It's the Holiday Bowl!
Louisville came up short in the ACC Championship game against Florida State but will look to finish up a fantastic season under first-year head coach Jeff Brohm in the Holiday Bowl against USC, who won't have it's former Heisman Trophy winner Caleb Williams, who opted out of the bowl game to prepare for the NFL Draft.
How should we bet this bowl game between two high-profile teams? I got you covered below with our full betting preview of the 2023 Holiday Bowl:
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H2: [Away Team] vs. [Home Team] Odds, Spread and Total
USC vs. Louisville Betting Trends
- USC is 3-9 against the spread (ATS) this season
- Louisville is 6-6-1 ATS this season
- USC has gone OVER in nine of 12 games this season
- Louisville's Jeff Brohm is 4-2 ATS in bowl games
Louisville vs. USC How to Watch
- Date: Wednesday, December 27th
- Game Time: 8:00 PM EST
- Venue: PETCO Park
- How to Watch (TV): FOX
- Louisville Record: 10-3
- USC Record: 7-5
Louisville vs. USC Key Players to Watch
Jack Plummer: Plummer was a disaster in the ACC Championship game, completing only 14-of-36 passes for 111 yards with an interception, but against a patchwork USC defense that struggled all season, he should put up similar numbers to what he put up across the balance of the season when he was the QB of the 31st best offense in terms of success rate.
Miller Moss: With no Williams under center, the top quarterback on the depth chart is redshirt sophomore Miller Moss. Moss saw limited work across three games but completed 71% of his passes for one touchdown. While several players opted out of this bowl game, there is plenty of talent for Moss to play with in the bowl game, but will face a stout Louisville defense that has an elite rush defense.
Louisville vs. USC Prediction and Pick
You can fade USC on the premise that the team doesn't have Williams and the offense will fall apart and the defense will continue to not stop a nosebleed. That's fine, but also know that you are betting into a known market already with Lousiville laying north of a touchdown.
That's not to say that the number is wrong, as Louisville should have full attendance in the bowl game for its key contributors and USC will also likely not have running back Marshawn Lloyd and wide receiver Brendan Rice.
However, I believe that Lincoln Riley and the USC offense can scheme some explosive plays with the amount of weapons, even further down the depth chart, have at its disposal. Louisville's defensive line is elite but the secondary is vulnerable, 120th in explosive pass defense.
Each team is top half of the country in terms of plays per minute and I believe each offense can move the ball well here with a pair of the two best offensive minds in the sport. The last image we have of the Cardinals offense was a putrid performance in the ACC title game, but this is a far different challenge in San Diego against a USC defense that is bottom 10 in tackling grade per Pro Football Focus and 126th in EPA/Play.
I like the over in the Holiday Bowl where both offenses can make some plays.
Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.
Track Reed's bets here!