Strong Start Projected For Crimson Tide As They Will Cover Against USC Trojans

Alabama Crimson Tide

Doug Upstone

Friday, August 26, 2016 3:39 PM UTC

Friday, Aug. 26, 2016 3:39 PM UTC

USC vs. Alabama. If you are a fan of college football or taking it one step further and like betting college football, this is one heck of a way to spend a Saturday night on the opening weekend.

Images of coaches like John McKay, Bear Bryant, John Robinson, Pete Carroll and now Nick Saban, flood our memories. Catchy phrases from these two universities like 'Roll Tide Roll' and 'Student Body Right' are part of the culture of each. You cannot have a matchup like this and not hear somewhere deep in your brain Keith Jackson saying, 'This one will be decided by the big uglies.'

When it comes to making college football picks, we know what to expect from Alabama, even if they start with a few question marks. USC is still a brand and if Clay Helton is really the right fit as head coach for the Trojans, they are already on their way back.


Live Odds For USC Trojans vs Alabama Crimson Tide


USC Will Not Be Intimidated But Can They Execute Properly?
Junior QB Max Browne's first start could not come against a tougher opponent. Besides the sheer excitement, Browne has to keep level-headed against arguably the finest defense he will face as a college quarterback. But Browne has weapons, a whole Gatorade tubful. Ju Ju Smith-Schuster is legit All-American candidate and it is a given there are at least three more really good pass catchers to go along with all five returning offensive linemen, who are skilled at run and pass blocking.

Alabama was going to run the ball anyways but going against a defensive line with no returning starters, what are the chances former USC head coach and current Crimson Tide offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin will run the ball?

USC's program is on par with Alabama, over time, just not at the moment. The Men of Troy have the athletes to compete, but will they have the discipline to stay focused for four quarters? If the Trojans do and can create turnovers, game on.


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Alabama is Still Alabama
Once against the most asked question about Coach Saban's program is who will the quarterback be? When you have won four national championships in seven years, it is taken for granted, the new recruits and new starters will work out fine, with many ending up as potential All-Americans.

This year's group is quite a bit different from last season's. The running game was in place for a base and WR Calvin Ridley was everything that was expected as a freshman. This year the offensive strength is at receiver, with the offensive line still having to come together and Bo Scarbrough or others toting the pigskin. Cooper Bateman is starting quarterback, but he's not a lock for a whole season and will have to get the ball to his perimeter players and no doubt face USC exotic blitz packages.

The Tide have the secondary to compete with talented Trojans receivers and while the defense live might not be as good as last year's crew, the players that went to the NFL come along once every couple of decades.


Odds and Outcome
The average college football odds at most online sportsbooks, have Alabama at -10.5 with the total of 54. In comparing the talent, the disparity is not as much as some would believe. When I first began digging into this battle, I could see where USC could really hang around with the Crimson Tide and ultimately I think they might for three-quarters.

However, I cannot get past the fact the Trojans defensive line has all new starters. This for me is the turning point, as this group figures to wear down and Bama breaks a couple of big runs and ends up winning by 14.


Free NCAAF Picks - Alabama -10.5
Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

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