USC Football Odds: Trojans Open As Slight Underdog vs. Stanford

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USC football odds for the Pac-12 Championship Game against Stanford opened Sunday afternoon with the Trojans as slight underdogs.

Vegas won’t be betting on Trojans as double-digit favorites this time around, as oddsmakers set the opening line between USC and Stanford at four points, according to the Vegas Insiders consensus.

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Last time the Cardinal and Trojans met in Week 3 at the Coliseum, David Shaw’s squad flipped the script and beat USC, who had been favored by ten points, 41-31.

Now the two teams will meet again as North and South champions of the Pac-12. Stanford overcame a loss to Oregon to claim the division title by downing their Bay Area rival Cal last week.

USC punched their ticket to the title game by avenging three straight losses to UCLA with a 40-21 victory on Saturday to reclaim bragging rights in Los Angeles and take the South division for the first time since the Pac-12 split.

This is just the third time the Trojans have begun a week as underdogs this season, but their record in those games won’t fill anyone with confidence. Notre Dame and Oregon were both favored and ultimately handled USC in road clashes.

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Though Stanford technically does not have the home field advantage, with the game set to be played at Levi’s Stadium, the Trojans will certainly be in enemy territory in Santa Clara.

With a last-second victory over Notre Dame on Saturday, the Cardinal have given themselves an outside shot of nabbing a spot in this year’s College Football Playoff. A convincing performance against USC and some helpful losses from the likes of Clemson and Alabama could see the Pac-12 back in the national title picture.

The Trojans do not have stakes quite so high, but considering the public campaigning by USC players to see interim head coach Clay Helton hired on a permanent basis, there is certainly incentive to upset the Cardinal. An unlikely berth in the Rose Bowl, for the first time since 2008, might put Helton in the driver’s seat for the job.