College Football Picks: Washington State vs. USC Trojans

Jeff Grant

Tuesday, September 3, 2013 3:22 PM UTC

Tuesday, Sep. 3, 2013 3:22 PM UTC

The USC Trojans are still trying to find a starting quarterback to rely on this season, as they prepare to take on the Washington State Cougars Saturday. Have the books left any college football betting value on offer?

Let’s take a closer look at the college football odds for this Pac-12 Conference matchup at the Los Angeles Coliseum, with the opening kickoff scheduled for 10:30 p.m. ET on Fox Sports 1.

Disappointing result

Washington State felt it should have won last Saturday, as it suffered a 31-24 setback to the Auburn Tigers as 14-point road underdogs—despite winning the statistical battle by 68 yards.

The Cougars are 3-16 SU and 11-8 ATS as underdogs the last two-plus seasons, with the UNDER going 11-8 in that situation.

Back from the islands

USC picked up a 30-13 victory over Hawaii as 23.5-point road favorites last Thursday, while going UNDER the betting total of 52.  The Trojans out-gained the Rainbow Warriors by 133 yards in the contest.

Over the last two-plus seasons, the Trojans are 8-0 SU and 5-3 ATS as favorites of 10.5 to 21 points, with no edge in terms of the betting total (4-4 Over/Under).

Halliday will throw it around

College football handicappers are certainly aware that Cougars second-year head coach Mike Leach likes to throw the ball around—something that was clearly evident in quarterback Connor Halliday throwing for 344 yards on 65 pass attempts.

These two programs haven’t met since 2010, as Washington State tries to put an end to an eight-game losing streak in the series—losing those contests by an average of 33 points.

Question mark under center

Trojans head coach Lane Kiffin is known as an offensive guru, but he’s still looking for a starter to emerge under center, as Cody Kessler and Max Wittek combined for just 172 passing yards last week.

USC does welcome back eight other starters on the offensive side of the field—a unit that outgained conference opponent by an average of 69.7 yards a season ago.



I’m going to recommend that readers play the total with their  College Football picks, as the UNDER is 7-1 in USC’s last eight home games, while Washington State may be a big fatigued in making a second road trip to open up the 2013 campaign.

College Football Pick:  Under 53

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