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USC vs. Middle Tennessee - 12/23/17 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders (8-2) at USC Trojans (7-4)

College Basketball: Saturday, December 23, 2017 at 4:30 pm (Stan Sheriff Center)

The Line: USC Trojans -4.5 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds

TV: ESPN2

We’ve got a fun college basketball matchup coming Saturday afternoon as the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders take on the USC Trojans at Stan Sheriff Center. 

Middle Tennessee enters this matchup with an 8-2 record overall. The Blue Raiders started the season out at 7-1 and had a five-game win streak going before falling 76-70 to Auburn. In Friday’s game against Princeton, Middle Tennessee logged a tense 69-67 win over Princeton. 

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USC vs. Middle Tennessee - 12/23/17 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

USA TODAY Sports

In that Princeton game, Middle Tennessee forward Nick King led the team on 18 points with five rebounds and four assists. Also in double-figures for the Blue Raiders in that one were Giddy Potts (14 points; five rebounds) and Tyrik Dixon (10 points; five rebounds; four assists). 

Over on the USC side, they’re coming into this one at 7-4 so far. The Trojans began the year with four straight wins, but then fell in three straight games before picking up wins over Santa Clara and UC Santa Barbara. USC then lost to Princeton before stomping Akron in Friday’s game. 

In that Zips matchup, the Trojans were down 33-29 at halftime but stormed back for a 55-20 edge in the second and an 84-53 win. USC guard Elijah Stewart led the team on 20 points with five rebounds in that victory, while Chimezie Metu logged 16 points and eight rebounds. 

The Blue Raiders are 9-3 ATS in their last 12 Saturday games and 8-3 ATS in their last 11 games following an ATS loss. Middle Tennessee is also 26-11 ATS in their last 37 games overall and 11-5 ATS in their last 16 neutral-site games. 

Meanwhile, USC is 6-0 ATS in their last six neutral-site game sand 28-13-1 ATS in their last 42 non-conference games. The over is 3-1-1 in the Trojans’ last five overall and 8-3 in their last 11 Saturday games. 

Middle Tennessee has looked pretty solid so far this year, and they’ve got a handful of good scorers on the top end. King does pretty much everything for the Blue Raiders, and he’s leading the team in scoring and rebounding by significant margins. USC, meanwhile, is pretty well-balanced and have plenty of go-to guys who are quite versatile. The Trojans play down to their competition at times this year, though, and I like Middle Tennessee to hang around here. I’ll take the Blue Raiders to cover.

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