Two illustrious programs clash on Saturday as #20 USC (1-1) travels to Royal Texas Memorial Stadium to take on Texas (1-1) at 8:00 p.m. ET. Las Vegas Odds has the Longhorns as a 3.5-point favorite over the Trojans with an over/under set at 48.
You may be wondering, why isn’t #20 ranked USC favored in this contest? Here might be some of the reasons.
To start, last season Texas almost pulled off a win in a 27-24 OT nail-bitter with Texas easily covering the spread as 17-point underdogs. While both teams enter Saturday’s game at 1-1, Texas appears to have improved while USC’s offense looks like a shell of itself.
Texas, lead 2nd year Head Coach Tom Herman, hasn’t quite lived-up to expectations, but has shown significant signs of improvement. The offense finally has its quarterback in Sam Ehlinger. Ehlinger had 237 yards passing and 2 touchdowns along with 52 yards and a TD on the ground in last weeks 28-21 win against Tulsa.
In the first two games, Texas has averaged 28.5 points on offense and has answered the bell so far to start the season.
Even though Texas failed to reach the spread in back to back games, the team is 6-2 in their last eight games after consecutive ATS losses.
USC entered the season with high expectations but fell down to earth in their 17-3 loss to Stanford last weekend. The strength of the team resides in its defense, which limited top-10 ranked Stanford to only 13 first downs.
The main issue and overall reality for this team is that it is very hard to be successful on offense with a true freshman quarterback. Against the Cardinals, JT Daniels threw for 236 yards and two interceptions. Although the team finished the game with 332 yards compared to Stanford’s 342, turnovers and a difficulty finishing drives has been the story so far for the Trojan’s offense.
Does USC have the defense and raw talent to beat Texas at home? We will have to wait and see.
The Trojans 0-5 ATS in its last five games and have gone under in seven of USC’s last nine on the road.
Pick: Our expert Scott Matthews has the game as a 3-unit selection and likes Texas as -3 favorites at home.