NCAA Football Betting — Darnold Starts Heisman Drive For USC

 

Last Updated: 2017-08-30

broncos trojans cfb picksThe USC Trojans lost three of their first four games last season, and then they made the change in their lineup that made all the difference. And because of that, they are defending Rose Bowl champions and one of the favorites to win the national championship. On Saturday they will begin the season against the Western Michigan Broncos in college football betting action that is set to get underway at 5:15 PM ET at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. If you are a customer at VietBet, you can get reduced juice on this game, and then can access Live Betting Ultra for real-time action.

The Trojans, in their first full season under Clay Helton, who took over when Steve Sarkisian (now offensive coordinator with the Atlanta Falcons) had some personal problems with alcohol that led to his dismissal, did not get off to a good start, losing 52-6 to Alabama. But in the fourth game, they inserted redshirt freshman quarterback Sam Darnold and the whole picture changed almost immediately. Darnold threw for 3086 yards and 31 touchdowns, and more important, he led nine straight wins, including a come-from-behind 52-49 victory over Penn State in the Rose Bowl. And he is a form candidate to win the Heisman Trophy, priced at +500 in the football futures market.

The Broncos had an amazing campaign last year, going undefeated throughout the regular season and the Mid-American Conference title game, and making it to the “New Year’s Six” bowls, before losing to Wisconsin in the Cotton Bowl. But while Southern Cal had some continuity, WMU is going through some transition.

In the NCAA football betting odds posted on this game by the folks at VietBet, USC is a sizable favorite:

USC Trojans -27
Western Michigan Broncos +27

Over 58 points -110
Under 58 points -110

What usually happens with a program outside of a “power” conference when it experiences unusual success is the coach gets offers. And in this case, PJ Fleck, who led the Broncos to the 13-1 record, was hired at the University of Minnesota.

Western Michigan had one of the top wide receivers in the nation last season in Corey Davis, who caught 97 passes with 19 TD’s and then went fifth in the entire NFL Draft to the Tennessee Titans. But he was such a dominant part of that passing attack that he has left the cupboard virtually bare. In fact, the wide receivers who are returning this season have caught a total of 19 passes in their collegiate careers.

And there is no telling what VietBet patrons can expect from the new quarterback, Jon Wassink, who has not yet seen any action in the college ranks. The departure of Zach Terrell leaves a void, as his 70% accuracy rate and ratio of 33 touchdowns to four interceptions are things that are not likely to be duplicated. Former WMU quarterback Tim Lester is the new head coach, and he worked with QB’s last season at Purdue.

USC has brought back seven starters on defense, and their stop unit is loaded with juniors and seniors, and this includes cornerback Iman Marshall, who is poised to be an All-American, and middle linebacker Cameron Smith, about whom we could say the same.

If there is anything that might allow Western Michigan to hang in while, it’s that they can move the ball on the ground, with the potent duo of Jarvion Franklin (1353 yards last year)and Jamauri Bogan (923). This move up in class is a bit much for the Broncos, but they might be able to kill enough clock to make this “under” feasible.

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