College Football Picks: USC vs. Hawaii

Steven Suarez

Thursday, August 29, 2013 2:24 PM UTC

Thursday, Aug. 29, 2013 2:24 PM UTC

How will the #24-ranked Trojans fare in Hawaii in their season opener? They'll be laying some heavy chalk for tonight's game, but should college football bettors trust them to post that many points?

Odds Overview 

Opening college football odds had the Trojans favored by three touchdowns, but the public has been hitting the favorites hard, making that number rise to a staggering 24 points.

For those thinking a total play may be a better option for their college football picks, the O/U is sitting at 54 right now after opening at 52.5.


USC Trojans

The 2012 season was one the Trojans would like to forget. After entering the season as the number one ranked team in the polls, USC couldn't live up to the hype in the end.

After a solid 6-1 start, the USC Trojans would go on to lose four of their last five games, including a 21-7 loss to Georgia Tech in the Sun Bowl. A 7-6 season ended up being a huge disappointment for Lane Kiffin and company, and the much-maligned coach is certainly on the hot seat entering into the new season.

Gone are Matt Barkley and Robert Woods from an offense that was good for 32.1 points per game.

Quarterbacks Max Wittek and Cody Kessler have been fighting it out in camp for the starting job, but neither has done enough to secure the spot. That means split reps for both in tonight's matchup with Hawaii.

Luckily for them, they get to face a Hawaii team that couldn't really stop anyone last year, not to mention the fact Wittek and Kessler have Marqise Lee to throw the ball to. Lee is arguably the best wideout in the country and should have another field day against the Warriors tonight.

Look at our favorite 'Total College Football Betting Options for the Opening Week'. 

Hawaii Warriors

There's really nothing the Warriors did well last year. They ranked #102 in points scored at 21.2 per game and #107 in points allowed at 35.7 per game.

Norm Chow's team ended up with a 3-9 record, but they did close things out with two straight wins, a 48-10 thumping of UNLV and then a 23-7 victory over South Alabama. Maybe those wins are something the team was able to build on over the offseason.

Taylor Graham will be the new starting quarterback for Hawaii, after he won the job over Sean Schroeder.

Graham is a transfer from Ohio State and will make his first official college start against a highly athletic Trojans defense. We're eager to see how the junior handles the spotlight.

This season is going to be all about progress for Chow and the Warriors as they hope to record more than three victories. A prideful showing against a program like USC could be just what they need to set the tone.

Opening Night College Football Picks

College Football Pick

The Trojans have never lost to Hawaii (eight meetings) and we don't see that changing tonight. But college football bettors are wondering if USC be able to cover such a high number on the road.

In all honesty, we don't see how the Trojans have really improved personnel-wise from last year, with two uncertain quantities now at quarterback. Plus, Silas Redd is still recovering from injury and won't be able to play in this opener.

There's also familiarity here, as Norm Chow has worked both with and against Lane Kiffin in the past and may have a trick or two up his sleeve against the massively favored Trojans.

In the end, we think this is too many points for a team that has a lot to prove after a historical collapse in 2012. We'll be recommending that readers back the home underdogs and grab those 24 points.

Pick: Hawaii Warriors +24
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