Utah vs. USC - 1/2/15 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction
USC Trojans (8-4) at Utah Utes (10-2)
College Basketball: Friday, January 2, 2015 at 10:00 pm (Jon M. Huntsman Center)
The Line: Utah Utes -16.5 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds
The USC Trojans and Utah Utes square off Friday night at the Jon M. Huntsman Center.
The USC Trojans have won six of their last seven games and play their third true road contest. On the season, USC is averaging 68.2 points on 42.4 percent shooting and is allowing 66.1 points on 38.9 percent shooting. Jordan McLaughlin is averaging 13.3 points on 5.2 assists while Nikola Jovanovic is averaging 11.8 points and 8.6 rebounds. Katin Reinhardt is the third player averaging double-digit points and Darion Clark is grabbing 7.6 rebounds. The USC Trojans are a lengthy team that’s averaging close to 40 rebounds and 4.4 blocks per game. Offensively, USC is shooting 62 percent from the free throw line and 31.7 percent from beyond the arc. Defensively, USC is forcing 13.2 turnovers per game and is allowing teams to shoot 29.3 percent from deep.
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The Utah Utes look for their fourth straight win as they also hope to remain unbeaten. On the season, Utah is averaging 75.3 points on 49.3 percent shooting and is allowing 57.6 points on 36.4 percent shooting. Delon Wright is averaging 15.8 points and 5.3 assists while Jordan Loveridge is averaging 12 points on 50 percent shooting. Jakob Poeltl is the third player averaging double-digit points and Brandon Taylor is dishing out 2.9 assists. The Utah Utes are one of the top offensive teams in the country, as they’re shooting 66 percent from the free throw line and 38.8 percent from deep. Utah has scored a combined 165 points in its last two games. Defensively, Utah is forcing 12.5 turnovers per game and is allowing teams to shoot 34.4 percent from deep.
The Trojans are 7-2 ATS in their last 9 road games and 7-16 ATS in their last 23 vs. Pacific-12. The Utes are 37-14-1 ATS in their last 52 home games and 53-22-3 ATS in their last 78 games overall. The over is 5-0 in the last 5 meetings.
These are too many points to lay in a conference game against a USC team that has already won both of its true road games. I expect this game to be a lot closer despite Utah being a tough place to play.