Week 1 NCAA Football Picks – USC vs. Alabama Odds
The top-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide are double-digit favorites at the best sportsbooks online against the 20th-ranked USC Trojans on Saturday in a game that can be seen on ABC. This is a neutral site contest that will take place at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. USC and Alabama have met seven times in their history but not since 1985. USC has not faced an SEC team in a decade and they have not beaten a top-ranked team since 1984, losing their last five.
Week 1 College Football Odds
Alabama -11.5, total 54
The Trojans will have a new starting quarterback this season as Max Browne takes over. Browne won the USC quarterback battle against Sam Darnold and it really wasn’t close.
The Crimson Tide will have three new quarterbacks as junior Cooper Bateman and redshirt freshman Blake Barnett will be seeing playing time on Saturday and head coach Nick Saban said that true freshman Jalen Hurts could also get into the mix this betting season once he learns more of the offense. “I don’t think any of us are satisfied with any part of our team right now in terms of trying to continue to improve and develop, and certainly quarterback’s not any different,” Saban said. “The quarterbacks themselves probably would tell you the same thing.”
Bateman is considered the more experienced quarterback and he is more of a runner while Barnett has the better arm. “I think the big thing [is] Cooper has a great knowledge of the offense,” Saban said. “Really manages things well when he’s out there because of his knowledge and experience. I think he’s continued to improve his passing ability, and we have a lot of confidence in him. We feel good about the progress he’s made.”
Opening Game Streaks
The Trojans have won their last 17 opening games while the Crimson Tide have won their past 14 so something has to give in this contest. USC has beaten some top teams in their openers in that time period including Arkansas, Virginia Tech, Virginia, Auburn and Penn State while Alabama has opening wins over Wisconsin, West Virginia, Virginia Tech, Michigan, and Clemson.
Alabama offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin will be going up against his former defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast who is now at USC. Tee Martin will begin his first sportsbook betting season as USC offensive coordinator and he will be going against Alabama defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt.
The Trojans are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games in September. The Trojans are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 neutral site games. The Crimson Tide are 3-9 ATS in their last 12 games in September. The Crimson Tide are 3-11-1 ATS in their last 15 non-conference games.
The Over is 6-2-1 in the Trojans last 9 non-conference games. The Over is 8-3-1 in the Trojans last 12 neutral site games. The Over is 16-4-1 in the Crimson Tide last 21 neutral site games.
College Football Picks
I will take the points and go with USC in this contest.