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USC Trojans vs Alabama Crimson Tide - 9/3/16 College Football Pick, Odds, and Prediction

USC Trojans (0-0) at Alabama Crimson Tide (0-0)

College Football: Saturday, September 3, 2016 at 8:00 pm (AT&T Stadium)

The Line: Alabama Crimson Tide -11.5 -- Over/Under: 54.5 See the Latest Odds

TV: ABC

The USC Trojans will play the Alabama Crimson Tide to open up the season at AT&T Stadium in Texas.

The Alabama Crimson Tide were 14-1 last season and won the National Championship against Clemson by a score of 45-40. The Alabama offense averaged 35.1 points per game with 199.9 rushing yards and 227.1 passing yards per game in 2015. Cooper Bateman is expected to be the starting quarterback for the Crimson Tide this season. Alabama also lost their top two rushers from last season, Derrick Henry and Kenyan Drake. Bo Scarbrough will be the starting running back for the Crimson Tide after totaling 104 yards and 1 touchdown last season. The Alabama receiving group is very deep with Calvin Ridley, ArDarius Stewart, and Robert Foster returning. Those three combined for over 1,800 yards and 13 touchdowns for Alabama. The Alabama defense gave up 15.1 points per game with 75.7 rushing yards and 200.6 passing yards per game last season. Alabama had an excellent defense last season and should be very solid in 2016. Eddie Jackson returns at safety after leading the team with 6 interceptions last season for Alabama. Reuben Foster returns at linebacker after totaling 73 tackles and 8 tackles for loss last season.

USC Trojans vs Alabama Crimson Tide - 9/3/16 College Football Pick, Odds, and Prediction

USA TODAY Sports

The USC Trojans were 8-6 last season, but lost against Wisconsin by a score of 23-21 in their bowl game. The USC offense averaged 33.9 points per game with 168.2 rushing yards and 269.7 passing yards per game. Max Browne is expected to start at quarterback for USC, who has just about no playing experience. Justin Davis and Ronald Jones are back at running back after combining for 1,900 yards and 15 touchdowns for USC. JuJu Smith-Schuster returns at wide receiver after having 1,454 yards and 10 touchdowns in 2015. USC also returns their entire offensive line, which help Browne ease into his new quarterback role. The USC defense gave up 25.7 points per game with 149.3 rushing yards and 251.5 passing yards per game last season. Cameron Smith returns at linebacker after totaling 78 tackles and 3 interceptions in 2015. Iman Marshall returns at cornerback to lead a very good secondary; Marshall had 67 tackles and 3 interceptions last season for the Trojans.

USC is 4-1 ATS in their last 5 September games and 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games. The over is 6-2-1 in USC’s last 9 non-conference games. Alabama is 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games and 3-9 ATS in their last 12 September games. The over is 16-4-1 in Alabama’s last 21 neutral site games.

This should be a great game to open up the 2016 season for both of these teams. Alabama has some questions at quarterback, but their defense will allow them to stay in any game. USC also has questions at quarterback, but has a lot of talent returning from last year’s team. I like Alabama to win this game, but am taking USC to keep it close. 

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USC Trojans +11.5

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