Stanford vs USC Odds, Prediction, Picks | 2 Bets for Pac-12 After Dark

Stanford vs USC Odds, Prediction, Picks | 2 Bets for Pac-12 After Dark article feature image

Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images. Pictured: Stanford tight end Benjamin Yurosek.

Stanford vs USC Odds

September 9
10:30 p.m. ET
Stanford Odds
-115o / -105u
USC Odds
-115o / -105u
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NCAAF odds here.

A pair of undefeated teams will meet in their Pac-12 Conference opener on Saturday when the Stanford Cardinal take on the USC Trojans.

Stanford opened the season at Hawaii with new head coach Troy Taylor, formerly of FCS Sacramento State. Many of the details of the Cardinal offense and defense — from the playbook to the depth chart — were unknown heading into the season.

However, Taylor had to have been pleased with the opener as Stanford led Hawaii by as many as three touchdowns late in the game.

USC has dominated the Mountain West through two games. The Trojans have outscored Nevada and San Jose State, 122-42, and Caleb Williams has already thrown nine touchdowns.

The offense is the most potent in the country, though there's some concern about the defense, which struggles with missed tackles and stopping the rush.

Let's dive into the Stanford vs. USC odds and find a pick and prediction in this college football betting preview for Saturday, Sept. 9.

Check out our NCAAF Betting Hub for more college football previews, predictions, news and analysis.

Stanford Cardinal

For those who follow the FCS, there was never a doubt that Taylor could design an offense with enough scoring to compete in the Pac-12. The Cardinal showed that against Hawaii, running 52 plays in standard downs to just 18 in passing downs.

Not only did Stanford exceed national averages in Success Rate, but three of its 11 drives were methodical with another three being explosive.

Quarterback Ashton Daniels made a name for himself at the national level with five explosive passes in the process.

It's tricky for six‼️

— Stanford Football (@StanfordFball) September 2, 2023

Tight end Benjamin Yurosek was impossible to cover and amassed 138 receiving yards on 11 targets. Stanford ran an even distribution of pass and run, as Casey Filkins averaged 11.2 yards per carry for a ground attack that averaged 4.7 yards per play.

Daniels didn't log a single turnover-worthy play on 14 passing attempts that exceeded 10 yards.

The defense also came to play, taking advantage of a Hawaii team that was on short rest. After producing several explosive drives against Vanderbilt in Week 0, the Warriors were limited to just a single explosive drive against Stanford.

The more eye-popping statistic comes from the run game, where Stanford stuffed nine of Hawaii's 10 rushing attempts. Offensive lines must account for edge David Bailey, who had three sacks and seven pressures in Week 1.

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USC Trojans

Williams has been on fire and has connected with his whole roster, as 10 players have received at least four targets.

Solving a Rubik's Cube may be simpler than stopping the USC offense, but if there's a path to keeping the Trojans off the board, it may start at the slot position. Mario Williams, Zachariah Branch and Makai Lemon have taken in most of the targets, and all three run the majority of their routes from the slot.

The Zachariah Branch show began early tonight✌️

— PFF College (@PFF_College) September 2, 2023

The rushing attack has been de-emphasized so far this season, as USC has thrown the ball on 57% of snaps.

MarShawn Lloyd, Quinten Joyner and Austin Jones have generated five explosive runs from the backfield, but until a defense is capable of taking away the passing lanes, expect USC to continue sending targets in four verticals.

The defense is showing signs of improvement. Coordinator Alex Grinch has USC positioned as the top team in the nation in Finishing Drives after Nevada and San Jose State produced just three red-zone trips.

The Trojans haven't created as many turnovers as a season ago but still reside in the top 50 when it comes to Havoc.

Georgia transfer Bear Alexander showed up against Nevada and generated six pressures — a welcome sight for the Trojans after a rougher showing against San Jose State.

Jaylin Smith (19) gets credit for this tackle for Bear Alexander (90) makes this play.

Just a dominant force in the middle of the DL for USC.

Alexander is three yards into the backfield when the ball is handed off.

— Marshall Levenson (@MarshallLevyOn3) September 3, 2023

Stanford vs USC

Betting Pick & Prediction

Stanford's offense flashed multiple personnel with plenty of misdirection in an electric Week 1 performance. The size at tight end, along with Daniels at quarterback, is going to generate plenty of points and some late-season upsets in the Pac-12.

However, asking Taylor and the Cardinal to stop the reigning Heisman Trophy winner and the most commanding offense in the nation may be a tough task.

USC head coach Lincoln Riley announced that guard Gino Quinones has suffered a season-ending injury after the second-year player logged 208 snaps a season ago. Alani Noa is expected to fill in, but he allowed two pressures on 12 pass blocks against Nevada.

Expect Riley to tailor the offense to the right side of the offensive line if efficiency becomes an issue. Also, keep in mind that Stanford's Tobin Phillips and Anthony Franklin combined for eight pressures and five quarterback hurries against Hawaii.

Stanford was fantastic at stopping the run against Hawaii, but it seems USC will be able to throw at any point in this game, as the Cardinal rank outside the top 100 in tackling and stopping explosives in passing downs.

There are similar issues with the Trojans defense, a unit that ranks 119th against passing downs explosives through two games.

With USC headed toward a bye week and Stanford having an extra day of rest, look for a full four-quarter game from both offenses.

Picks: Over 69.5 or Better · Stanford Team Total Over 19.5

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