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USC to Open Season Against the MAC-Winning Broncos

Opening the new season as an enormous favorite over Western Michigan, USC is expected to roll in Week 1 after a campaign that saw the Trojans capture a 25th Rose Bowl win. Odds have Southern Cal right behind Alabama on the futures board for the national championship, meaning the Trojans should strap in for another successful year with Sam Darnold at the helm in his sophomore season.                                                                           

SHARK BITES
  • USC is 6-1 against the spread in its last 7 games at home.
  • USC is 14-1 SU in its last 15 games in Week 1.
  • Western Michigan is 3-8 against the spread in its last 11 games in Week 1.

The spread for this matchup opened at 22 points but has been steadily rising in the favor of USC. The trends clearly point to the Trojans and most of the public money is coming in on Southern Cal.

Despite going 13-1 SU and landing the 13th spot in the AP rankings last year in a MAC-winning season, the Broncos shouldn’t be much competition for USC in the first-ever meeting of the two schools on the football field.

Western Michigan was one of the better spread bets in 2016, going 9-4-1 ATS, but the program experienced severe turnover in the offseason, losing head coach P.J. Fleck, No. 1 quarterback Zach Terrell and wide receiver Corey Davis, who was picked fifth overall by the Titans in the NFL draft. It’s not yet clear how good their replacements can be but it’s not easy to imagine the Broncos replicating the success they achieved in 2016.

USC, on the other hand, will be looking to build off its accomplishments and head coach Clay Helton has a chance to lead this team to its first season of 11 or more wins since the days of Pete Carroll and Reggie Bush.

Game 1 will be an important tone-setter for the Trojans and methodically burying a team that finished with the third-best record in Division 1 football a season ago would propel them in the right direction.

Opening Odds & Computer Pick

The visiting Western Michigan Broncos opened as 22-point underdogs in this one at BetOnline and most sportsbooks tracked here at OddsShark. No total had been posted as of writing time; check the live lines pages in the coming days to see where the number opened.

OddsShark computer score prediction models picked a possible 44-32 win for the Trojans early in the week. That score may change during the week, if injury or weather factors alter the numbers, so check the college football picks page before game time. View the computer score prediction and who will win the pick on the moneyline for all upcoming NCAAF matchups here.

Western Michigan Broncos vs USC Trojans Matchup

Team Betting Records & Power Rankings

The USC Trojans sport a record of 0-0 and 0-0 ATS heading into this betting matchup, while the Western Michigan Broncos sit at 0-0 and 0-0 ATS on the season. The OVER/UNDER totals records are 0-0 for the Trojans and 0-0 for the Broncos. Stay Informed: follow us on Twitter for odds specials, betting line moves and USC vs Western Michigan injuries news.

The USC Trojans sit at No. 12 in the current College Football Power Rankings here at OddsShark, while the Western Michigan Broncos are at No. 7 on that chart.

Statistical Matchup

Offensively, the game matches up the USC Trojans No. -ranked offense ( PPG) against a Western Michigan Broncos defense that ranks No. at PPG. The USC Trojans passing attack has averaged yards per game, more than the Western Michigan Broncos give up through the air ( YPG on average).

Defensively, the Western Michigan Broncos featured the league's No. 28-rated road run defense last season, allowing 136.75 yards per game. USC, meanwhile, ranked No. 30 in rushing offense at home.

Recent Outings Betting Recap

The Broncos suffered a loss against Wisconsin in their last game, falling 24-16 at AT&T Stadium.

Sam Darnold throttled the Nittany Lions defense in his team's most recent action, throwing for 453 yards as USC handed Penn State a 52-49 defeat.

Betting Trends
  • Western Michigan is 11-4-1 ATS in its last 16 games
  • Western Michigan is 15-1 SU in its last 16 games
  • Western Michigan is 15-5-1 ATS in its last 21 games on the road
  • Western Michigan is 8-1 SU in its last 9 games on the road
  • Southern California is 6-1 ATS in its last 7 games
  • Southern California is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games
  • The total has gone UNDER in 7 of Southern California's last 9 games
  • Southern California is 5-1 ATS in its last 6 games at home

Next Betting Matchups

Western Michigan at Michigan State, Saturday, September 9
USC home to Stanford, Saturday, September 9

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