USC vs Alabama Pick
2016 College Football Week 1 Preview

The Crimson Tide have won 14 consecutive season openers and USC has won 17. Something has to give this Saturday as these two football powers will play in Texas. The defending national champions’  haven’t decided on a starting quarterback, but that hasn’t prevented the Crimson Tide from drawing the nation’s No. 1 ranking. USC will enter the game as the 17th ranked team in the country.

New Quarterbacks

At quarterback, Alabama coach Nick Saban said that junior Cooper Bateman and redshirt freshman Blake Barnett are his squad’s top two quarterbacks, while the Trojans previously settled on junior Max Browne to replace three-year starter Cody Kessler.  Browne has thrown 19 career passes for USC, which is beginning its first full season under coach Clay Helton.

Two Talented Teams

The perpetually talented Trojans are once again loaded, especially at the skill positions. The big name is WR Juju Smith-Schuster, and a supporting cast of athletic receivers and backs should make life easy for QB Max Browne. Well, maybe not that easy with USC looking at one of the hardest schedule in the country.

As has become the tradition in Tuscaloosa, the defending national champs enter the season with a roster that many consider to be the nation’s most talented. Despite losing four second-round picks to the NFL, the Crimson Tide defense looks to be equally as dominant this year, with the likes of DE Jonathan Allen and S Eddie Jackson in the starting lineup. On offense, WR Calvin Ridley and LT Cam Robinson are among the best in the nation at their positions, and the Tide hope sophomore RBs Bo Scarbrough and Damien Harris can fill the void created by Heisman Trophy winner Derrick Henry’s departure.

USC vs Alabama : Date, Time, Odds,

When: 8:00 PM ET, Saturday, September 3, 2016
Where: AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas
TV: 8 p.m. ET, ABC
Betting Line: Alabama (-11.5 at sportsbetting.ag), (12 at Bovada)
Total: 53
Current Lines From Bovada Sportsbook
College Football Futures Odds from Bovada Sportsbook
College Football Halftime Odds from Bovada Sportsbook
Live in play betting lins from Bovada Sportsbook

ABOUT USC (8-6)

Offense: Starters returning – 9; Defense: Starters returning – 6
Clay Helton is going into his first full season as head coach after having been named interim coach last season. The Trojans feature one of the nation’s top receivers in junior JuJu Smith-Schuster, who caught 89 passes for 1,454 yards and 10 touchdowns last season. Sophomore Ronald Jones II set a school freshman rushing record with 987 yards and will share the workload with senior Justin Davis (902 yards in 2015) behind a solid offensive line led by senior right tackle Zach Banner.

Over the last four years the Trojans have been a very good but not great program going 34-20 straight up and 23-31 against the spread. Last year they were 8-6 SU & only 6-8 ATS. On the road they were 2-5 ATS and as a dog 0-3 ATS last year. Not what you expect from a team with the media accolades like USC.

In 2015 the Trojans offense was alright but not spectacular. They ranked 37th in the country averaging 33.9 points a game. On defense they were 50th ranked and gave up an average of 25.7 points per game. Where the Trojans had problems on offense was in the running game where they only averaged 168 yards per game which ranked 70th in the country. On defense the weakness was in the secondary as they ranked 94th in the country and gave up 251.5 yard per game.

ABOUT ALABAMA ( 14-1)

Offense: Starters returning – 6; Defense: Starters returning – 5

Breaking news? The defending national champs enter the season with a roster that many consider to be the nation’s most talented. However, the one big question is at quarterback where Bateman threw 52 passes and started one game last season. How do you replace Heisman Trophy winner Derrick Henry? How about some top recruits in sophomores Bo Scarbrough and Damien Harris. One place Alabama is stocked is at receiver with sophomore Calvin Ridley (SEC-freshman record 89 receptions for 1,045 yards in 2015) and junior ArDarius Stewart (63 catches). Alabama has a lot of talent on defense but they will need seniors; strong safety Eddie Jackson (six interceptions for 230 yards and two touchdowns), defensive end Jonathan Allen (12 sacks), and linebackers Reuben Foster (73 tackles) and Tim Williams (10.5 sacks) to lead while they break in underclassmen.

Alabama has been hot for the last four years. A 50-6 straight up record shows that when they play they win. However, we are here to bet and against the spread Alabama has been almost average with a 27-28 record. Last year they went 14-1 SU but only 8-7 ATS.

In 2015, the offense ranked 30th with an average of 35.1 points per game. It was the defense that made Alabama a national champion with a number 3 ranking. They gave up 15.1 points a game. Where they really excelled was in stopping the run where they ranked 1st in the country.

 

USC vs Alabama College Football Prediction

What a game to start the season with. Alabama defending the national championship by going to a neutral site to play a top program. But, this isn’t 2015 and both teams have some real questions to start the year. Offense will be the first problem as both teams will need to have quarterbacks step up and keep the defense honest. Both defenses can shut down the run if the other teams quarterback isn’t able to at least make some first downs passing. Of the two teams the Trojans are the ones who need to get the passing game going early.

I look for this game to start off a little slow as both offensive coordinators try to get a little confidence in the quarterback play. Once the game moves into the second quarter, USC will need to open it up and try and take advantage of the talent they have a wide receiver. In the end, it will be the strength of the offensive and defensive lines of Alabama that ends up winning the day. Now, I like Alabama to win but, I do not like them to cover as long as I can get 11 points or more I will take USC.

Betting Tip: This line is moving and sportsbook will have different point spreads so pick the one that is best for you.

I like USC as a dog so I bet at Bovada. But, if I liked Alabama then I would be at SportsBetting.ag

USC vs Alabama Pick: USC +12

Sportsbetting.ag