USC vs. Stanford Odds, Predictions: Your Betting Preview for This Week 2 Pac-12 Contest

USC vs. Stanford Odds, Predictions: Your Betting Preview for This Week 2 Pac-12 Contest article feature image

Via Icon Sportswire/Getty Images. Pictured: USC Trojans quarterback Caleb Williams (13) runs the ball for a gain during a college football game between the Rice Owls and the USC Trojans on September 03, 2022, at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, CA.

USC vs. Stanford Odds

Saturday, Sept. 10
7:30 p.m. ET
USC Odds
-110o / -110u
Stanford Odds
-110o / -110u
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.

Oh, how things can change in a year.

This time last season, USC was a 17.5-point favorite as it welcomed Stanford to Los Angeles. After a 42-28 Cardinal victory, the Trojans fired head coach Clay Helton later that week, paving way for the eventual seismic hire of Lincoln Riley.

Riley and USC now head to Stanford with a 52-point Week 1 victory in tow, looking to validate the preseason hype.

Stanford Stadium has been a tough road trip for the Trojans, with the Cardinal winning four of the last five matchups against the Trojans on their home turf.

Is USC the lone 2022 Pac-12 juggernaut, or will Stanford continue to be the thorn in the Trojans' side?

USC Trojans

Oklahoma transfer Caleb Williams made a strong first impression for USC against Rice.

The Heisman candidate completed 19-of-22 passes for 249 yards and two scores while also flashing his skills as a runner. Williams finished as USC's leading rusher with 68 yards on six attempts.

Williams played only six series in Week 1, leading a touchdown drive five times. The Trojans demonstrated just how deep their receiver room is with Tahj Washington — the fourth wideout on their depth chart — leading the way with four catches for 65 yards.

Entering the season, the offensive line was the biggest question mark for this offense, and it held up fairly well against the Owls. Williams was sacked only once as the team rushed for 208 yards on 28 carries.

Defensively the Trojans were a bit inconsistent, particularly in the first half when Rice averaged 6.7 yards a carry and sustained two touchdown drives over 70 yards. USC eventually shored up the defense as it allowed only one second-half drive of more than 20 yards.

One thing USC likely won't ever replicate again this season — although Stanford certainly had its problems in Week 1 with four turnovers — is the turnover battle. The Trojans picked off Rice four times and returned three of those interceptions for touchdowns.

Stanford Cardinal

Stanford was equally impressive in its 31-point Week 1 win, albeit against an FCS opponent. That leaves many of the offseason questions about holes in the running game and front seven still on the table.

One thing the Cardinal know that they do have is quarterback Tanner McKee and a deep group of receivers. The junior threw for over 300 yards and two scores, with three different receivers catching at least four passes and recording over 50 yards.

Bring back wideout Brycen Tremayne — who suffered a gruesome season-ending leg injury in Week 5 last season — is big for the Cardinal. McKee’s yards per attempt dropped from 7.9 to 7.0 in the former walk-on's absence, and his touchdown-to-interception ratio was just 4:7.

Even with 104 starts returning on the offensive line this season, the run game remains an uncertainty for Stanford. It ranked last in the Pac-12 at 86.8 yards per game last season, and the Cardinal's top tailback, Austin Jones, is now a Trojan. Stanford's 169 yards on the ground against Colgate are deceiving, as 87 yards came on one carry.

Without that E.J. Smith touchdown on the first carry of the game, Stanford averaged just 3.0 yards per carry against an FCS defensive line. Smith and backup running back Casey Filkins also each lost a fumble.

Stanford's front seven was a major concern entering the season after ranking 120th nationally with just 15 sacks and allowing more rushing yards per game (235.7) than any Power Five team not named Kansas. Colgate rushed for 159 yards and 39 carries, but Stanford's linebackers registered two sacks.

USC vs. Stanford Betting Pick

Consider me fully aboard the USC hype train, as I think the Trojans are underrated with the No. 10 ranking. While the defense leaves a bit to be desired, the offense will prove to be one of the best in the nation.

Stanford's defensive line will be a major liability against the mobile Williams. Not only will he have plenty of time to find one of his plethora of pass-catchers, but he's also a threat to pick up a first down with his feet.

I'm still not a believer in Stanford's running game, and I think the offense will be pretty one-dimensional through the air while trying to keep up with USC's scoring.

Additionally, any minimal home-field advantage that Stanford has later in the season on the Farm is a moot point here, as students aren't yet on campus.

Expect the Trojans to get up early and win by double-digits.

Pick: USC -7.5 (Play to -10)

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