Long Beach State 49ers vs. USC Trojans Pick-Odds-Prediction 12/19/13
USC Trojans (7-3) at Long Beach State 49ers (1-9)
College Basketball: Thursday, December 19, 2013 at 10:30 pm (The Walter Pyramid)
The Line: Long Beach State 49ers +2 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds
The USC Trojans eye four straight wins when they travel across town to visit the slumping Long Beach State 49ers Thursday.
USC is 7-3 and on an impressive three-game winning streak, in which the they knocked off Xavier, Boston College and Cal State-Bakersfield in their last outing Sunday, rallying from six points down in the game’s final two minutes to edge the Roadrunners 63-59 and improve to 6-0 at home. Junior G Byron Wesley led all scorers with 20 points on 4 of 11 shooting and connected on 12 of 14 from the foul line, while freshman F Nikola Jovanovic recorded a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds on 5 of 8 from the field. Bakersfield played the Trojans tight in the first half, never getting behind by more than four points and took a 28-28 tie into the break. The second half favored the Roadrunners much of the way as they went on a 10-2 run to open up a 42-36 lead at the 15:08 mark and later took a 58-56 lead with 1:40 left before the Trojans went up for good on two Wesley free throws. On the season, USC is averaging 74.3 ppg on 45 percent shooting and Wesley leads the team with 17.3 ppg on 41 percent from the floor.
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Long Beach State, meanwhile, is having a season to forget with nine straight losses following the season-opening victory over Hawaii Pacific. The 49ers dropped their last contest 76-66 to NC State Dec. 7 in a game that was tightly contested until the Wolfpack seized control midway through the second half. Senior F Dan Jennings scored a team-high 18 points on 8 of 17 from the field and grabbed 8 rebounds, while junior G Mike Caffey added 16 points and 6 assists. Junior F David Samuels posted a double-double with 15 points and 11 assists. Long Beach trailed 36-29 at the half and closed to within 53-51 in the second before an 8-0 NC State run with seven minutes and change left broke the game open and the 49ers never threatened again. Through ten games, Long Beach State is averaging 64.1 ppg on 39 percent shooting and Caffey leads the team with 16 ppg on 41 percent from the field.
USC opened up a 2 point favorite in this matchup and the oddsmakers must know something we don’t. The 49ers did play VCU and NC State close, but 6 of their 9 losses were by double-digit margins and five of those could be considered routs. Look for SC to cover.
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