One of the best regular seasons in recent Louisville history reaches its conclusion along the sandy shores of San Diego later this month, when the 10-3 Cardinals face off against 7-5 USC in the Holiday Bowl.
When the two teams meet inside Petco Park on Dec. 27, they’ll do so after traveling vastly different paths. The Trojans will have a breezy 125-mile trek down I-5 from their Los Angeles campus to the Gaslamp District, while the Cardinals have to fly more than 2,100 miles.
The schools’ 1,945-mile difference in travel represents the third largest of any bowl game this year, ranking behind the Hawai’i Bowl (2,380 miles) and the Sugar Bowl (2,097 miles).
Those two bowl games pit Coastal Carolina and San José (Hawai’i Bowl) and Texas and Washington (Sugar Bowl).
For the Cardinals and Trojans, the 2023 Holiday Bowl represents the first time the two schools have ever played each other in football, with USC’s last game against an ACC school coming on Sept. 13, 2014 when the Trojans lost to Boston College in Chestnut Hill, 37-31.
Ahead of the school’s Holiday Bowl showdown and to aid in Kentucky sports betting, BetKentucky.com broke down the numbers on where Louisville ranks among this year’s longest bowl travelers.
Perhaps because of the long travel, Kentucky sports betting apps list Washington as the longest shot on the board to win the College Football Playoff national championship at +750. Michigan is the favorite at +185.
Cardinals Will Have to Overcome Trip
Overall, Louisville has the third most unfair bowl game, travel wise, of any team that reached the postseason, ranking just ahead of Georgia Southern — who squares off against Utah State in the Famous Potato Bowl in Boise this year.
The Eagles have a 1,876-mile disadvantage versus the Aggies when it comes to reaching their bowl game, which ranks just behind the Holiday Bowl’s 1,945-mile difference.
As for the game itself, Louisville is currently listed as a 7.5-point favorite on ESPN BET Kentucky over USC with a -290 moneyline. USC’s moneyline is +240. Based on the betting lines, it seems like oddsmakers aren’t too concerned the Cardinals will lose the battle over jet lag when they tangle with the Trojans.