College Football Predictions: USC at Hawaii Week 1 Picks
by Raphael Esparza, the Vegas Sports Informer - 8/28/2013
College football is here! And we want to start the season off strong with a free college football prediction for Week 1. Tomorrow (Thursday) at 11 p.m. (ET) we will be watching the highly-anticipated USC Trojans travelling to Aloha Stadium in Honolulu to do battle against the Warriors.
The Trojans had a mediocre -- or un-USC-like -- season last year, going 7-6 (3-9 against the spread), and in their last game they got blown out in the Sun Bowl against Georgia Tech. Yes, Matt Barkley didn’t play in the bowl game, but it didn’t matter because USC struggled all season long. Hawaii had another disappointing season last year, going 3-9 straight up (4-7 ATS), but they ended the season winning back-to-back games against UNLV and South Alabama. We should see two different teams this year, and this game will be fun to watch if you like offense.
USC at Hawaii Betting Storylines
This is the third time in four years that Hawaii has opened their season against college football-powerhouse USC. Last year Hawaii travelled to Los Angeles and was crushed by USC, 49-10. USC is a perfect 8-0 SU against Hawaii, and in their last eight meetings the Trojans have won by an average of 35 points per game. Defensively, Hawaii struggled last year as they gave up an average of 36 points per game while quarterbacks threw all over their secondary. USC is going with a two quarterbacks Thursday night. Normally if you have two quarterbacks you have no quarterbacks, but I don’t think it is going to matter as USC will have no problem scoring touchdowns. One thing different in this game from last year is that I see Hawaii scoring more than 10 points, and Hawaii quarterback Taylor Graham should have some time to throw the ball. I see Graham having a decent game, and wide receiver Scott Harding will give the USC secondary trouble.
College Football Predictions: USC at Hawaii “Over/Under” Pick
BetOnline has this over/under at 53 and has USC listed as the 23-point home favorite. Both side and total have not moved much, but I’m shocked to see this total stay at 53 as I thought this would be around 54-55 by mid-week.
Prediction: in the last two meetings USC has scored 49 points in each game, and I see the USC offense having no trouble scoring on Thursday. USC is also averaging 45 points per game in their first game of the year, and Hawaii is giving up 38.2 points per game in their first game. Hawaii’s starting QB will want to spread the ball around and keep the USC defense on their toes, and both of USC QBs will want to show off their skills in hopes of winning the starting job. Either way, points will come easy in this game, and 53 is a very soft number for a USC squad that is looking for a rebound year in the polls.
key, and we might get some soft numbers as the playoffs get closer.
Raphael Esparza, the Vegas Sports Informer
Follow me at Twitter @VSIdocsports
Get a FREE $60 credit for my college football picks here.