#20 USC Vs #1 Alabama OddsNoah Williams
The Alabama Crimson Tide will look to take the first step toward making consecutive appearances in the College Football Playoff when they ‘host’ the playoff-hopeful USC Trojans in an intriguing Week 1 affair that I believe is offering a ton of value.
Now, let’s find out which team will cover the college football week 1 betting odds when these two elite programs square off live from AT&T Stadium.
Bet The USC Vs Alabama College Football Week 1 Odds
The public is 65% on the Alabama Crimson Tide to cover the spread. The point spread opened at BAMA -10. The line movement indicates more money is being placed on the side of the Alabama Crimson Tide to cover.
The Southern California Trojans are not a good team to back based on their 6-8, -280 record against the spread. The Alabama Crimson Tide are an average team against the spread (7-7).
What: No. 20 USC Trojans (0-0) at No.1 Alabama Crimson Tide (0-0)
When: Saturday, September 3, 2016
Start Time: 8:00 PM ET
Where: Arlington, TX
Stadium: AT&T Stadium
Spread: Alabama -10.5
Moneyline: USC +325 vs Alabama -400
Game Total: 54
Stream: Watch ESPN
Listen: USC vs Alabama
Bet The USC Trojans at +10.5 Because…
The Trojans have as much talent as any team in the country – including Alabama.
USC (8-5 SU, 6-7 ATS) underachieved in a big way in 2015 and will have to break in a new starting quarterback in 2016 as they replace three-year former starter Cody Kessler.
This season, head coach Clay Helton will turn to junior signal-caller Max Browne, but the really good news is that USC returns all 10 of their other starters.
Browne will make his first career start four years after being named the National High School Player of the Year and he’ll be helped by USC’s stellar collection of skill position players, including senior running back Justin Davis (902 yards, 5.3 average) and sophomore Ronald Jones (987 yards, 6.5 average).
Browne will throw early and often to All-America candidate wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster (89 receptions for 1,454 yards and 10 TDs) while being protected by an offensive line that returns every starter including All-Pac-12 tackle Zach Banner.
Defensively, the Trojans ranked a respectable 50th in points allowed (25.7 ppg) and have six returning starters, although they could have trouble up front as they replace their entire defensive line.
USC does have a blossoming star in linebacker Cameron Smith, the Pac-12 Defensive Freshman of the Year, not to mention a secondary that looks solid with future NFL performer Adoree Jackson and sophomore Iman Marshall forming what could be one of the best cornerback tandems in the nation.
Bet The Alabama Crimson Tide at -10.5 Because…
Alabama has a perennially powerful defense and head coach Nick Saban that knows how to win without an elite quarterback.
While the Tide need to replace Heisman Trophy-winning running back Derrick Henry and starting quarterback Jake Coker, Alabama will likely be a defensive juggernaut in 2016, just as they have been for the entirety of Saban’s tenure.
Former top recruit Bo Scarbrough is being labeled as the next star running back at Alabama, but the quarterback position cold be problematic for the Tide as they figure out their best option between Cooper Bateman, third-year sophomore David Cornwell and young candidates Blake Barnett and Jalen Hurts.
The Tide will also lose some of the jaw-dropping depth along their front seven from a year ago, but Alabama does have plenty of talent with Reuben Foster taking over at middle linebacker and athletically gifted defensive ends Tim Williams and Ryan Anderson ready to shine.
USC vs BAMA Expert Pick & Final Score Prediction
I like Alabama to get the SU win at home in their regular season opener, but I’m going with USC to cover a college football point spread that I believe is a few points too high.
Alabama went 5-2 ATS over their final even games last season but have also compiled an uninspiring 4-6 ATS mark at home in 2015 while going 7-7 ATS as a favorite.
While USC closed out its 2015 campaign by going 1-4 ATS over their final five games and a unimpressive 2-4 ATS on the road, the Trojans also ranked an impressive 37th in scoring (33.9 pg) and should have enough offense to keep the final score somewhere in the neighborhood of seven points at most.
With Alabama breaking in a new quarterback and running back, the time to strike is now for USC. The Trojans cover the spread in a losing effort.