College Football: Rose Bowl USC vs. PSU
#9 USC Trojans (9-3) at #5 Penn State Nittany Lions (11-2)
January 2, 2017- 5:00 PM ET (TV ESPN) Rose Bowl, Pasadena, CA
This years “Granddaddy of Them All” will look to deliver an exciting contest come Monday afternoon in Pasadena as the No. 9 USC Trojans and No. 5 Penn State Nittany Lions will square off in the Rose Bowl presented by Northwestern Mutual as the betting lines for this matchup are as follow;
Best Trojans Lines: MyBookie Spread (-7) ML -280
Best Nittany Lions Lines: BetOnline Spread (+7) ML +230
Over/Under: 5Dimes 59.5
In what figures to be a highly entertaining contest, two teams on a winning roll will seek to claim prize to one of college football’s most prestigious hardware by taking home the Rose Bowl trophy when all is said and done.
And when it comes to the Trojans (9-3) and Nittany Lions (11-2), these are two teams that have bounced back in a big way finally overcoming NCAA sanctions to take center stage as they enter as two of the nation’s hottest teams.
But going back to September, it was rough going for each team leaving many to wonder if this would be another long season for the Men of Troy and Nittany Lions? Fast forward, however and what we witnessed was USC having won eight straight, while Penn State rolled off nine in-a-row capping it off with a Big Ten championship over Wisconsin. Oddly… or not, each team beat two of this year’s CFB candidates… the Trojans defeating Washington and Nittany Lions upsetting Ohio State.
Players to watch for each team are signal-callers in redshirt freshman quarterback Sam Darnold for USC and sophomore QB Trace McSorley. Not stopping there, each team will possess a dangerous running game backed by potential Heisman candidates Ronald Jones II of the Trojans and Saquon Barkley of Penn State.
Both gunslingers have been the difference in their team’s success with Darnold taking over the play-calling duties replacing the ineffective Max Browne, while McSorley has been a shot in the arm for the once thought to be stagnant offense of the Nittany Lions. Darnold leads the nation in many freshman categories, including 26 touchdown passes, while for McSorley, he passed for 3,360 yards and ranked No. 1 in yards per completion with 16.3.
Both teams are plenty loaded on the offense side of the ball as they will bring in a potent well-balanced attack.
But when it comes to defense, the Trojans are loaded with speed in the secondary which will prove to be a tough test for McSorley. And feeling that may be the difference in the game, MyBookie is favoring USC (-7) points over PSU with an over/under of 59.5 total game points scored. Penn State has been dominant in the second half of games posting a plus-193 scoring average.
Playing the totals in what should be a high-scoring affair, I will favor the OVER of 59.5 total game points scored as my betting pick.