At press time, USC are 12-point underdogs against Alabama and +3300 to win the title, but they couldn't ask for a better situation to face the Tide. Head coach Nick Saban still hasn't figured out who his starting quarterback will be this season; Cooper Bateman will likely get the nod against USC, with Blake Barnett getting some work, too. The Trojans will also be happy to play Alabama on neutral ground.
USC are No. 20 on the preseason rankings for 2016 after going 8-6 SU and 6-8 ATS last year. They could have betting value on Saturday as a rising program under second-year coach Clay Helton, having played largely out of the national spotlight since Pete Carroll left to join the Seattle Seahawks after the 2009 campaign. However, senior LT Chad Wheeler won't start for USC because of an injured foot, and could miss the game entirely.
NCAAF Odds: Tide Face Tough Test in Trojans
The Alabama Crimson Tide kick off their 2016 campaign this Saturday (8 PM ET, ABC) as 12-point favorites against the USC Trojans, with AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas playing host. The defending National Champions are No. 1 on the preseason rankings; USC are No. 20.
Alabama head coach Nick Saban hasn't quite settled on a starting quarterback – Cooper Bateman should get the first crack against the Trojans, but Blake Barnett is also expected to play. USC coach Clay Helton has already given fourth-year junior Max Browne the starting gig after two seasons backing up Cody Kessler.