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Preseason college football lines: USC vs. Oregon

The Trojans face the Ducks in a cross-divisional matchup that might end up as the PAC-12 Championship Game too.

SC Trojans quarterback Kedon Slovis scrambles with the football during the 2019 Holiday Bowl game played on December 27, 2019 against the Iowa Hawkeyes at SDCCU Stadium in San Diego, CA. Photo by John Cordes/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

These two teams could be the choice in the preseason polls to reach the PAC-12 Championship, where Oregon would be looking to repeat their 2019 performance. It’s also the only way USC head coach Clay Helton still has his job in 2021 most likely.

USC Trojans vs. Oregon Ducks

When and where

November 7th
Time TBD
Autzen Stadium, Eugene, Oregon

Spread

Oregon -3.5

Money Line

USC +148
Oregon -180

Why the line is what it is

USC had the third-best recruiting class in the Pac-12 in 2019, and the tenth-ranked in 2020. “But stars don’t matter!” is the argument of losers and Boise State, and you’re freaking USC. Get. It. Together. This remains completely unacceptable and would be a fireable offense if

Because of the lack of talent, in 2020 the Trojan sword will be swung by Damocles. Kedon Slovis appears to have the inside track over former five-star recruit J.T. Daniels for the QB job, and it’s deserved after 3,502 yards, 30 TD’s while setting a freshman NCAA record via a 71.9% completion rate was one of the great stories in college football last year following Daniels injury. That performance saved Helton’s job, and might be considered a bit pyrrhic amongst the Trojan faithful. If Heritage Hall had it together following the Pat Haden-Lynn-Swann-Mike Bohn transitions, this would never be happening.

Oregon got a ring and a Rose Bowl last year, but lost Justin Herbert to the first 10 picks of the NFL Draft. Sophomore Tyler Shough is the likely successor, but that’s not set in stone yet. CJ Verdell and Travis Dye are two elite running backs, but 80% of their starting offensive line doesn’t return either.

Why it might change

Oregon could use a dual-threat QB and some offensive line help. USC, outside of quarterback, could use help everywhere. These are two teams that should be amongst the most active in the transfer portal, and are likely using the downtime of college football right now to snag some immediate help.

Where the value is now

This number seems pretty solid for now, but you should know about Week 2 if this is a good line or not. USC is either going to grow or die, and Oregon might fall back a smidge after an outstanding 2019. We’ll lean Trojans here, but without the hook we might just stay away until closer to kickoff.

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