Pac-12 Championship Game Odds: USC opens as slight favorite over Stanford

PALO ALTO, CA - NOVEMBER 10: K.J. Costello
PALO ALTO, CA - NOVEMBER 10: K.J. Costello /

USC Football is a slight favorite over North division winner Stanford ahead of the 2017 Pac-12 Championship game in Santa Clara on Friday.

It’s been months since USC Football faced off with Stanford at the Coliseum, but oddsmakers still see a similar margin between the two teams.

The line for USC vs. Stanford in the Pac-12 Championship game opened at three points in favor of the Trojans, per Sports Book Review.

USC was a 3.5-point favorite ahead of their last meeting, but that game was at the Coliseum, where the home team usually enjoys a three-point boost in in the odds. This time around, at a neutral site, the Trojans still factor in as field-goal favorites.

There may be a major advantage in USC’s favor also playing a role in the betting line. The Trojans are coming off a much-needed bye week and will be well-rested when they head north to Santa Clara. Though Stanford will not have to travel as far, they will be playing on short rest, having bested a physical Notre Dame team on Saturday evening with a quick turnaround to Friday night.

USC put in their best performance of the season last time against Stanford. The Trojans posted an 18-point victory over the Cardinal on the back of two Ronald Jones II touchdowns, a breakout performance from freshman running back Stephen Carr and a four-touchdown outing for quarterback Sam Darnold. The defense held Stanford to just seven points in the second half as USC pulled away for the win.

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If the Trojans can manage to best the Cardinal again, they would secure a Pac-12 Championship for the first time since 2008.

With such a small margin between the two teams, USC should find it easier to cover the spread, which is something the Trojans have struggled to do with larger lines this season. After failing to cover a 15-point spread in the rivalry game with UCLA, USC moved to 4-8 against the spread on the year.

Of course, Stanford has not been much better when it comes to outperforming the oddsmakers expectations. The Cardinal are 5-6-1 against the spread in 2017.

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The over/under for the game opened at 57 points. When last they played, the two teams totaled 68 points.