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2005 USC Trojans Handicapping Review


By Tom Wilkinson


When Pete Carroll took over as head coach of the USC Trojans in 2001 he was greeted with skepticism, doubts, and little enthusiasm. The Carroll era began with a 1-4 mark straight up and 2-3 record against the odds. At that point, nobody could foresee the return to glory that was about to take place at Southern Cal.

Southern Cal has always been a “name brand” college football team that receives considerable public attention and California cash at Las Vegas sportsbooks. This has often translated into USC being overvalued and overpriced against the odds. This makes their run against the pointspread since 2001 even more remarkable.

USC covered five of their final eight games against the odds in 2001, as they salvaged Carroll’s first season with a bowl berth. sports betting bloggers were quick to tout USC entering 2002, but with their value diminished, USC lost four of their first six games against the odds. At this point many sports betting bloggers were fed up with USC’s poor value and began excluding the Trojans from their lists of football picks. With their sports handicapping value restored, USC went on to get the cash in their final seven games of 2002 to finish in the black at 11-2 straight up and 9-4 against the odds. The Trojans entered 2003 fully forgiven by sports betting bloggers and were seemingly on everyone’s lists of football picks en route to a 12-1 straight up record, in which they got the cash a remarkable 11 times in those 13 games, with a phenomenal nine straight wins both straight up and against the odds to conclude the year. Dating back to 2002 USC was a virtual sports betting cash cow with a mind boggling 18 payoffs in 20 games!!!

Entering the 2004 season USC was the darling of sports betting bloggers who continued to believe in them and tout their merits. Appearing on countless lists of football picks USC slowed down somewhat against the odds with just two covers in their first three games. It appeared as if a sports handicapping market correction was imminent but USC responded to get the cash in six of their final eight games of 2004 which culminated with a win in the Orange Bowl National Championship game, 55-19 as 2-point chalks over Oklahoma. Since mid-2001, USC has beaten the sports betting odds in an incredible thirty-three of forty-seven games, an unheard of performance by a “name brand.”






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