College Football Week 1 Western Michigan Broncos at USC Trojans Lines

College Football Week 1: Western Michigan at USC Lines & Preview

Written by on September 1, 2017

2017 Heisman trophy favorite Sam Darnold and the fourth-ranked USC Trojans will look to make a statement when they host the ‘new-look’ Western Michigan Broncos in their College Football Week 1 regular season opener on Saturday night. The Trojans are expected to challenge for the national championship while Western Kentucky is heading in a new direction following their stupendous 2016 campaign. The Broncos will be on the road at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum when this game goes down at 5:15 PM ET, while airing live on the Pac-12 Network. The Trojans will come into this match as a 26.5-point favorite, with the O/U set at 58 points.

College Football Week 1: Western Michigan at USC Lines & Preview

When: Saturday, September 2, 2017 at 5:15 PM ETWhere: Los Angeles Memorial ColiseumTV: Pac-12 NetworkLive Stream:PAC-12 LiveCollege Football Week 1 Odds: USC Trojans -26.5 / Total: 58Weather Forecast 
  • Partly Cloudy: 33°C/91°F
  • Humidity 41%
  • Precipitation % 0%
  • Cloud Cover 38%
  • Wind 6 mph SW
  • Stadium Type Open

Why Bet the Western Michigan Broncos College Football Week 1 Odds at +26.5?

The Western Michigan Broncos had an outstanding 2016 season in going 13-1 while winning the MAC Championship and reaching the Cotton Bowl where they suffered their only loss of the season against the Wisconsin Badgers 24-16.Unfortunately, their success last season cost them head Coach P.J. Fleck who took over the head coaching duties at Minnesota. Now, the Broncos are heading in a new direction under Tim Lester, but he’s got holes to fill after losing super gifted wide receiver Corey Davis, the fifth pick in the NFL Draft and starting quarterback Zach Terrell. Needless to say, the Broncos will be hard-pressed to put up the same eye-popping numbers as they did a year ago when they averaged a whopping 41.6 points per game to rank ninth nationally in scoring.QB Jon Wassink beat out Tom Flacco in spring practice to earn the starting job under center for the Broncos. Wassink’s top receiving threats will be D’Wayne Eskridge (10.1 yds/g; TD) and Keishawn Watson, but Western Michigan will lean heavily on the running game until they come of age throwing the ball. The Broncos have an elite running back Jarvion Franklin (1,353 yards, 12 Tds).“I was really excited (to be named starter), but I think I’m more excited for us as a team,” Wassink said following one practice. “I think us, as a collective team, we’re excited to be back together and working for the next month towards our first game.”

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Western Michigan Broncos Defense Analysis

Defensively, Western Michigan held their opponents to an average of 19.8 points per game and return seven starters, most notably, linebacker Robert Spillane and defensive back Darius Phillips.“We’re brand new at wideout and we’re brand new at quarterback,” Lester said. “So that’s going to take time. We’re plenty talented, these guys all just had seniors in front of them. It’s just experience, which they’re going to get in the first game, the second game and third game. Our passing game will come along and hopefully, eventually by midseason to later in the season, be more of a 50-50 run/pass team. That’s what you’d like to be. But obviously with our O-line and our tight end and our running backs, we’re definitely going to have to lean on that. A lot of that will depend on how games unfold too.”

Why Bet the USC Trojans College Football Week 1 Odds at -26.5?

The fourth-ranked USC Trojans got off to an uninspiring 1-3 start last season, but then everything changed shortly after head Coach Clay Helton named quarterback Sam Darnold the starter after USC went 1-2 in their first three games.As a redshirt freshman, Darnold lost a preseason competition to be the starter to junior Max Browne. The Trojans lost Darnold’s first start, to Utah, by four points and then won nine straight games, capped off by their thrilling 52-49 win against Penn State in the Rose Bowl.Darnold completed 67.2 percent of his passes while throwing 31 touchdowns against just nine interceptions. However, it was his 453-yard, five-touchdown performance in the Rose Bowl that opened everyone’s eyes and made him the favorite to win this season’s Heisman.“For us, expectations are sky high,” USC quarterback Sam Darnold quotation. “But I don’t think much about pressure. Whatever pressure comes from the outside, that’s just noise.”College Football Week 1: The fourth-ranked USC Trojans got off to an uninspiring 1-3 start last season.

USC Trojans Defense Analysis

Defensively, USC returns seven starters from a defense that held opponents to an average of 24.2 points per game to rank 38th nationally. Unfortunately they lost the best cornerback in the country in 2016 Thorpe award winner Adoree Jackson, a player that also starred on offense occasionally and in the return game. Linebacker Cameron Smith and defensive back Iman Marshall are ready to lead the Trojans defense in 2017.USC finished last season averaging 34.4 ppg (36th) but the Trojans need to replace his top two receivers in JuJu Smith-Schuster and Darreus Rogers but they have a gifted running back in Ronald Jones II, a sure-handed tight end in Daniel Imatorbhebhe and plenty of talent at the wide receiver position, even though they’re mostly inexperienced.

Expert Analysis and College Football Week 1 Prediction

Western Michigan was absolutely phenomenal last season, but that was then and this year’s team will be a lot different. Having said that, I’m fully expecting Sam Darnold and the USC Trojans to come out firing on all cylinders in this contest and jump all over Western Michigan from the outset.While I’m not sure the Trojans will have a championship-worthy defense this coming season, they will almost assuredly be able to put points on the board against any team they face. I know the Broncos are 10-1 ATS in their last 11 games in the month September and 16-5 ATS in their last 21 road games, but USC is 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games overall and 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games on grass.I like Sam Darnold to lead USC to the emphatic win and ATS cover against a Western Michigan team that will need to find its way this season under a new head coach and starting quarterback.College Football Week 1 Pick: USC -26.5 Points
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