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Pick - Trends
This is an interesting game to look at just because of the teams. USC, once again, has been nothing but disappointing this season. While they are coming off a spread covering win over Boston College, it doesn't make you want to invest in the team. Now, the Trojans have to go against a great offense and better than average defense. The last time they played a half-way decent team, the Trojans lost at home to Washington State.
USC comes in as -6.5 point home favorites at GTBets, with many torn on what to expect from the Trojans, as usual. They've had problems scoring since Matt Barkley stopped playing and have now hit the under in five straight games. Utah State is another story led by Chuckie Keeton, and as a team, has hit the over in all three games this year. The Aggies only loss was in their opener against in-state rival Utah, which was a tough game in the first place.
USC has always been a public favorite and and it looks like that won't change this week. The betting trends at sportsbook.com show that 65% of the wagers thus far have come in on the Trojans.
Quarterback Cody Kessler didn't look at that bad last week for the Trojans, going 15-of-17 for 237 yards, two TDs and zero interceptions. Against a better team, he'll need to repeat that performance. His best bet is to find Marqise Lee as much as possible. Even though BC's defense focused on Lee in the majority of last week's game, he still busted through for an 80-yard touchdown. He's just too good to completely stop. USC's rushing game has been its one consistent thing as Tre Madden has hit 100 yards in all three games and has given this team some hope on offense.
Led by new head coach, Matt Wells, it doesn't look like the Aggies have skipped a beat in 2013 after going 11-2 a season ago. A lot of that has to do with QB Chuckie Keeton, who is destroying opponents. Even in their loss to Utah, Keeton still tossed for 314 yards and three TDs to go along with 85 rushing yards and a rushing TD. He's completing a ridiculous 78 percent of his passes which is good for third in the nation. It should be mentioned the two players above him have attempted 60 less passes. That combined with his rushing ability, makes him a nightmare for opposing defenses and a sole reason Utah State can cover in this game. He spreads the ball out plenty as well, with four receivers having at least 10 receptions and five having at least two touchdowns. They also have three running backs with more than 100 yards rushing, not including Keeton.
USC has been solid on the defensive end in the early going, but stopping Keeton and company is going to be its toughest task yet, by far.
The Trojans have not covered in five straight home games when playing a team with a winning road record and are just 7-16 ATS in their last 23 games following an ATS win. The Aggies are 6-1-1 ATS in their last eight road games with that loss coming in their season opener at Utah. Following an ATS win, the Aggies are 9-1-1 ATS in their last 11 games.
Our score prediction model starts to really kick in with accuracy from week 4 on. So, still a little early, but our model has USC on top 22-13
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