NCAA Football Odds: The Crimson Tide are Laying 12 as they Kick off their Title Defense vs the Trojans in Arlington, Texas
Alabama, coming off their third National Championship since 2009, is currently the betting favorite at +600 to defend, but the competition is closing in. The Crimson Tide face a stiff test right out of the chute this Saturday when they play the Trojans at a neutral site at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas (televised on ABC at 8 PM EST). The Trojans have claimed 11 national football titles – the last one coming in 2004. Alabama is 5-2 against USC, who lost the last meeting 3-24 in the 1985 Aloha Bowl.
Alabama went 14-1 last season (8-7 ATS). They bring back 11 starters, including six on offense.
USC are currently 12-point dogs vs Alabama and are listed at +3300 to win the National Championship. They’ve got 16 starters returning, including 10 on offense, but they’ll have to make a key replacement at quarterback. Cody Kessler, who finished his career with 10,339 passing yards, 88 touchdowns and 19 interceptions has graduated. But if you have to open against the defending champs, they couldn’t ask for better circumstances. Although HC Nick Saban still hasn’t named a starting QB, Cooper Bateman will likely get the start vs USC, with Blake Barnett getting some snaps too. And like we said, the Trojans will are fortunate to play Alabama on neutral turf.
USC is listed at #20 in the 2016 preseason rankings after going 8-6 SU and 6-8 ATS last year. They could have betting value on Saturday as a rising program under second-year coach Clay Helton, having played largely out of the national spotlight since Pete Carroll left to join the Seattle Seahawks after the 2009 campaign. However, senior LT Chad Wheeler won’t start for USC because of an injured foot, and could miss the game entirely.
NCAA Football Odds: Alabama vs USC
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