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Bettors load up on USC vs. Raiders in season win total matchup

Updated June 23, 2022 - 9:23 pm

Southern California and the Raiders both made blockbuster offseason moves that gave their fans and backers great expectations for next season.

Which of the teams that shared the Los Angeles Coliseum for 13 years (1982-94) will win more games? You can bet on that prop at Caesars Sportsbook, which made 10 regular-season win total head-to-head matchups between NFL and college football teams.

“We’re trying to come up with something fun, exciting and gives people something to talk about it,” Caesars college football senior trader Ray Kluever said. “Many of these are geographically based so we can intrigue people in certain areas of the country.

“I’d say it’s heavily NFL-weighted since more people bet on NFL games than college, and NFL teams play 17 regular-season games versus in college it’s only 12.”

All of the matchups are pick’em and USC — under ex-Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley — has drawn the most money of any team so far. The Trojans, who have a win total of 9½, are -125 favorites over the Raiders (+105), who have a win total of 8½.

“We have such a big L.A. following that comes to Vegas on a regular basis,” Kluever said. “I thought it was a perfect matchup to put USC, with all their hype ahead of Lincoln Riley’s first season, with the Raiders getting Davante Adams and Josh McDaniels coming to town.

“When we released these, there was no doubt in my mind that this matchup will be the one that’s the most heavily bet. It’s interesting to me that it’s been heavily bet on USC so far. I’m not on the hype train there and the Raiders look to be much improved.”

USC, which went 4-8 last season, has the nation’s top-ranked transfer class led by former Sooners quarterback Caleb Williams, the 8-1 third choice to win the Heisman Trophy, and former Pittsburgh star wideout Jordan Addison.

The Trojans’ win total is 9 at Circa Sports.

“The question with them is can they stop anybody on defense,” Circa sportsbook director Matt Metcalf said.

USC ranked No. 89 in the nation in total defense last season, allowing 408.9 yards per game, and No. 103 in scoring defense, giving up 31.7 points per game.

Bucs-Bama

In other NFL-NCAA matchups, the Buccaneers are -125 favorites over Alabama (+105). Tampa Bay’s win total is 11½ and the Crimson Tide’s is 11 at Caesars and 11½ at Circa.

“The first matchup idea that I came up with and solidified was Tom Brady vs. Nick Saban,” Kluever said.

In a matchup of the defending Super Bowl and college football national champions, Georgia is a -125 favorite over the Rams (+105). The Bulldogs’ win total is 11½ while LA’s is 10½.

“The 111/2 to 101/2 didn’t really faze me because people expect the Rams to contend again,” Kluever said.

The Chiefs are -125 favorites over Ohio State (+105), though the Buckeyes have a higher win total (11) than Kansas City (10½). The Chiefs also have the NFL’s most difficult schedule based on opponents’ win totals.

The Patriots and Notre Dame are each -110, though the Fighting Irish have a higher win total (9) than New England (8½).

The Giants are -115 favorites over Louisiana State (-105). Both teams have win totals of 7.

Regional matchups

In regional matchups, the Dolphins are -120 favorites over Miami, Florida; the Bengals are -125 favorites over Cincinnati; Oregon State is a -120 favorite over the Seahawks; and Pittsburgh is a -125 favorite over the Steelers.

The largest win total disparity is between the Steelers and the Panthers. Pittsburgh’s win total is 8½ while the Steelers’ total is 7 at Circa.

The Beavers (6) have a half-win edge over Seattle (5½ at Circa). The Dolphins (9 at Circa) have a half-win edge over the Hurricanes (8½).

Contact reporter Todd Dewey at tdewey@reviewjournal.com. Follow @tdewey33 on Twitter.

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