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This Week 1 system play is on a 10-1 ATS run in college football

The Action Network’s Michael Arinze shares why you should fade the Trojans in their season opener

Action Network Use Only - LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 9: USC Trojans players take the field before a college football game against the Utah Utes at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum October 9, 2021 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)
Action Network Use Only - LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 9: USC Trojans players take the field before a college football game against the Utah Utes at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum October 9, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)Read moreDenis Poroy / Getty Images

College football fans got a chance to wet their beak last Saturday with 11 games on the card. This week, there’ll be wall-to-wall action with over 80 games beginning on Thursday and heading into Labor Day on Monday.

The one downside, of course, is that if you’re trying to fire on the games this weekend, you’ve more than likely missed the best of the number.

After all, many sportsbooks posted these lines as early as April, and they’ve already been beaten to submission by sharp bettors over the past four months.

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However, one strategy bettors might want to deploy would be to fade teams laying three or more touchdowns in their first game of the season. Moreover, bettors can also use this strategy to target specific conferences that tend to be more vulnerable.

Using a combination of the system plays along with my modeling, I’ve identified one underdog that’s still worth considering adding to your card this weekend.

Rice +32.5 vs. USC

Although the USC Trojans made a splash in the offseason by landing former Sooners head coach Lincoln Riley, I think fading them in Week 1 is the way to go. The expectations will undoubtedly be high in Southern Cal for Riley’s team, which usually means plenty of distractions in the early going.

Riley didn’t just go empty-handed to La-La land; he brought former Oklahoma quarterback Caleb Williams, his wide receiver teammate Mario Williams, and Pittsburgh WR transfer Jordan Addison.

The question for the Trojans in this game is how much film they want to put on tape for Stanford, who they’ll play next weekend. USC will have their hands full trying to get everyone on the same page after landing roughly 20 players from the transfer portal.

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As for Rice, despite having a lower percentage of returning production (60%) compared to USC (64%), its entire secondary is back, which should help against Riley’s Air Raid offense.

USC will need to win by four-plus touchdowns to cover this spread, and that number’s too high compared to my power ratings.

According to our Action Labs database, dating back to 2015, underdogs that open the season catching at least 28 points against Pac-12 teams, are 22-8 for 12.18 units. This trend is also on a 10-1 run for 7.9 units.

Given those intriguing stats, I’ll take a shot with road underdogs to keep this game inside the number.

The Inquirer is not an online gambling operator, or a gambling site. We provide this information about sports betting for entertainment purposes only.