The USC Trojans looked ready to roll in their first game coming off two seasons of bowl ineligibility last week and college football bettors apparently believe strongly in their ability to score points.
The total on their game against the Syracuse Orange Saturday at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey (3:30 pm ET ABC/ESPN2) opened around 59 and was bet all the way up to 65 by Friday.
"That is a huge line move and indicative of piles of cash coming in on the OVER," said Jack Randall of OddsShark.com, SB Nation's lines partner (see NFL odds here at SB Nation).
USC now looks for a 2-0 start in its chase for a BCS berth as the Trojans head cross-country to face Syracuse. They face a 26-point spread, smaller than last week and still big enough to scare off many USC backers (as more than 70 percent of the consensus betting was on the Trojans late Friday).
Southern Cal, with 16 starters back from a team that went 10-2 last year, opened this season with a 49-10 victory over Hawai'i last Saturday. The Trojans spurted out to a 35-0 halftime lead, then took their foot off the gas and missed out on covering the spread as 42-point favorites.
Heisman candidate Matt Barkley threw for 372 yards and four scores, and the defense held the Warriors to 264 total yards while forcing four turnovers.
Syracuse, meanwhile, with 12 starters back from a team that went 5-7 last season, opened this year with a crazy 42-41 loss to Northwestern. The Orange trailed 35-13 midway through the third quarter, but rallied to take the lead with under three minutes to go.
But the Wildcats then scored the winning touchdown in the last minute to crush the 'Cuse's comeback.
The Orange outgained Northwestern 596-337, as QB Ryan Nassib threw for 470 yards and four touchdowns, but they missed out on the cover as two-point favorites. Syracuse gave up touchdowns on a punt return and a fumble return vs. Northwestern.
These teams met last September at the Coliseum, with the Trojans coming away with a 38-17 victory. Southern Cal spotted the 'Cuse a field goal, then scored the next 24 points. Syracuse got within 24-10 in the third quarter, but the Trojans tacked on a couple more touchdowns to put the game away.
USC outrushed the Orange that day 175-73; Barkley threw for 324 yards and five scores; and the Trojans covered the spread as 16-point favorites.
That game also went 'over' its total of 50 when Syracuse scored a meaningless touchdown with about six minutes to go.
USC vs Syracuse Pick: Southern Cal is a better team than when it beat Syracuse by 21 points last year, while the Orange are about the same. We don't trust huge home dogs as they were just 10-21 ATS last year when getting 21 or more points). We take the Trojans Saturday.