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Stanford plays the home underdog role hosting USC in Pac-12 action

Tanner McKee

Tanner McKee

Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

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USC (-9.5) at Stanford: O/U 67.0

The hype around USC makes me want to fade them every single game, but there are a few spots on the season that I circled and this is one of them.

Stanford is 7-2 ATS since 2007 as the underdog in the series, plus 4-2 ATS at home since 2008 versus USC and 4-2 ATS as a home dog since 2000 against the Trojans.

The Cardinals have won five of the past eight meetings against the Trojans and the home team in the series is 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings.

The Cardinals are 4-1 on the ML and 3-2 ATS over the past five at home in the series (graph below), per NBC’s Edge Finder. Stanford is also 3-1 ATS in the last four versus USC as a home underdog because they have won as a favorite but still covered as a dog too.

As a home underdog in David Shaw‘s career, the Cardinals are 6-7 ATS and on the ML in 13 games with a 5-5 ATS and ML mark against Pac-12 opponents. However, Shaw is 6-4 on the ML and ATS versus USC in his coaching career at Stanford, so he just has more success against them.

Stanford vs USC

Stanford vs USC

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Stanford beat USC, 42-28 last season and that was with two garbage time TDs from the Trojans to make the score look closer than it was.

Both teams opened the season with a cupcake. Stanford beat Colgate 41-10, while USC handled Rice 66-14.

The Cardinals return 10 offensive starters and 7 on defense for David Shaw‘s 12th season at Stanford. Stanford will be much better than last season’s 3-9 team and worth keeping an eye on.

USC, on the other hand, is totally revamped with tons of new talent and coaches, including transfers Caleb Williams from Oklahoma and Jordan Addison from Pitt, plus Lincoln Riley as head coach from Oklahoma. Williams finished 19 of 22 passing and led the team in passing yards (249) and rushing yards (68) against Rice.

Riley is 14-3 on the ML as a road favorite (82.5%) in his coaching career but 5-13 ATS (27.8%). Riley is 3-11 ATS as a road favorite with a spread of -7.5 or larger too, so he has been a fade or pass on the spread away from home.

The Stanford O-Line returns all five starters from a year ago as they combine for 104 career starts. The Cardinals don’t lose any receiving weapons and QB Tanner McKee is back for another season after tossing 2,327 yards and 15 TDs to 7 INTs last year. McKee threw for 308 yards and 2 TDs to 1 INT on 22/27 versus Colgate.

I will not buy into the USC hype this season but look for opportunities to fade them and this is one. He has failed to cover three-straight as a road favorite

With Stanford bringing back a ton of returners and talent from a down year and USC being a public favorite this year, I will fade the public and back Stanford as they continually give USC a fight.

I played Stanford at +9.5 (-115) on FanDuel and would play down to +7.5.

Pick: Stanford +9.5 (1u)

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