Make the most of your sports betting with expert advice. Southern Cal is poised for BCS contention. While Stanford is in cunstruction mode. How will the match between these two Pac 12 heavy weights play out?
Pick on the Spread
By: Ron Patrick -
As of Friday afternoon Southern Cal could be gotten at -8.5 for Saturday night's game at some CFB betting shops, while Stanford could be gotten at +9 at several other places.
Also, for those who don't want to give the points the Trojans could be played at around -330 on the moneyline at some shops, while those who think the Cardinal could pull another outright upset could play them getting +270.
Even though they won last Saturday USC dropped from No. 2 to No. 3 in this week's USA Top 25 poll, while Stanford, after its blowout of Duke, got bumped from No. 21 to No. 16.
We thought the Trojans might be a moneymaking machine this year, but now we're wondering if they weren't a little overrated coming in. So far we're 0-2 backing them, because they took their foot off the gas against Hawaii and struggled for three quarters against Syracuse. Now we're in danger of going gun-shy on this outfit.
USC might be down three pre-season projected starters on defense Saturday. The Trojans were already playing without senior CB Isiah Wiley, who's been declared ineligible for this season, and senior DEs Devon Kennard and Wes Horton are both dealing with injuries that will likely sideline them for Saturday.
Also, All-Pac-12 second-team center Khaled Holmes is hurting and probably out for the boys from Troy Saturday, and the Trojans are working with a walk-on kicker, with regular PK Andre Heidari on the shelf after having his knee cut.
Stanford has won three in a row in the series with USC, beating the Trojans last year 56-48 in triple-OT. The Cardinal were led that day by that kid named Luck, who threw for 330 yards and three TDs.
So far this college football season in the three games that have matched two ranked teams, the higher-ranked squads have won all three games outright, and covered the spread in two of those games.
Trojans-Cardinal: Picking the Side
This is a tough one. We've been leaning toward USC all week, but they are a little banged up, which concerns us. When you're missing two-three guys on defense and your starting center, that can lead to trouble. And we don't like hearing those words “walk-on back-up kicker.” Despite all this we still think the Trojans should win this game, so we'll give the points and take USC.
Free College Football Pick: USC to cover
Pick on the Total
By: Ron Patrick -
Meet Up on the Farm
Pac-12 titans collide when the USC Trojans and Stanford
Cardinal begin conference play with a bout at Stanford Stadium Saturday
night (7:30 pm Eastern, Fox).
Southern Cal is supposed to be a national title contender
this season; Stanford is supposed to be going through a rebuilding year. So how
might this matchup play out? And which way are we leaning for picks on the side
and the total?
Southern Cal, highly touted with 16 starters back after
going 10-2 last year, opened this season with a 49-10 victory over Hawai'i.
Then last Saturday, although they had to fly across the
country and play in New Jersey, the Trojans sleepwalked their way through a
42-29 win over Syracuse. Now, the final score might lead some to wonder how a
team can sleepwalk its way to 42 points. Those who watched the game, we believe,
USC only led 14-3 at the half Saturday on the east coast.
They then had to wait out a weather delay before the start of the second half.
The Trojans then scored first after the break to take a 21-3 lead, and those of
us who backed them at –24 had hope. But USC promptly allowed the Orange to
score touchdowns on their next two possessions, and most of that hope was gone.
The Trojans scored three TDs in the fourth quarter, the last
of which, with five minutes to go, got them within one more score of the cover.
But Syracuse drove for a meaningless touchdown with a minute to go to put us
out of our misery.
QB Matt Barkley threw six touchdown passes vs. the Orange,
but also for just a total of 187 yards. It sound sounds like somebody (who's
calling those plays down inside the five?) was trying to enhance someone's
numbers for the sake of Heisman hype.
The Trojans also ran for 258 yards vs. Syracuse.107 of which
were by Penn State transfer Silas Webb and 76 on a reverse by WR Robert Woods.
Unfortunately for So Cal fans, the USC defense allowed
Orange QB Ryan Nassib to hit on 30 of 46 throws for 322 yards and two scores,
and a good part of that came as the game was still in competitive mode.
That game, with a 14-3 halftime score and at 21-16 after
three quarters, ended up playing 'over' its total of 62, as the teams combined
for five fourth-quarter touchdowns.
Stanford, meanwhile, with 13 starters back, none named Luck,
from the team that went 11-2 last year, opened this season with a tough 20-17
victory over San Jose State. Then last Saturday, the Cardinals drubbed Duke
50-13. But Stanford, which is expected to rely on the running game a bit more
this season, was only able to garner 98 yards on the ground vs. the Blue Devils.
The Cardinal thoroughly outclassed Duke and padded the score
with the help of a punt and an interception returned for scores.
Cardinal QB Josh Nunes, in his first two starts since taking
over for Luck, went 16-for-26 passing but for just 125 yards vs. SJ State; he
then went 16-for-30 for 275 yards and three scores vs. the Blue Devils.
On the other side of the ball, though, the Stanford defense
has allowed opposing QBs to complete 65 of 96 passes through the first two
games for close to 600 yards, which doesn't bode well for a date with Barkley
and his receiving corps.
Most college Football betting outlets opened this game
earlier this week with the Trojans favored by nine and even ten points at some
places. But as of Tuesday afternoon USC has been shaved to -8 and even -7.5 at
a couple of shops.
Also, the total on this game opened at 57 at several online
books, but has since been dropped a point to 56.
It can be a bit little dangerous picking totals five days in
advance of a game, but if we have to lean one way here it would be toward the
'over.' USC looks like it might play some shootouts this year, and nothing
would help Barkley's Heisman fortunes more than a big game against a big-time
Free College Football Pick: USC - Stanford to go OVER