Pac 12 College Football Betting Preview: #14 Stanford Cardinal at #6 USC Trojans

#14 Stanford Cardinal at #6 Southern California Trojans
Saturday, September 9, 2017, 8:30 pm Eastern, TV: Fox
Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum – Los Angeles, California
Opening Line: USC -5 1/2
Current Line: USC -5 1/2
Opening Total: 54 1/2
Current Total: 55
Opening Money Line: USC -250 / Stanford +207
Current Money Line: USC -230 / Stanford +190

USc host Stanford in a key early season Pac 12 match-up.

The USC Trojans host the Stanford Cardinal in a battle of top 15 Pac 12 teams. Along with Washington, the two rivals are the cream of the Pac 12 crop. The Trojans lead the series 60-32-3 including 26-19-1 in Los Angeles. Stanford has won seven of the last nine meetings in this series including 27-10 last year in Palo Alto. This series dates back to 1905.

Stanford is coached by David Shaw. The Cardinal were off last week after beating Rice 62-7 two weeks ago in Sydney, Australia. The Cardinal were 29.5 point favorites against Rice and the total was 50.5.

USC is coached by Clay Helton. The Trojans beat Western Michigan 49-31 last week in Los Angeles. USC was a 28 point favorite and the total was 58.5.

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Stanford was never threatened against Rice two weeks ago. The Cardinal jumped out to a 21-0 lead in the first quarter and the rout was on. The Cardinal expanded the lead to 38-0 at halftime. Stanford led 55-0 before Rice finally got on the board with just over six minutes left in the fourth. The Cardinal added a late touchdown to make the final 62-7.

Stanford had 656 total yards including 369 passing yards and 287 rushing yards. Rice had 241 total yards, including 95 passing yards and 146 rushing yards. The Cardinal had 27 first downs  to 14 for the Owls. Stanford was 6-9 on third downs and 0/1 on fourth downs. Rice was 5/15 on third downs and 0/2 on fourth downs. The Cardinal had 4 penalties for 35 yards and the Owls had 6 penalties for 45 yards. Rice had the only two turnovers of the game. Stanford held possession for 33:38.

Stanford quarterback Keller Chryst completed 14/24 passes for 253 yards and 2 touchdowns. K.J. Costello completed 5/9 of his passes for 80 yards and had a 25 yard touchdown run.

Running back Bryce Love had 13 carries for 180 yards and a touchdown. Cameron Scarlett had 8 carries for 59 yards and 3 touchdowns, plus a catch for 56 yards.

Connor Weddington had 6 catches for 82 yards. Kaden Smith had 4 catches for 55 yards and a touchdown. Colby Parkinson had 3 catches for 40 yards and 2 touchdowns.

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Although USC ended up winning by 18 against Western Michigan the game was much closer than it appeared. The Broncos went 13-1 last season with the only loss coming to Wisconsin in the Cotton Bowl. Through the first three quarters neither team led by more than 7 points. WMU led 14-7 and 21-14 at various points of the game. USC tied it up at 21 going into the fourth. The Trojans took a 28-21 lead midway through the fourth. The Broncos tied it up on the ensuing kickoff with a 100 yard return. USC scored a minute later to make it 35-28, and WMU kicked a field goal with 4:37 left to make it 35-31. However, USC scored 14 points in a row to put the game away including a pick six with less than a minute left. The final point was a special moment as Josh Olson who has been blind since he was 12 was the long snapper on the try. He was perfect as the Trojans won 49-31.

USC had 521 yards including 289 passing and 232 rushing. WMU had 357 total yards including 94 passing yards and 263 rushing yards. The Trojans had 25 first downs to 24 for the Broncos. Western Michigan was 5/14 on third downs and USC was 7/11 on third downs. The broncos had 6 penalties for 34 yards, and the Trojans had 9 for 94 yards. USC had 2 turnovers and WMU had one. The Broncos held possession for 34:40.

USC quarterback Sam Darnold’s Heisman campaign got off to a somewhat rocky start as he completed 23 of 33 passes for 289 yards with no touchdowns and 2 interceptions. He did have a rushing touchdown though.

Running back Ronald Jones II had had 18 carries for 159 yards and 3 touchdowns, plus a catch for 19 yards. Stephen Carr had 7 carries for 69 yards and 2 touchdowns, plus 3 catches for 23 yards.

Receiver Deontay Burnett had 7 catches for 142 yards. Steven Mitchell, Jr. had 4 catches for 39 yards. Ten different Trojans caught at least one pass.

Stanford is 6-1 ATS in September, 5-1 in road games, 28-8-1 after scoring more than 40 points, 8-3 against teams with winning home records, 40-18 after gaining more than 450 yards, 21-10 overall, 46-22-1 on grass, 33-16-1 after rushing for more than 200 yards, 41-20-1 in Pac 12 games, 3-7 after passing for more than 280 yards, 1-4 after a cover,  2-5 after a straight up win, and after allowing less than 170 passing yards. The Cardinal are 8-3 ATS in the last 11 against the Trojans, including 6-1 in LA. The Cardinal were the underdog in each of the last 11 games. The road team is 9-4 ATS in this series.

USC is 5-0 ATS in Pac 12 games, 6-1 after a straight up win, 5-1 after rushing for more than 200 yards, 6-2 overall, 5-2 on grass and at home, 2-6 after gaining more than 450 yards, 1-4 in September and after allowing less than 170 passing yards. The over is 15-7 in this series recently including 4-1 in LA recently.

Stanford has dominated this series recently, and both teams are very talented. USC didn’t look very good against a game Western Michigan team. Stanford crushed Rice two weeks ago. Still I like the Trojans to win a close game.

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