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NCAA USC Trojans vs. Stanford Cardinal betting, analysis & tips

USC v Stanford
USC Trojans vs. Stanford Cardinals, Stanford Stadium Stanford, CA, 8PM EST, Saturday, September 8, 2018

Betting Line: Stanford -4
Over/Under: 54.5 points at 5Dimes

This is the lone match up this weekend between two top 25 teams in NCAA Football.

Last season at USC the Trojans beat the Cardinal 42-24 and the home team has won the last three games between these Pac 12 rivals. Both of these teams have legit BCS goals, but the winner will have a tough task getting there, especially since this is a conference game.

USC is 0-1 ATS with an O/U record of 1-0 and Stanford is 1-0 ATS with an O/U record of 0-1.

In their first game of the season USC beat UNLV 43-21, but even in a 22-point win it was not overly impressive. The main reason was they were only up five points after three quarters, but outscored the Rebels 24-7 in the 4th quarter. The Trojans racked up the yards, but they also gave up a lot of yards on the ground.

USC QB JT Daniels had a pretty good debut going 22 for 35 with one TD and no picks and he spread the wealth with four players with at least 36 receiving yards. Amon-Ra St. Brown and Trevon Sidney were Daniels’ top two targets combining for 180 yards. The Trojans rushed for 219 yards led by Aca’Cedric Ware with 100 yards averaging a legit 10 yards per carry and Stephen Carr, who rushed for 50 yards averaging six yards per carry.

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The Trojans will be facing a Stanford D that only gave up 113 passing yards in their season opening win over San Diego State, but did give up 150 rushing yards. The Cardinal held SDSU to only 263 total yards, but they have a tougher task in this game facing a USC offense that had over 500 total yards in their win over UNLV.

Stanford beat San Diego State in their season opener 31-10 even though they failed to run the ball well. That was surprising since the Cardinal have a RB in Bryce Love, who last season rushed for 2,118 yards with 19 TD averaging a more than solid 8.1 yards per carry in coming in 2nd in the Heisman race. In the win over SDSU Love did not have much love on the ground with only 29 yards and he not only did not run for a score, but also averaged a weak 1.6 yards per carry.

The big gun for the Cardinal in the win over SDSU was QB K.J. Costello passing for 332 yards with four TD and one pick. To say JJ Arcega-Whiteside was Costello’s leading target would be an understatement, as he had 226 receiving yards with three TD while the next leading WR only had 37 yards.

Love did not shine in the season opener, but he will do so in this game if USC plays the run like they did in the win over UNLV. The Trojans only gave up 97 passing yards in the UNLV game, but they gave up a whopping 3-8 rushing yards. The Trojans have to keep Love from having a big game, but they also cannot take Costello for granted, as the first win for Stanford showed what he can do under center.

USC betting trends

Stanford betting trends

Stanford vs. USC betting prediction

Love did not look like the player he was last season in the opening win over SDSU, but he will in this game.

He will face a Trojans’ run D that was far from impressive in their last game against UNLV, who is far from a national football powerhouse.

Stanford will not crush USC in this game, but they will get the win and cover the spread at 5Dimes.

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