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Arizona Wildcats vs. USC Trojans Predictions, Picks, Odds and NCAA Basketball Betting Preview – January 19, 2017

Arizona Wildcats vs. USC Trojans Predictions, Picks, Odds and NCAA Basketball Betting Preview – January 19, 2017

Arizona Wildcats vs. USC Trojans Preview

Where: Galen Center, Los Angeles

When: Thursday, January 19, 9:00 PM ET

Line: Florida Gators vs. South Carolina Gamecocks – view all NCAAB lines

TV Broadcast: Pac-12 Network

College Basketball News and Previews

Betting on the Arizona Wildcats (16-2, 5-0 Pac-12)

All Game Lines Here

Start learning how to spell Lauri Markkanen’s name. Based on what he’s showing so far this season, he’s got a bright NBA future ahead of him. But for now, he’s busy helping Arizona crush one opponent at a time.

Markkanen played like he’s high on energy drinks on Thursday, scoring 30 points and grabbing eight rebounds, while going 4-for-7 from deep in a 91-75 home win over Arizona State. The big man has been a matchup problem all season long for Arizona opponents and tonight, the Wildcats will look for Markkanen to punish USC’s exploitable defense that gives up 70.7 points per game. Markkanen leads the Wildcats with 16.7 PPG to go with 7.4 RPG on the season.

Markkanen isn’t the only seven-foot beast the Trojans will have headaches trying to contain. Dusan Rustic, who scored 16 points and plucked down seven rebounds against the Sun Devils, is averaging 16.6 points so far in conference play.

On the other side of the ball, the Wildcats’ defense holds opponents to just 61.6 PPG.

Arizona, which is on a 10-game win streak, is 4-0 ATS in its last four road games.

Betting on the USC Trojans (16-3, 3-3 Pac-12)

All Game Lines Here

If the Trojans have any plans of getting back in the AP poll after falling out of it this week, beating No. 16 Arizona would be a great start. The Trojans know that’s going to be easier said than done, but they have some of the tools to upset Arizona at home.

While the Wildcats have towering big men, USC has someone like 6-11 Chimezie Metu, who has really come out to play this season. The sophomore leads the team with 14.1 PPG and 7.8 PRG. His size combined with athleticism should pose trouble for Arizona’s big men. Metu is coming off an explosive performance, scoring 24 points on 11-for-14 shooting from the field during a 71-68 road win over Colorado last Sunday.

Metu’s not going to be alone in spearheading the Trojans. There’s junior guard Jordan McLaughlin, who is second on the team with 13.9 PPG on 47.8% shooting this season. Elijah Stewart, who scored 27 points off the bench in USC’s memorable 103-101 quadruple-overtime win against Arizona last year, chips in 13.0 PPG.

While their defense leaves a lot to be desired, the Trojans are among the best shot-blocking teams in the nation, averaging 5.7 BPG. Opponents shoot just 50.2% at the rim against USC—one of the lowest in Division I ball.

Writer’s Prediction

Arizona wins, 77-67.

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Written by Rex

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