USC vs Stanford College Football Week 2 Free Pick

Posted by Jordan Walterss on Tuesday,July 12, 2016 8:47, EST in

We usually don’t get great intra-conference matchups in the first few weeks of the college football season as teams often schedule cupcakes to lead into conference play. But that’s not the case in Week 2 of the coming season as USC and Stanford face off in a huge Pac-12 game that could be a preview of the conference title game. Although which team loses will have a tough time getting there. The Cardinal are early 6.5-point favorites on college football lines.

USC vs Stanford College Football Week 2 Odds & TV Info

When: Saturday, Sept. 17, 8 PM ET
Where: Stanford Stadium, Palo Alto, Calif.
TV: ABC
Stream: WatchESPN
RadioUSC / Stanford
Opening NCAAF Lines: Stanford -6.5

USC vs Stanford Historic Betting Trends

Stanford should be 1-0 entering this game as it hosts Kansas State in Week 1. USC probably will be 0-1 as it plays defending national champion Alabama in Arlington, Texas, in its opener and the Tide are solid favorites there.

Stanford beat USC 41-22 in last year’s Pac-12 title game. Cardinal star running back Christian McCaffrey ran for 207 yards and a score, threw a touchdown pass, caught another and broke Barry Sanders’ single-season all-purpose yards record to lead then No. 7 Stanford to the Pac-12 championship. Kevin Hogan caught the TD pass from McCaffrey, threw one and ran for a third and Solomon Thomas scored on a 34-yard fumble return for the Cardinal. That earned Stanford a trip to the Rose Bowl, where it beat Iowa.

Cody Kessler threw for 187 yards and a touchdown and ran for another score for the Trojans, who lost in their first game since removing the interim tag from coach Clay Helton. Kessler and Hogan are now in the NFL.

Why Bet on Stanford?

The Cardinal bring back McCaffrey and he’s a top Heisman contender. Many thought McCaffrey deserved the Heisman Trophy in 2015. With Hogan gone, the Cardinal will need to rely on the run more than ever. McCaffrey rushed for 2,019 yards in 2015, and he’s a lethal receiving weapon out of the backfield. The junior-to- be caught 45 balls for 645 yards last season, and at 6-1, he could easily be one of the best wide receivers in college football if he wasn’t so special as a running back.

His 2015 debut was inauspicious (12 carries, 66 yards in a 16-6 loss to Northwestern), but once McCaffrey hit his stride, he never looked back. He rushed for at least 100 yards in 11 of Stanford’s final 12 games (rushing for 94 yards in a 38-36 win over Notre Dame). It’s no coincidence that the Cardinal went 11-1 in that stretch. He also was a standout special teams player. He averaged 8.6 yards on 15 punt returns (including a 66-yard score) and 28.9 yards on 37 kick returns, including a 98-yard touchdown.

Why Bet on USC?

Who will be USC’s starting QB? Most likely Max Browne. He took of the first-team snaps during the spring. But Sam Darnold has mounted a feisty competition. After one practice, Helton gushed that Darnold had completed 94% of his passes — “an incredible number.” But Browne, he added, was in the lead. During USC’s spring game, he looked like a seasoned veteran going 7-of- 11 passing, amassing 114 yards and three touchdowns.

Browne only got garbage time last year. His best game of the season came in the opener against Arkansas State. He went 3-of- 5 passing, throwing for 66 yards including a 35-yard toss that was his longest of the day. His 170.9 quarterback rating contributed to a 55-6 win in which the entire offense excelled.

My Expert Pick

Take Stanford on NCAA football picks. McCaffrey is that good.