Reigning Heisman Trophy winner Caleb Williams is out to show that rumors of his demise have been greatly exaggerated heading into the week 8 Utah at USC betting matchup. All the good will Williams has built up as the likely #1 pick in next Spring’s NFL draft has been marred a bit by two straight mediocre performances against Arizona and Notre Dame.
Williams has proven to be human, but Utah could care less because they took on the QB twice during his Heisman Trophy winning season in 2022 and came out on top in both games. The Utes are surviving without their own high profile signal caller Cameron Rising (knee) and might just be a good system instead of a solid team.
Why Utah Has Value at +6.5 Points
The Trojans might be considered the class of the Pac 12 with all their high priced coaches and star studded athletes, but Utah is the blue collar version of the USC program. The fact that the Utes are +6.5 underdogs on Saturday night even after taking four of the last six against Southern Cal is borderline offensive.
The Utes survived in a nail biter 43-42 last year in Salt Lake City even though USC covered the +3.5 point spread, but the Pac 12 Championship Game was a different story with Kyle Whittingham’s team dominating in 47-24 fashion as +2.5 underdogs.
The loss of Rising at QB will hurt the Utes in the week 8 Utah at USC betting matchup, but the equalizer to his absence is the atrocious Trojans defense. USC has allowed at least 41 points in three straight games and their offense is the only reason they are 2-1 over that span – but Utah also has the #5 scoring defense in the nation allowing just 12.2 ppg.
Why USC Has Value at -6.5 Points
People are down on USC QB Williams after he was 23/37 with just 1 TD and 3 INTs in last week’s 48-20 loss at Notre Dame. The Irish have a good defense, but Williams’ 14/25 for 219 yards with 1 TD on October 7th in a 43-41 OT victory at home against Arizona as -21.5 favorites might be even more concerning than the defeat in South Bend.
Some things to remember about Williams is that he’s still completing 70% of his passes on the year and has 23 TDs to just 4 INTs through 7 games (3 of those picks coming last week). The Utes have a good defense no doubt, but Williams tapped them for 381 yards and 5 TDs in last year’s regular season loss and then 363 yards and 3 TDs in the Pac 12 Championship Game.
Williams should have a nice bounce back considering the way he played against Utah last season, but the Trojans defense is still a concern. USC gave up 45 ppg in the two losses to the Utes last year, but that’s where Rising’s absence is an issue for Utah considering he had 415 and 310 yards passing in the two meetings in 2022 with 5 total TD passes.
Free Week 8 Utah at USC Betting Matchup
There are just too many questions surround the Southern Cal program right now to justify laying the -6.5 points. That being said, it’s very much possible that Williams has a bounce back performance and torches the Utes defense like he did in two meetings last season. The last two Utah vs USC matchups have combined for 85 and 71 points, and that seems like the safest trend to follow here.
Free Pick: Over 51.5