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College football gambling: USC, Stanford, Auburn, LSU best bets against the spread

Andrew Green shares his picks for Stanford at USC and Auburn at LSU.

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**All lines courtesy of vegasinsiders.com**

All this talk of whether sites like FanDual and Draft Kings should be legal has raised one question for me: What happened to some good, old fashioned picks? I'm talking picks against the spread, over/unders, and money lines. The bets your grandfather used to make. The bets your dad can comprehend. The bets that have stood the test of time.
This week we're taking a look at two games and what the oddsmakers think. USC vs. Stanford and Auburn vs. LSU, the CBS game of the week. We're going to look at how each team has been doing in Vegas, as well as a few numbers to help watch the games this weekend.

6 USC -10 vs. Stanford
Stanford: 1-1, 1-1 ATS
6 USC: 2-0, 2-0 ATS

Key Stat: In 5 of Stanford's last 6 losses, Kevin Hogan has failed to throw a touchdown. In 9 of their last 10 wins, he has thrown at least 1 touchdown.

Picking ATS is about logic opposed to emotion. Even though my gut is saying USC big, deciding on -10 is difficult. Stanford isn't what we think of when we talk modern day Stanford. Their defense isn't as solid as normal, and Kevin Hogan is still struggling. USC has looked dominant against Arkansas State and Idaho, but we haven't seen this team tested. Stanford is a team that punches you in the mouth. If USC gets into a dog fight, we don't know how they will handle it.

Verdict: Stanford +10
USC and Stanford +/- 50
Stanford: Over/Under 0-2
6 USC: Over/Under 1-1

Key Stat: Both USC and Stanford are in the bottom half of the nation in offensive plays per game.

USC and Stanford both play slow, and each have strong defenses. USC is averaging 7.5 points against per game, while Stanford is only slightly worse at 11.5. 50 is an incredibly low number given the state of college football defenses, but these teams are the exception to the norm. Neither team is interested in a track meet and last year's 13-10 is more likely than a game in the 40s.
Verdict: Under

PICK OF THE WEEK: Auburn at LSU -7
Auburn: 2-0, 0-2 ATS
LSU: 1-0, 0-1 ATS

Key Stat: Jeremy Johnson has thrown 53 pass attempts in two games this season.

I expect Auburn to get back to running the ball with their zone-read offense. They are going to take the ball out of Jeremy Johnson's throwing hand and keep him in manageable down and distance by pounding the rock.

This game is really all about timing. LSU is fresh off a 21-19 win over then ranked Mississippi State. Auburn was taken to overtime by FCS Jacksonville State. Vegas lines are all about action and timing, like the stock market. You will never be able to buy Auburn at a lower price than right now. The public sees LSU as world-beaters and Auburn as a laughingstock. Take the points and laugh all the way to the bank.

Verdict: Auburn +7