Tulane Green Wave (11-2) vs. USC Trojans (11-2)
January 2, 2023 1:00 pm EDT
The Line: USC Trojans -2.5 / Tulane Green Wave +2.5 ; Over/Under: 62
(Get latest betting odds)
The Tulane Green Wave and the USC Trojans meet Monday, January 2 in college football Cotton Bowl Classic action from AT&T Stadium. Tulane is currently 11-2 overall and coming off an AAC title game win over UCF. As for USC, they’re 11-2 on the year as well. During their last appearance, the Trojans lost to Utah in the Pac-12 Championship. Check back all season long for free college football picks at Sports Chat Place.
Tulane win their first three games this year (one against Kansas State) before a loss to Southern Miss. The Wave recovered with wins over Houston, East Carolina, South Florida, Memphis and Tulsa before a loss to UCF. Tulane would finish with wins over SMU and Cincinnati.
On December 3 in the AAC title game versus UCF, Tulane didn’t have too many issues. The Green Wave were up 17-7 by halftime and took a 45-28 victory. QB Michael Pratt managed 394 pass yards with four scores, and Tyjae Spears had 199 rush yards and a TD.
Over on the USC side, they won six straight games to open up the year, then took a rough 43-42 loss to Utah. The Trojans beat Arizona, California, Colorado, UCLA and Notre Dame to finish off the regular season.
In the Pac-12 Championship on December 2, USC faced Utah again. This one didn’t go very well for the Trojans; they scored just seven second-half points and lost 47-24. QB Caleb Williams had 363 yards with three scores, and Tahj Washington added 93 yards with a TD on six catches.
Tulane is 8-1 ATS versus a team with a winning record and 6-1 ATS in their last sever after an ATS win. The Wave are 15-3 ATS in their last 18 overall.
Meanwhile, the Trojans are 4-1 ATS versus a team with a winning record and 1-11 ATS in their last 12 neutral-site games. USC is 5-2 ATS in their last seven in January.
PICK: I’m probably sticking with USC. The Trojans are reeling after an embarrassing loss to Utah in the conference championship—despite the Utes being a great team themselves. USC gave up 533 yards of offense (223 rushing) and 25 first downs to Utah; the Trojans went just 1-of-12 on third-down conversions and had two turnovers on the other side. That said, USC is a much better team than that. Prior to the second Utah game, the Trojans had a run of eight games with 30 or more points scored.
As for Tulane, they’re relishing in their first conference championship since 1998 and their first major bowl berth since way back in 1939. The Wave have scored 31 or more points in three of their last four games, so they’re no stranger to offensive prowess this season either. I like this one to be a high-scoring matchup with USC powering out a late cover for a bit of redemption.