Cotton Bowl Classic Prediction: Tulane vs. USC Betting Odds

Edgar Chaput | Updated Dec 29, 2022

caleb williams

Brief introduction for this matchup - 1-2 sentences - that will serve as the teaser for this game that lives below the image. May also reference preview's main image.

January 02, 2023, 1:00 PM ET
AT&T Stadium
Pointspread +1.5 -110
Moneyline +103
Over / Under o +66.5


Betting Action


Pointspread -1.5 -110
Moneyline -125
Over / Under u +66.5


Betting Action


AT&T Stadium in Arlington is once again the venue for the Cotton Bowl Classic when the Tulane Green Wave collides with the USC Trojans.

This is among the Bowl games with the potential for great excitement as it pits two squads that led their respective conferences. The 11-2 Trojans are first in the Pac-12 whereas the 11-2 Green Wave has claimed the top spot in the American. 

USC sits as -2.5 favourites on the NCAAF odds and the over-under is valued at 62.5 points.

Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic Betting Analysis

The Trojans, as a program, have a more extensive Bowl history in the past decade. However, their last presence dates to 2019 when they were flattened in the Holiday Bowl. Moreover, USC has left the field blushing most of the time since 2015, having suffered defeat in three of their last four Bowl challenges. The 2017 Cotton Bowl Classic didn’t go well either (24-7 loss to Ohio State).

Only recently has the Louisiana-based university made somewhat regular appearances at Bowl contests. Prior to 2018, Tulane had partaken in only three such events over 15 years: the Liberty Bowl in 1998, the inaugural Hawai’i Bowl in 2002, and the New Orleans Bowl in 2013. The program has been invited to three end-of-season contests since 2018, winning twice (the 2018 Cure Bowl and the 2020 Armed Forces Bowl) and losing once (the 2020 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl). 

Of these two schools, Tulane has been the safer bet this season, offering players a wave of benefits with their 11-2 record against the spread. Conversely, even though USC has played a strong season with its 11-2 win-loss tally, things have been different ATS at only 8-5.

Tulane Green Wave

Judging by the final scores of several of their games this season, the Green Wave has made a habit of drowning opponents with no mercy. 41-10 against UMass, 52-0 versus Alcorn St, and 59-24 over SMU. Only Southern Miss and UCF were able to temporarily stop their momentum, and it was by the slimmest of margins in both instances. 

The program’s 2022 success has been predicated on a blistering running attack. 197.3 yards on the ground per outing was good for 3rd in the American Conference and helped make the less impressive 236 passing yards more palatable and manageable. The star of the show is RB Tyjae Spears and his 1,376 yards and 15 TDs for the campaign. Don’t overlook QB Michael Pratt’s running ability. He’s scampered into the end zone no less than ten times in 2022. 

Defensively, they don’t give up much through the air, allowing opposing QBs to only gain 188.5 yards per game on them. 

Southern California Trojans

The Californian-based school had a great season, with a plethora of convincing wins over its Pac-12 rivals. Very few teams stood in their way. Only one was successful in halting the Trojans’ march. Utah not only handed USC a 43-42 mid-season defeat, but they did so again in the conference championship game in early December by the emphatic score of 47-24. No other team gave USC’s defence as much trouble as Utah this season. 

All the same, USC has one of the great offences in the country. They rank 3rd in points scored, 5th with 499.8 total yards amassed per contest and rank similarly for passing yards per outing (325.7). QB Caleb Williams has thrown for an impressive 4,075 yards, not to mention his stunning ratio of 37 TDs to only 4 INTs. The wide receiver corps has helped a lot, led by Jordan Addison’s 59 receptions and 875 yards. 

Cotton Bowl Prediction: Who Will Win New Tulane vs. USC?