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USC vs. Stanford Betting Lines

What: #2 USC Trojans vs #21 Stanford Cardinal: NCAA Football
When: Saturday. September 15, 2012, 7:30 EST
Where: Stanford Stadium. Stanford, California

The #2 USC Trojans (2-0, 0-2 ATS) are in great shape as they get ready to face the #21 Stanford Cardinal (2-0, 1-1 ATS) in a game that should be very interesting to college football handicappers. With the public piling on the Trojans every week, sharp point spread bettors have been going against the Trojans and coming out winners.

The USC vs. Stanford line opened with USC as a -10 favorite against a Luck-less Cardinal team that’s facing their first real test in 2012. Stanford hasn’t been been getting much attention this season, but their stout defense is something over/under bettors should be looking at very closely.

Scroll to the bottom of this post for our free picks on USC vs Stanford point spread, moneyline and over/under bets.

Latest USC Trojans vs Stanford Cardinal Betting Lines

As mentioned above, the USC vs. Stanford point spread opened with the Trojans as -10 favorites. At the time this article is being written (Thursday, 5:30pm EST), handicappers taking USC are only giving up 9, and getting +105 instead of -110 (at BetOnline.com). USC hasn’t beaten Stanford in the Barkley era, and it looks like bettors are giving Stanford some love. The best Stanford point spread is +9 (-110) at Bovada. Both of these sportsbooks accept US bettors and credit card deposits.

Money Line
Money Line
-9 (+105)
+9 (-125)
o56.5 (-110)
u56.5 (-110)
-9 (-110)
+9 (-110)

USC Trojans

Last week, ambitious bettors took a chance on USC as -27 favorites against the Orangemen but came up short. Although they didn’t cover the point spread, USC easily handled Syracuse 42-29 in a game that was delayed for over an hour by severe weather. While USC failed to cover four TD’s, they did score three touchdowns in the long-delayed fourth quarter.

Heisman Trophy contender Matt Barkley completed 23-30 for 187 yards, six TD’s and one INT. Barkley’s six TD effort was good for a school record.

Sophomore WR Marqise Lee made finding the end zone look easy with 11 grabs for 66 yards and three TD’s. He won’t have quite so easy a time against Stanford, but he’ll be a force to reckon with. The Trojans other big weapon, junior Robert Woods, grabbed 10 catches for 93 yards and two TD’s, too. Sophomore TE Xavier Grimble grabbed the last TD, on his only reception of the day.

In total, Lee and Woods accounted for 21 of Barkley’s 23 completions. Those guys are ridiculously good, but they’re also predictable targets. It’ll be interesting to see how Stanford tries to stop these guys, and what USC will do to answer them.

While the USC air attack was ultra-effective, it was the ground game that produced the eye-popping numbers. They piled up 258 rushing yards, which isn’t too surprising given the wet conditions on the field. Runningbacks Silas Redd and Curtis McNeal combined for 26 carries and 170 of those rushing yards.

Stanford Cardinal

Stanford wobbled in their 20-17 opener against San Jose State (1-1, 2-0 ATS) but were saved by a late game field goal from kicker Jordan Williamson. We weren’t surprised to see Stanford experience some challenges in their first post-Luck-era game.

Former Luck backup Josh Nunes (16/26, 125 yards, 1 TD) slowly found his pace and was aided by that powerful Cardinal defense. They were the ones who forced the SJSU fumble that set up the game winning field goal. Last week Nunes looked a lot better in a 50-13 blowout against lowly Duke (1-1, 1-1 ATS). In that game he complete 16-30 for 275 yards, three TD’s and one INT.

Defensively, Stanford looked good as they forced four turnovers, returned an interception for a TD and held Duke to just 27 yards rushing. But for some reason, they allowed a whopping 358 yards passing. This has to give USC a lot of confidence coming into this game.

If Stanford is hoping to compete against USC this week, they’ll need more of that solid defense and a lot more rushing of their own. With only 92 yards on the ground against Duke, it’s an area they’ll surely be working on this week.

USC vs Stanford Predictions

There’s so much history between these two, high quality programs that a blowout seems unlikely. Last year the USC Trojans were disappointed in a 56-48, 3OT barn burner. Given the changes on Stanford’s offense, that’s not likely to happen this year.

USC vs Stanford Point Spread

The USC Trojans are clearly the dominant team here and they should put a lot of pressure on an untested Stanford defense. The Cardinal defenders are solid, but the Trojans have too many weapons in their offensive arsenal. Asking USC to give -9 to Stanford is asking a lot (considering the last few years) but we think they’ll cover.

For USC, this is personal. Don’t let the player interviews fool you, they want their revenge. Top-level, highly competitive athletes like Matt Barkley don’t forget losses like they’ve taken to Stanford in recent years. When Barkley says it’s not about revenge, in his head he’s thinking “I want to eat their children for breakfast”. Remember, Barkley came back for his senior season when he could’ve banked millions in the NFL. He has unfinished business going for the National Championship, but I think he also feels this way about Stanford.

The combination of Barkley, Lee & Woods could be a ticking time bomb waiting to go off on Saturday. Add the USC runningbacks in to give the USC WR’s some breathing room and this one has more potential for USC to cover than not.

At -10 I wasn’t as crazy about this bet, and I rarely see this much difference in a single point. In this case, I love USC -9 (+105) at BetOnline, and expect USC to use this as a statement game. Although they’re 2-0 right now, their wins weren’t as impressive as overly-enthusiastic fans & handicappers expected them to be. They have yet to cover the spread in 2012, and yet to get the praise equal to their hype. Although it’s always sketchy when USC & Stanford battle, I think 2012 is the year USC claims their dominance. If they get a chance, they’ll run up the score as far as they can, and -9 on the USC point spread looks really good to me.

If you disagree, the best Stanford point spread is +9 (-110) at Bovada.

USC/Stanford Money Line Pick

We definitely expect USC to win this game straight-up against Stanford. It may be closer than handicappers (and I) think it will, but it won’t be a Stanford win. The Trojans are too experienced and have too much on the line to give this one up. This is the kind of game that can make or break a Heisman Trophy, and I expect Matt Barkley to get the job done. Stanford has a tough battle on their hands, trying to stop Lee, Woods, and Redd all at the same time. USC shouldn’t have any problem getting into the end zone often enough to win.

The money line has been moving even since I started writing this article. Right now, the USC money line is -335 at BetOnline. The Stanford money line is +280 at BetOnline. Bovada hasn’t posted their USC vs. Stanford moneylines yet (shocker).

Stanford vs. USC Over Under Odds

The current USC vs Stanford over/under is 56.5 (-110) at BetOnline.com. At the time of this writing, Bovada has yet to post their over/under odds yet (they’re incredibly slow).

Considering the poor job Stanford did last week defending against the pass, USC’s Lee and Woods could be in for another big day. Silas Redd could be good for another TD or two, and I expect USC to cover a significant portion of this over/under. I’m expecting a game total in the range of 35-21 up to 38-27. This puts us in the range of 56 to 65, giving us a lot more wins on the over.

On the USC/Stanford over under, I’m taking the over of 56.5 (-110) at BetOnline.

USC/Stanford Preview Video

This video basically says the same thing I just did, but it’s worth a listen.

This article was written by Jess

Jess is the editor of MobileSportsBetting.com. His job duties include everything nobody else is doing, and making sure it all gets done on time. When he gets a chance, Jess loves to write about NFL, MLB, Formula 1, and tennis betting.

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