#16 USC vs #17 UCLA | College Basketball Betting Expert Analysis

Neither No. 16 USC nor No. 17 UCLA can win the Pac-12 title, but they are playing for Los Angeles bragging rights on Saturday night – and improved conference tournament seeding — in the regular season finale for both. The Bruins will be favored on the NCAAB odds.

How to Bet USC at UCLA NCAA Basketball Odds & TV Info

  • When: Saturday, 10 PM ET
  • Where: Pauley Pavilion
  • TV: ESPN
  • Stream: ESPN app
  • Radio: Tunein.com
  • Opening NCAAB Lines: TBA (UCLA will be favored)

Last Meeting

On Feb. 12, USC upset UCLA 67-64. Drew Peterson had his first double-double of the season with a career-high 27 points and 12 rebounds. Petersen also had five blocks as the Trojans picked up their fifth straight rivalry win despite being without leading scorer Isaiah Mobley because of concussion-like symptoms. Mobley is healthy now. The Bruins nearly forced overtime with a late push in the final 41 seconds after being down by eight points. Tyger Campbell was the only player in double figures for UCLA, scoring 27 points, with 13 coming from the free-throw line.

Why Bet on USC?

USC (25-5) had a six-game winning streak snapped in emphatic style Tuesday in a 91-71 blowout loss to No. 2 Arizona, which clinched the Pac-12 regular-season title. The Wildcats led 17-8 at the first timeout just over five minutes into the game, went up by 20 for the first time with just under three minutes remaining in the first half and shot 55% (22 of 40) before halftime.

Arizona made a USC opponent high 55.6 percent of its field goals overall. The previous field goal percentage high by a Trojan opponent this season was 53.8 percent at Oregon State on Feb. 24. Arizona became the fourth team to make 50 percent or more of its shots against USC. USC entered the game sixth in the country in field goal percentage defense at 38.1 percent.

“Our best players have to play well in big games. They didn’t do that. They had off nights. We were not very good. Our offense hurt our defense. They got in transition and it really hurt us. It was frustrating and it was frustrating for our players,” USC coach Andy Enfield said. “It was uncharacteristic for us, usually we don’t give up transition baskets.”

The Trojans finished shooting just 39.7% from the field and 22.2% (4 of 18) from 3-point range. Max Agbonkpolo led USC with 14 points. He was 6 of 10 from the floor, including 2-for-2 from 3-point range. Reese Dixon-Waters scored nine points and has averaged 8.0 points the last 7 games. USC had 19 offensive rebounds and outscored Arizona 23-4 on second-chance points.

USC currently has four players averaging in double figures in scoring, led by Isaiah Mobley (14.6), Drew Peterson (12.5), Boogie Ellis (12.3) and Chevez Goodwin (11.6). In addition, six players are averaging at least 4.9 points and 10 are scoring at least 3.0 points per game.

USC has won a school-record 72 games over the last three seasons (22 in 2020, 25 in 2021 and 25 in 2022).  The previous school record for wins in three consecutive seasons was 71 (2016-18). The three consecutive seasons of 20+ wins also equals the school record for most consecutive 20-win seasons set from 2016-18.

USC is 9-1 in games decided by 5 points or less. The Trojans have come back from 5 deficits of 10 points or more and have trailed by as many as 5 points in 16 of its wins.

Why Bet on UCLA?

UCLA (22-6) can finish as high as second in the Pac-12 but may not have star Johnny Juzang for this one. Coach Mick Cronin said that Juzang is 50-50 to play. Juzang has missed the last two games with an ankle injury. Juzang is averaging 14.7 points and 4.3 rebounds per contest this season. His participation in pregame warmups on Saturday should tell the story on whether or not he goes.

Juzang was named a finalist for the Jerry West Award on Tuesday as the nation’s top shooting guard along with Kansas’ Ochai Agbaji, Wisconsin’s Johnny Davis, Purdue’s Jaden Ivey and Arizona’s Bennedict Mathurin.

The Bruins come off a 77-66 win at Washington on Monday. UCLA led by as many as 22 points, and the win ensured the Bruins will be no worse than the No. 3 seed for the Pac-12 tournament next week in Las Vegas. Washington led 29-25 at halftime. It was the seventh time this season UCLA trailed at halftime, and the Bruins were 1-5 in the previous six games.

“I fully expected us to have to win a very close game,” Cronin said. “So the fact that we were able to get up 20 and get the subs in was a testament to our defense.”

Jaime Jaquez Jr. scored a career-high 30 points for the Bruins. UCLA dominated on the glass, achieving a 40-28 rebounding advantage over the Huskies. The Bruins also hit 21 free throws compared to just nine from Washington. Jaquez Jr. has been chosen as one of five finalists for this season’s Julius Erving Award, honoring the nation’s best small forward.

Jaquez Jr. has averaged 12.8 points, 5.4 rebounds and 2.1 assists in 27 games. He has shot 47.3 percent from the field, 31.0 percent from 3-point range and 73.1 percent at the free throw line. He has totaled four double-doubles and has scored at least 10 points in 18 of 27 games played.

Tyger Campbell has been named as one of five finalists for the Bob Cousy Point Guard of the Year Award. Campbell is ranked No. 6 in the nation in assist-turnover ratio (3.4-to-1). Campbell has averaged 11.8 points and 4.3 assists in 26 games this season. He has scored in double figures in 18 of 26 games played and currently ranks No. 3 in the Pac-12 in 3-point field goal percentage (41.6%).

Under Cronin, the Bruins have gone 21-11 in games decided by five points or fewer (includes all overtime games, regardless of score margin). This season, the Bruins have posted a 2-4 record in such situations.

Expert Prediction

  • UCLA 73, USC 65

 


 

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