USC at Hawaii Picks and Week 1 College Football Odds
by Dave Schwab - 7/14/2013
The USC Trojans will close out the first day of the 2013 college football season against the Hawaii Warriors on Thursday, Aug. 29, at Aloha Stadium. The game is scheduled to kick off at 11 p.m. (ET), and it will be available on the CBS Sports Network.
Many football experts predicted that USC would make a run at a national title in 2012. It started the season with a 42-10 victory over the Warriors as a 44.5-point home favorite. After going 6-1 in their first seven games, it was all downhill from there. The Trojans ended up with an overall record of 7-6. They were extremely costly to wager on last year with a 3-10 record against the spread.
Hawaii went on to lose eight of its next 11 games after the loss to USC and posted a very dismal 3-9 straight up record on the year that included a 1-7 SU record in the Mountain West. The Warriors did close-out the season with back-to-back SUvictories in their last two games while going 3-0 ATS in their last three.
USC at Hawaii Betting Storylines
It is back to the drawing board for Lane Kiffin’s Trojans as they try and pick up the pieces from a lost season. The good news is that they will have eight starters back on each side of the ball from last year’s team. Quarterback Matt Barkley and wide receiver Robert Woods are now in the NFL, so right now it looks like Max Wittek will get the start at quarterback with Marquise Lee back as the top target in the passing game. Lee led the team in receiving last season with 118 catches for 1,721 yards and 14 touchdowns and is poised to make a splash in this opener as long as he has someone to get him the ball.
The Trojans defense finished the 2012 season ranked 40th in the nation is points allowed in giving up an average of 24.3 points a game. They will have all-conference linebacker Morgan Breslin back in the fold as one of the premier pass rushers in college football, but there are some holes to fill up front as well as in the secondary.
Hawaii is another team that is trying to start over after a rough go of it in head coach Norm Chow’s first season at the helm. The high point was a 48-10 victory over UNLV as a three-point home underdog followed by a 23-7 win over South Alabama in the final game of the year as a seven-point favorite at home. Chow has to hope that these two wins will give the Warriors something to build from heading into this season’s opener.
One of the main concerns from their spring practice is an offensive line that was one of the worst in the nation last season. The other is passing game was almost non-existent with an average of 189.8 yards a game. Hawaii is counting on Joey Iosefa to add a spark to the rushing attack after piling up close to 500 yards last season as a backup. There are multiple concerns with a defense that was ranked 107th in Division IA last season in points allowed, but one area of strength could be the secondary led by John Hardy-Tuliau. HE recorded 42 tackles and three interceptions in 2012.
USC at Hawaii Betting Tends and Futures Odds
Southern Cal has been opened by BetOnline as a prohibitive 23-point road favorite over Hawaii in this year’s opener in its early listing for Week 1 college football lines. The total for this game remains “off” the board at this time.
The Trojans went 3-3 ATS at home last season but failed to cover in all seven of their games on the road and they went 1-4 ATS in their last five games of the year. The total went “over” in four of seven road games.
The Warriors went 4-7 ATS last season overall and 2-3 ATS at home. The total went over in four of their five home games and in five of their last eight games down the stretch.
These two also opened the 2010 season against one another, with USC winning 49-36 SU. However, Hawaii covered as a 20-point home underdog.
USC at Hawaii Picks and Week 1 College Football Betting Predictions
Kiffin desperately needs his team to make a splash in this opener after crashing and burning down the stretch last season. These are the kind of teams the Trojans should be beating by four or more touchdowns regardless of where the game is played. Look for USC to play to expectations and pile it on against the Rainbow Warriors to easily cover the current 23-point spread.
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