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Stanford Cardinal vs. USC Trojans†Odds - Prediction

Stanford Cardinal (1-0 SU, 1-0 ATS) vs. USC Trojans (1-0 SU, 0-1 ATS)
College Football Week 2
Date/Time: Saturday, September 9, 2017 at 8:30PM EST
Where: Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles, California
TV: Fox
by Scott, NCAA Football Handicapper, Predictem.com

Point Spread: STAN +7/USC -7
Over/Under Total: 56

In big Pac-12 week two action, the Stanford Cardinal come to the Coliseum to face the USC Trojans. USC is on a big roll dating back to last season and entered 2017 as the prohibitive favorite to win the conference. Week one was a little tougher than expected in a home 49-31 win over Western Michigan. Stanford played to open the season last Thursday and smashed Rice, 62-7. Well-rested and after a dominating win, can they rock the boat at the Coliseum this week?

The Trojans got off to a slow start in week one and maybe overlooked Western Michigan. It was a hot day at the Coliseum and WMU was projected to be a shadow of the team that went 13-1 last season. USC quarterback Sam Darnold was off-target, throwing two picks and the Southern Cal defense was at times surprisingly porous, especially against the Western Michigan run-game. Those who place too much stock in that week one result, however, might be led off-course for the purposes of calling this game right.

The week 1 result might actually get the Trojans more on-point, realizing that they may need a boost mentally. The offense ended up getting on a roll and Darnold ending up hitting Deontay Burnett with 142 yards through the air. Leading the way on the ground was Ronald Jones, II., who ran for 159 yards and 3 scores. Also chipping in was freshman Stephen Carr, who scored twice on TD runs. The shifty Darnold also ran one in. It wasnít a vintage USC offensive performance, but they showed signs of whatís to come.

In light of a tough conference opponent coming into town, more can also be expected out of the SC defense, following an uneven performance in week one at home. Itís just that after struggling to contain the WMU run-attack, theyíre going to need a really strong effort to withstand the Stanford power-running approach. At the same time, the defense was made to look worse than they were being that Western Michigan scored on a kickoff return and the turnovers didnít help, either. They still got some good play, including CB Marvell Tell, III. returning an interception for a TD. The front seven also made an impact more as the game wore on. And letís not forget, Western Michigan is a team that was 13-1 last season, losing only to Wisconsin. The Trojans didnít cover the spread, but as far as week one games go, it wasnít that big of a deal.

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While USC is on a big roll, the Cardinal have quietly won 7 games in a row dating back to last season. They lost a lot of production with Christian McCaffrey going on to the NFL, but a lot of talent remains. Looking to get Stanford back to the top is head coach David Shaw, already in his 7th season at the helm. After tearing his ACL, quarterback Keller Chryst looked great against Rice, with no visual after-affects of his injury being evident.

Against Rice, Chryst threw for 253 yards and two touchdowns. Offering even more hope was the performance of Bryce Love, who romped for 180 yards and a TD. Cameron Scarlett ran for 3 touchdowns and caught a big pass. The backfield should be dynamic and if those two continue that type of production, it would be huge. Alas, it came against Rice so we should temper our optimism. Aerially, Chryst will be depending on a lot of youngsters, including Connor Weddington, Kaden Smith, Trent Irwin, Dalton Schults, and others. We will also see more about the line, which looked really good against Rice.

Stanfordís defense goes from Rice to a USC offense that will put them to the test. Last season, they were pretty good, giving up under three touchdowns a game. The line is pretty tough with Harrison Phillips in the middle. The secondary is highly-competent, with guys like Malik Antoine and Justin Reid back there. The second level is a constant rotation of different bodies, with Peter Kalambayi the most-accomplished of the bunch. There are a lot of developing stars on this side of the ball, but again, Rice and USC are two different ball games.

This is a high-stakes game that is coming maybe a bit too soon for both teams. But there are solid cases that can be made on behalf of both teams. Stanford looked strong, but only so much can be gleaned from a win over Rice. And while USC struggled in week one, they are rightfully the favorite in this spot. I just feel that in a game that could come down to the end, having the points is going to feel good. Iím taking the Cardinal.

Scott's Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Iím betting on the Stanford Cardinal plus 7 points.

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NCAA Football Week 5 Betting Previews

Here are some additional game previews from this week's college football card.

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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.

2017/2018 College Football Predictions - Bob gives his picks to win each major conference. At the end, he gives his prediction on who thinks will win the 2018 National Championship game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on January 8th.

2017 Heisman Trophy Predictions - USC QB Sam Darnold is a heavy pre-season favorite to win college football's most coveted award, but Jay isn't buying it. In fact, he's passing up the top (3) favored players in favor of a QB who he's confident will be NCAA football's best player in 2017.

2017-2018 College Football Championship Predictions - NCAA football experts have the Alabama Crimson Tide running away with the National Championship this season and who can blame them? Roll Tide is LOADED! It never happens that easy though. The USC Trojans (+825), Florida St. Seminoles (+850) and Ohio St. Buckckeyes (+875) all have a legit shot. Oddsmakers have Oklahoma (+1300) on the bubble and everybody looking from the outside in at 20/1 or higher. Jay gives his pick to win it all along with how his top 15 rankings for season's end. Get your bets in early before your favorite team's line drops!

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Heisman Trophy Betting Odds - USC QB Sam Darnold starts the season off as a heavy favorite at +350 odds. Sooners QB Baker Mayfield is second on the list at +700 but can he keep his nose clean? Louisville QB Lamar Jackson should dominate this season but will Louisville be taken seriously? Oregon Ducks RB Royce Freeman is worth a pop at 60/1 if he gets the carries. 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. But will they throw the ball enough with a QB who likes to run? Missing from this year's list of odds is a defensive player.

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