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USC Trojans vs. UCLA Bruins Predictions, Picks, Odds and NCAA Basketball Betting Preview – February 18, 2017

USC Trojans vs. UCLA Bruins Predictions, Picks, Odds and NCAA Basketball Betting Preview – February 18, 2017


USC Trojans vs. UCLA Bruins NCAAB Preview

Where: Pauley Pavilion – Los Angeles, CA

When: Saturday, February 18, 2017 – 10:00 PM ET

Line: USC Trojans at UCLA Bruins – view all NCAA basketball lines

TV Broadcast: PAC12


College Basketball News and Previews


Betting on the USC Trojans (21-5, 8-5 PAC-12)

Point Spread: ALL LINES HERE

The Trojans had their five-game winning snapped by the Oregon Ducks on Saturday, 81-70. They had one of their worst shooting nights this season (37.3 percent) and couldn’t handle the ball well (15 turnovers). To top it all off, they had no answers for Dillon Brooks and Tyler Dorsey, who combined for 40 points and seven triples.

However, they should have great confidence entering weekend’s contest. They were able to ease past the Bruins in their meeting three weeks ago, 84-76, with unheralded guard Shaqquan Aaron scoring a career-high 23 points and the team collectively hitting 14 threes.

Although only ranked 50th in the nation in offensive efficiency, USC has shown that they have the personnel to compete with an attack as potent as UCLA. The members of their big four – Jordan McLaughlin (12.9 PPG, 5.1 APG), Bennie Boatwright (13.4 PPG), Elijah Stewart (13.8 PPG), and Chimezie Metu (14.2 PPG) – can all have a big day offensively in any given night, and McLaughlin is one of the more underrated floor generals in the country.

SC is not known for their defense (84th in efficiency), but they are slowly showing some improvement in the past few months. Through 13 conference games, they have jumped into top four in steals, blocks, and forced turnovers in the PAC 12.

The Trojans are 7-2 on the road this season (5-4 ATS).

Betting on the UCLA Bruins (21-3, 8-3 PAC-12)

Point Spread: ALL LINES HERE

After a sudden stumble in that aforementioned loss to SC weeks back, where their star guard and future NBA first-round pick Lonzo Ball committed a season-high seven turnovers, the Bruins have bounced back nicely. They have now won four straight games, three of which were blowouts.

In that stretch, Ball and company are winning by an average of 19.5 points, while also shooting 55.3 percent from the field and collectively dishing out 19.3 assists per contest. The past month has simply been about them displaying why they are number one overall in points (91.9), field goal percentage (53.3), assists (21.6), and offensive efficiency.

As they battle the Trojans, expect an aggressive Bruins squad. Ball (15.4 PPG, 6.1 RPG, 7.6 APG) should have another interesting matchup with the opposing guards, while TJ Leaf (16.7 PPG, 8.8 RPG) and Bryce Alford (15.4 PPG, 3.2 threes per game) will look to have bounce-back performances. The two combined for a quiet 11 points on 5-for-17 shooting when they last faced SC.

UCLA is 15-2 at home this season (9-8 ATS)

Writer’s Prediction

The Bruins exact revenge, 94-83.

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JE
Written by JE

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