USC vs. Alabama Prediction
Will USC and Alabama be a defensive struggle when the two teams clash at AT&T Stadium on Saturday night at 8:00PM ET?
According to oddsmakers from online sports book Bovada.lv, the Crimson Tide are 11.5-point favorites versus the Trojans while the over/under for Saturday's game currently sits at 53.5 points. Alabama did open as a 10-point favorite before the line was bet up a point-and-a-half, while the total opened at 54 before dropping a half-point down to 53.5.
The Trojans were inconsistent at the betting window last year and finished with a 6-8 record against the spread in their 14 lined games in 2015. As an underdog, USC was winless at 0-3 against the number, failing to cover the spread by a -11.8 margin per contest. As a road team, the Trojans were also 2-3 against the spread.
The Crimson Tide faced plenty of large spreads but did manage to cover in eight of the 15 games that they played in last season, covering by an averaging margin of +4.7 points per game. They were favored in all but one game (at Georgia) and covered in seven of those 14 games in which they were giving up points.
OUR EARLY PICK: Alabama has questions at quarterback but Nick Saban's team also recruits well on the defensive side of the ball, so expect the Tide to be strong defensively again this season. USC boasts plenty of talent on offense, including five-star quarterback Max Browne, as well as an excellent running back duo in Ronald Jones and Justin Davis, as well as the nation's best receiver in JuJu Smith-Schuster. But 'Bama will keep the game in check defensively and this game will fall under. In fact, the under is 9-4 in the Trojans' last 13 games in September.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL WEEK 1 PREDICTION: USC/ALABAMA UNDER 53.5