Week 2 College Football Predictions – USC at StanfordJosh Bailey
The 11th-ranked Stanford Cardinal will host the 15th-seeded Southern Cal Trojans in a huge Week 2 battle of Pac-12 teams that will undoubtedly have a big say in each team’s postseason bowl plans.
More importantly, I think this matchup is offering a lot of value for college football bettors that are looking for cost-effective games on the Week 2 docket. Click here for more CFB betting odds.
"Rivalries are created when you have fast-paced games going back-and-forth. That's what we have going on here (w/ USC)." - @CoachDavidShaw
— Stanford Football (@StanfordFball) September 2, 2014
Week 2 College Football Predictions – No. 15 USC at No. 11 Stanford
Preview: Stanford (1-0 SU, 1-0 ATS) rolled all over UC Davis in its 45-0 Week 1 season opener to somehow cash in as a whopping 43.5-point home favorite to move to 7-1 SU and 6-2 ATS dating back to their last seven games of the 2013 season. The Cardinals got a fine performance from senior quarterback Kevin Hogan as he completed 12 of 16 passes for 204 with three TD passes and one interception.
Stanford limited its opponents to a paltry 61 rushing yards on 27 carries while picking off Aggies quarterback London Lacy twice.
USC (1-0 SU, 1-0 ATS) laid an emphatic 52-13 beat-down on Fresno State to easily cover the spread as an 18-point home favorite. Junior quarterback Cody Kessler completed 25 of 37 passes for 394 yards with four touchdowns while rushing for another score. The Trojans also rushed for a whopping 277 yards and three scores in the rout.
— USC Trojans (@USC_Athletics) September 2, 2014
Analysis: While the Steve Sarkisian era got off to a fine start for USC last weekend, I think the Trojans are going to get cut down to size in this one by a Stanford team I expect to challenge for a berth in the new, four-team playoff system.
Stanford, the two-time Pac-12 defending champs, have not lost to USC at home since 2008 and they’ll enter this contest looking to get some revenge after losing to the Trojans 20-17 last season despite narrowly covering the spread as a 3.5-point road dog.
Prior to last season’s loss, Stanford had won four straight over the Trojans and I like them to get back in the win column by handling USC in this one.
"We do have a chip on our shoulder," Stanford quarterback Kevin Hogan said at Pac-12 media days. "We’ve been successful, but that can’t stop us from being the hunters rather than the hunted."
The Trojans are 0-8 ATS in their last 8 road games against a team with a winning home record and a dismal 2-11 ATS in their last 13 road games.
The bedrock of USC’s defense, Leonard Williams played every bit like the best defensive lineman in the country against Fresno State. He had seven tackles, two passes broken up and an interception.
Sarkisian gushed about Williams’ performance on the coach’s conference call Sunday.
"Sometimes you don’t appreciate defensive line play until you look at the film," Sarkisian said. "Leonard was spectacular and the numbers say he was."
The Stanford Cardinal are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 home games and an incendiary 10-3 ATS in their last 13 games in the month of September.
The Cardinal are also 5-2 ATS in their last seven home games against a team with a winning road record and an extremely consistent 36-15-1 ATS in their last 52 games following a SU win.
I like the Cardinal to get the solid home win and narrow ATS cover.