Check out our free Utah vs USC pick and preview for this NCAA Basketball game in Los Angeles. See who we like to win and cover the spread in this College Basketball matchup.
Utah vs USC Pick & Preview: Saturday, January 14th Betting Odds
Runnin’ Utes vs Trojans Matchup at a Glance
- Sport: NCAAB
- Teams: Utah Runnin’ Utes at USC Trojans
- Where: Los Angeles at Galen Center
- Date: Saturday, January 14th
- Betting Odds: Utah +4.5, UTAH +163 | USC -202 O/U 134.5
Runnin’ Utes Preview:
Through 18 games, the Utah Runnin’ Utes have an overall record of 12-6. So far, the Runnin’ Utes have played 7 games on the road, with a record of 4-3. For the season, Utah has been the underdog in 5 games, sitting with a mark of 3-2. Currently, the oddsmakers have the lines set with the Runnin’ Utes being +4.5 point underdogs.
Leading up to game time, it will be important to keep a close watch on the injury report, as the Runnin’ Utes’ top scorer and rebounder Branden Carlson is listed as questionable on the injury report. For the season, Carlson is averaging 15.59 points and 7.41 boards. If Branden Carlson isn’t able to take the floor, look for Gabe Madsen to be the lead candidate to take on a larger in the offense. So far, Madsen has accounted for 17.05% of the team’s scoring at 12.22 points per game.
Offensive production has been hard to come by for Utah this season, as they are currently ranked 247th in college basketball at 69.7 points per game. A major reason for low scoring totals is the fact that they have played at a below average pace, and have struggled to knock down outside shots. As a team, the Runnin’ Utes’ 3-point shooting percentage sits at just 33.5%, placing them 289th in the NCAA.
Through 17 games, the USC Trojans have an overall record of 12-5. Currently, the Trojans have been the home team 12 times, sitting with a record of 9-3. The Trojans’ are sitting with a betting line that is -4.5 points in their favor. For the season, USC has been favored to win in 11 games, sitting with a mark of 10-1.
USC will be counting on another strong performance from the team’s leading scorer Boogie Ellis who is averaging 15.59 points per game for the Trojans. Ellis is also important to the team’s ability to score on the perimeter. So far, he leads the team in 3-point shots made. Also key to the Trojans’ offensive game plan is the play of Drew Peterson who has hit 45.2% of his field goal attempts on his way to averaging 13.76 points per game.
Coming into today’s game, USC will be looking from some improved play from their offense. Currently, the Trojans are ranked 159th at 72.6 points per game. A major reason for their low scoring mumbers is the fact that they tend to work the clock on offense. This year, they are the 389th ranked team in terms of pace. When looking at their 3-point shooting numbers, USC is close to the NCAA average at 36.0%.
Free Spread Prediction: USC Trojans -4.5
Heading into this matchup, our NCAA betting model has identified this game as a profitable opportunity and recommends taking the USC Trojans to pick up the win and cover the spread as -4.5 point betting favorites. Although USC as a team is just 141st in overall shooting percentage, we see their offense putting together a strong performance against the Runnin’ Utes’ defense. In addition, the Trojans have made bettors money who have taken them to cover at home, as they are 7-3 (last 10). At -4.5 we see there being plenty of value in grabbing the Trojans to come out on top and cover.
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