Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#365 Oregon State vs.
#366 Southern California (USC)
Saturday, September 25, 2021 at 10:30pm EDT
Written by Nick Raffoul

The Oregon State Beavers will open the PAC-12 Conference season on Saturday afternoon when they travel to Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum for a matchup versus the USC Trojans.

At 2-1, USC already has two conference games under its belt. The Trojans bounced back with a statement win against Washington after losing to Stanford two weeks ago. Meanwhile, Oregon State has yet to play a conference game. The Beavers dropped their season-opener versus Purdue before taking down Hawaii and Idaho in back-to-back weeks.

Can Oregon State pull off the upset on the road against the Trojans in Los Angeles, California on Saturday night?

Nolan leads Beavers into PAC-12 opener vs. USC

Oregon State earned a confidence-building 42-0 victory at home against Idaho last weekend to improve to 2-1 in non-conference play. Chance Nolan threw for 175 yards and three touchdowns while B.J. Taylor rushed for two touchdowns in the win. The Beavers outgained Idaho 438 to 192 in total offense and rushed for a whopping 248 yards, including 6.4 yards per carry on the day

Nolan entered fall camp as the presumptive third option under center but ended up winning the starting job. A 6-foot-3 sophomore, Nolan has flashed potential under center for Oregon State to start the year. Through three games, he has completed 70.3 percent of his passes for 634 yards with five touchdowns and no interceptions. He has thrown 11 touchdowns and only two picks during his college career.

On defense, Oregon State comes into the PAC-12 Conference opener allowing just 19 points per game, good for 44th in the nation. The Beavers have given up 349 total yards per game but they’ve been stingy against the run, giving up just 94.7 rushing yards per game, 27th in the FBS.

Trojans have "quarterback battle" after Dart's electric performance

The Trojans cruised to a 45-14 win over Washington State for their first PAC-12 Conference win of the season last week. Freshman quarterback Jaxson Dart came off of the bench to complete 30-of-46 passes for 391 yards with four touchdowns and two interceptions in the win. Receiver Drake London caught 13 balls for 170 yards and two touchdowns while Gary Bryant Jr. and Kyle Ford also caught touchdowns to help USC overcome an early 14-0 deficit.

Starting quarterback Kedon Slovis was injured and left during the second series of last week’s game. X-Rays came back negative on his neck but the Trojans quarterback might suddenly find himself in a battle for the starting job. Despite slinging it at practice earlier this week, new head coach Donte Williams and offensive coordinator Graham Harrell were non-committal about starting Slovis this weekend. Meanwhile, Dart was not at practice and is dealing with “a couple of things”, according to the Los Angeles Times.

After firing head coach Clay Helton, the Trojans won their first game under interim head coach Williams, the first Black head coach in program history. The firing of Helton seems to have lit a fire under USC, which has a chance to improve to 3-1 with a win this week.

USC’s offense enters the week averaging 34.3 points per game. On defense, USC comes in allowing 21.0 points and 343.3 yards of total offense per contest, including 102.7 rushing yards per game.

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Full-Game Side Bet

Insiders Status:

Rating:

While having two capable quarterbacks is a good problem to have in college football, it could cause a distraction for this particular USC team. Kedon Slovis entered the season as the unquestioned starter but Dart's performance has catapulted him into the QB1 conversation after last week's win. Meanwhile, Chance Nolan has been playing arguably the best football of his career. The sophomore should be able to continue his run of success against a Trojans' defense that has struggled against the pass at times this season. Take the Beavers to cover the spread on the road in this game on Saturday evening.

Prediction: Oregon State Beavers +10.5

Full-Game Total Pick

Insiders Status:

Rating:

These two teams are projected to combine for 62 points but that number might be a little too low in this spot. The Trojans' defense woke up in the second half of last week's game but is just one week removed from giving up 42 points at home against Stanford. Meanwhile, the Beavers are bound to make a couple of mistakes on defense after earning a cupcake win over Idaho last week. Take the over in this PAC-12 Conference clash on Saturday afternoon.

Prediction: Under 62
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Written By Nick Raffoul , "Nick Raffoul"

Shortly after graduating with an Honors in Business Administration, Nick turned his attention from traditional stocks and bonds to investing in the performance of sports teams. He has been a very successful sports bettor over the years and has now brought his talents to us here at Winners & Whiners. Nick uses a combination of advanced stats and historical data to create sports investment models to identify value and generate consistent profits. Let Nick win for you.