USC wide receiver Deontay Burnett’s status for Friday’s NCAA football betting game against Washington State is doubtful. Burnett, who ranks 13th in the nation and 2nd in the Pac 12, and accounts for about a third of the Trojans targets, receiving yards and receptions, as well as for more than half of the team’s passing touchdowns, did not practice on Monday with, according to head coach Clay Helton, a shoulder injury.
- Date: September 29
- Time: 10:05 PM
- Venue: Martin Stadium, Pullman, WA
- Sportsbook Odds for Fans Gambling on College Football:
Southern California -3½ (-110) 65 (-110) -175
Washington State +3½ (-110) 65 (-110) +155
Helton was, as he is wont to be, rather vague about when Burnett might return, but, as things stand, USC could be without their two top receivers on Friday, seeing as how Steven Mitchell Jr., who has 14 receptions for 223 yards and two touchdowns, sat out the Trojans’ win over California on Saturday, and missed Monday practice as well, with a quadriceps injury. The state of the receiving unit leaves starting QB Sam Darnold with options lacking both in quantity and quality, such as Jalen Greene, Tyler Vaughns, and Joseph Lewis IV. On the upside, leading rusher Ronald Jones, who was nursing a thigh contusion, told Los Angeles media, “I’m ready to go Friday.” Still, “We’re a banged-up football team right now,” Helton said, and they have been since playing Texas, leading many to question whether they’ll have enough to remain undefeated, let alone cover the 3½-point NCAA football betting spread. The Trojans are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games, but they often find a way to win and cover versus Washington State, against whom they are 9-1 SU and 7-3 ATS in their past 10 encounters.
— USC Trojans (@USC_Athletics) September 26, 2017
Coffee’s for closers only
Helton said, per Fox Sports.com, that he is mostly worried about the “start-fast” Cougars. Wazzu is outscoring opponents 87-19 in the first half this season. Senior quarterback Luke Falk completed 36 of 47 pass attempts for 478 yards and five touchdowns against the Nevada Wolf Pack to help Washington State build a 35-0 lead at halftime, but the Cougars scored just 10 more points after that.
Meanwhile, the Trojans have been notorious closers, starting the fourth quarter tied or trailing in three of the four games, and outscoring opponents 72-38 after three quarters. Darnie has been a mechanical device which engages and disengages power transmission especially from driving shaft to driven shaft (i.e., clutch) but has also thrown seven picks this season, compared to Falk’s one. Falk has, in fact, completed 67.1 percent of his passes for 344.1 yards a game with 14 touchdowns to help Wazzu rank No. 12 in the nation in points per game (43.75). USC’s defense has, on the other hand, forced the third most TOs in the country (11), including six against Cal. If the Trojans and the Cougars stick to their early- and late-game scoring trends, the NCAA football betting total might just go over.