in the championship game.

The Trojans will have a tough schedule since they’ll have to face Utah, Washington, UCLA, and Oregon in Eugene. USC has qualified for the championship game four times, including two of the past three seasons, and is talented enough to reach the title game in Las Vegas again.

USC Best Prop Bets

USC: Over 10 Wins (+100)

DraftKings Sportsbook • WAGER: 1 unit

Riley has only won fewer than 10 games in one of his six seasons, and that was still a nine-win campaign in the COVID-affected 2020 season.

USC’s schedule starts easy before a brutal stretch starting in mid-October. Outside of road trips to Notre Dame and Oregon, the rest of its marquee games will be at the Los Angeles Coliseum.

The Trojans went 7-0 in home games in 2022 and should be 6-0 entering their annual rivalry affair with the Fightin’ Irish on Oct. 14 in South Bend. With 12 regular-season games, plus potentially the Pac-12 championship game and at least a bowl game, this shouldn’t do worse than a push.

Caleb Williams: Heisman Trophy (+550)

Caesars Sportsbook • WAGER: 1 unit

It’s really, really hard to repeat as Heisman winner, since only Archie Griffin of Ohio State has ever done so. But if ever there were a candidate to repeat it’s Williams, the improv-king who is also the favorite to be the top pick of the 2024 NFL Draft.

When Williams blew out his hamstring in USC’s Pac-12 championship game loss to Utah, it doomed the Trojans. No player is more important to his team.

If he’s healthy then USC is a national-championship contender. If USC is a national-championship contender, Williams should be in the conversation for Heisman again.

Find our latest Heisman Trophy betting updates and predictions from TGD’s Lance Patton.

USC: Under 7.5 Conference Wins (-145)

DraftKings Sportsbook • WAGER: 1 unit

USC could be better and finish with a worse record than last year due to its hellacious five-week stretch where it’ll play Utah, at Cal, Washington, at Oregon, and home for UCLA without any weeks off.

The Trojans should be able to get seven conference wins in their nine Pac-12 games. But USC has lost three straight to Utah and hasn’t beaten Oregon in Eugene since 2011.

Plus, that road game at Cal reeks of a letdown game. A 7-2 conference record and berth in the title game is the most likely outcome.

Most Regular Season Wins USC or Penn State: USC (-125)

DraftKings Sportsbook • WAGER: 1 unit

These teams will face off in Happy Valley in 2024 — a game I cannot wait to watch. But until then, there’s the potential for another Rose Bowl faceoff between the teams this season in the Trojans’ final campaign before they bolt to the Big Ten.

The Big Ten should be loaded again since Ohio State and Michigan are almost assured of opening the season in the top-5 in the nation. The Nittany Lions lost to each in 2022 and finished with the same number of wins as the Trojans.

Penn State will almost certainly benefit from dysfunction at Northwestern and by hosting Michigan in State College on Nov. 11. But USC is more likely to play an extra game since the Nittany Lions will have to edge out both Michigan and Ohio State to reach the Big Ten title game.

One extra game means one extra potential win and a significant advantage for USC.

Find the best USC betting sites

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Author

Pat Pickens

Pat Pickens is a seasoned sportswriter who has covered pro sports since 2013 for various websites, including The New York Times, NHL.com, Bleacher Report, Sportsnet.ca, USA Today, the Associated Press and many others. His debut book, titled "The Whalers" about the history of the NHL's Hartford Whalers, was released in October 2021.

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