Hawaii Warriors (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS) vs. No. 3 USC Trojans (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS)
College Football Week 1
Date/Time: Saturday, September 1st, 7:30 p.m. EST
Where: Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles, Calif.
by Badger, Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: Haw +38/USC -38
Over/Under Total: OFF
With the cloud of probation finally cleared and their post-season bowl ban lifted the No. 3 University of Southern California Trojans will kickoff what many are expecting to be a national-title contending season Saturday night when they host the Hawaii Warriors at L.A.’s Memorial Coliseum in the season opener.
The Trojans instantly became title worthy back in January when quarterback Matt Barkley announced his intent to return for his senior season at USC following a junior campaign where he threw for over 3,500 yards and 39 touchdowns. Considered by many as the leading candidate for the Heisman Trophy, Barkley’s return to last year’s 10-2 team gives the Trojans one of the country’s most explosive offenses along with running backs Curtis McNeal and Penn State-transfer Silas Redd, four-fifths of the starting offensive line and a deep receiver crew led by Robert Woods and Marqise Lee.
If the Trojans offense isn’t enough to cause opponent’s a few sleepless nights, seven returning starters on defense including speedy LBs Dion Bailey and Hayes Pullard and All-American safety T.J. McDonald should cause their own problems when Barkley and Co. are sitting on the bench.
Hawaii is starting a new era of their own in 2012, with longtime and noted assistant coach Norm Chow getting his first head coaching gig with the Warriors. Chow, who was born in Honolulu and spent last season as the offensive coordinator at Utah, will inherit a Warriors team that finished 4-8 in 2011 and returns seven starters on offense.
Chow’s noted for his ability to develop quarterbacks, and his success at Hawaii will be dependent on that skill since Bryan Moniz has graduated. Junior David Graves will get the starting quarterback job to start, but I’m almost certain the rest of the Warriors offense will struggle to adapt to Chow’s pro-style offense after playing in the spread offense for the last decade.
With Hawaii in full transition mode and USC loaded to the hilt, it is no surprise that oddsmakers have opened this game with USC as huge 38-point favorites at home in the Coliseum. While the game is still nearly three weeks away, I have to think the five touchdown-plus number bettors would have to lay is resulting in little to no action at the betting window. Either way, the point spread has yet to move in either direction.
With only a large ocean in between these two schools, the Trojans and Warriors have met many times in the last decade, including in 2010 when the Trojans traveled to Honolulu and won 49-36. Barkley threw for 257 yards and five touchdowns in the win, but the Warriors covered the 20-point spread the Trojans were stacked to in the game.
USC has actually owned Hawaii in their short history, going 4-0 SU and 3-1 ATS while averaging 59 points on offense and an average winning margin of 25 points.
Hawaii hasn’t exactly inspired confidence for bettors at the window either, going 1-7 ATS in their last eight non-conference games. While Hawaii tends to play over the total when out of the MWC (over is 4-1 in L5 non-conf.), the opposite is true for USC (under is 5-1 in L6 non-conf.), so choose wisely.
Badger's Pick to Cover the Point Spread: If forced at gunpoint to pick a side in this game, then I’d take the Trojans to roll big. However, as a practice I don’t wager on games where the line is over five scores or higher. If you’re not scared away by the huge number, then by all means take USC minus the 38-points.
Are you still betting with a corner bookie? Find out why online is the better choice by reading our piece titled Betting Online vs. The Corner Street Bookie.
Editor's Picks - Each weekend our very own in-house All-American Editor makes his NCAA point spread predictions in an attempt to force fumbles, sack and intercept your bookie!
Expert College Football Picks - Free premium college foots plays against the spread from expert handicappers from around the web from week 1 through the National Championship.
Underdog of the Week Pick - We sort through it all and find out which University is getting "too many points" this week. If there was a Heisman Trophy for picking underdogs, we'd be a frontrunner. Expect a 57%+ winning percentage with these picks as we've got a keen ear for loud barking dogs.
Line Movement - NCAA football lines open early in the week and often times move up or down based on wagering activity, injuries to key players and weather. We decipher whether it's square or wiseguy action and predict the point spread winner based on value.
College Football Consensus Picks - We assess the public perception each week and let them pick the winners for us as we fade their selections which provides us with many trips into our bookies endzone.
Computer Picks - We enter them into the computer and the machine makes it's picks. This is a great guide especially when betting totals! These are available after the first few weeks of the season.
Trends - Despite what you have been told or read on tout sites, the trend ain't your friend. We however turn the tables and fade the almighty trend for what should be some great profits over time.
2015 College Football Predictions - (2016 article coming soon!) Badger gives his picks to win each major conference. At the end, he gives his prediction on who thinks will win the 2016 National Championship game.
2016 Heisman Trophy Predictions - DeShaun Watson is favored to win the award at +575 with Stanford RB Christian McCaffrey (+575) and LSU RB Leonard Fournette (+850) close behind. However, the real value may be with Oregon Ducks RB Royce Freeman at 40/1.
2016 College Football Championship Predictions - NCAA football handicapper Bob gives his picks on who he thinks will win the 2016 National Championship. Despite not liking to side with heavy favorites, he believes the Alabama Crimson Tide (+950) are the team to beat.
MyBookie - Get a HUGE 50% bonus (up to $1000 FREE!) after making an initial deposit of $100 or more! Great at getting Visa cards to work for deposits.
Bovada - Boasts the highest credit card acceptance rate on the internet! HUGE menu of wagers for you to choose from! One of few online sportsbooks to offer Texas Hold'em! 50% bonus up to $250 in free cash!
5Dimes - 15 team parlays! 20 point teasers! Reduced juice betting odds! Buy up to 15 points! Most props on the web!
Bookmaker - Offers a HUGE 50% sign up bonus up to $300! Enjoy LIVE college football betting where you can jump into the action at any time during the game and place a bet! This gives you a huge advantage!
Heisman Trophy Betting Odds - Clemson QB DeShaun Watson will have the ball in his hands a TON and he plays on a good team so he's the obvious favorite to win the award this year at +575. Leonard Fournette at 8.5/1 looks like he could play in the NFL right now. Bama WR Calvin Ridley brings experience and big-time playmaking ability and will be featured on National TV a bunch, giving him a legit darkhorse shot. It's unlikely to happen as offensive players usually win this honor, but Michigan DB Jabrill Peppers (75-1) and Texas A&M DT Myles Garret (110-1) could be in the running as well. It might be a good year to bet more than one prediction!
Odds to Win the 2016 College Football Championship - The Alabama Crimson Tide are favored to be repeat winners of the National Championship this year at +700 followed by Ohio St. at +750 and Clemson at +800. Things drop off a bit with the Michigan Wolverines, LSU Tigers and Oklahoma Sooners all coming in at +1200. Check out your favorite school's odds here!