USC vs. Idaho Betting Preview and Week 2 Daily Fantasy


Max Meyer’s betting previews are part of a weekly column on Reign of Troy to highlight the Las Vegas betting lines and daily fantasy picks around college football. This week’s edition previews Satuday’s USC vs. Idaho game.

Yikes, an 0-2 start with my USC betting picks in the season opener. Not the way I wanted to start the season. But this weekend, the Trojans take on Idaho at the LA Coliseum, and are 43-point favorites.

RELATED: 5 Things to Watch For in USC vs. Idaho

Yes, you read that right. In fact, USC is the biggest favorite of any college football team this week. The point total currently sits at an over/under of 66.5.

Idaho is one of the worst teams in all of college football, and the Vandals are even worse on the road. They’ve lost 22 straight road games. Paul Petrino’s record as Idaho’s coach is a ghastly 2-22.

Idaho gave up 489 yards of offense in its season-opening 45-28 loss to Ohio. USC, which averaged eight yards per play against Arkansas State, has to be salivating over this matchup on the offensive side of the ball.

Justin Davis will make his season debut in this game for the Trojans, and this is a matchup he should be able to ease his way into.

Davis, Tre Madden and the three freshmen running backs all figure to get some opportunities against an Idaho run defense that allowed 5.4 yards per carry against Ohio. That mark is actually better than the 5.62 YPC the Vandals gave up last season, tied for seventh-worst in the entire country.

Two players to watch out for on Idaho’s defense are both seniors, outside linebacker Marc Millan and defensive end Quinton Bradley. Bradley had two sacks last game, and keeping him away from Cody Kessler figures to be the main focus for USC’s inconsistent offensive line.

Sep 5, 2015; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Southern California Trojans quarterback Cody Kessler (6) throws a pass against the Arkansas State Red Wolves at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Just like Arkansas State last weekend, Idaho doesn’t have the players that can cover USC’s wide receivers. Kessler actually missed on a few deep throws last weekend, or his numbers could have been even more eye-popping.

Idaho really struggled to cover slot wide receivers and tight ends last season, so watch out for USC’s tight ends to be targeted more frequently. Also, expect Steven Mitchell Jr. to have a monster game.

SEE ALSO: How USC’s Offense Matches Up vs. the Idaho Defense

On offense for Idaho, senior wideout Dezmon Epps is its top weapon. Epps caught 15 passes for 160 yards last game. He’s fast, runs effective routes and has good hands.

With Adoree’ Jackson not 100 percent healthy, my guess is that Kevon Seymour covers him for most of the game. I wouldn’t be surprised either if USC decides to double-team him during certain parts of the contest.

Matt Linehan isn’t as scary of a threat at quarterback as Fredi Knighten was last week. The sophomore quarterback has had a problem turning the ball over, throwing for two interceptions last week after tossing 18 of them last season.

The point total has gone under in five of USC’s last seven home games, and with the Trojans eyeing next week’s title against Stanford, I don’t think the starters will play more than three quarters. 43 points is too many to swallow here for USC, even though Idaho won’t pose much of a challenge.

The Trojans are 8-0 all-time against Idaho, and look for a big celebration at the 9-0 after USC improves that record to 9-0.

USC vs. Idaho Score Prediction: USC 52, Idaho 10

Best Bet: None

Other Pac-12 Bets I Like:

  • Massachusetts +13 at Colorado
  • Arizona/Nevada OVER 62 points
  • Stanford/UCF UNDER 45.5 points

Last Week’s Overall Record: 1-3 Best Bets Record: 0-1

CFB DFS Preview:

While my picks against the spread didn’t pan out, my college football daily fantasy picks did. Unfortunately, USC’s player prices were released after last week’s column, but I tweeted out both of my lineups before the contests started. Here’s how they finished:Unfortunately, I won’t be playing Tre Madden this week, his price shot up from $4,000 to $7,500. I will be playing Steven Mitchell Jr. again though, thanks to his low price at $4,100 and the fact that Idaho has struggled covering slot wideouts.

I think Justin Davis at $4,600 and Ronald Jones II at $4,500 are both solid value plays. I like Jones II more though because he’s not injured and he has a higher upside.

Cody Kessler is the most expensive quarterback on the Saturday night slate at $9,500, and deservedly so. But he’s out of my price range as well. A sleeper pick I’ll have in one of my lineups is wide receiver Isaac Whitney, who’s a good punt play at only $3,000.

I’ll be tweeting my final lineups from @TheMaxMeyer on Saturday if you’d like to tail. Here is my first-instinct lineup for now:

If you’re wondering why I have three players from the Tulsa-New Mexico game, it’s the highest point total (75.5) on the board this week. Choosing players from games that have high over/unders in Vegas is a good strategy to use in any sport for DFS.

Good luck everyone with your weekend gambling!

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