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New Mexico State vs. USC - 12/25/17 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

USC Trojans (8-4) at New Mexico State Aggies (11-2)

College Basketball: Monday, December 25, 2017 at 6:00 pm (Stan Sheriff Center)

The Line: New Mexico State Aggies +4.5 -- Over/Under: 146.5 See the Latest Odds

TV: ESPN2

We have some non-conference action on the hardwood, as the USC Trojans face off against the New Mexico State Aggies in the championship game of the Diamond Head Classic on Christmas Day.

The USC Trojans will look to take the title after winning their first two games of the tournament, including an 89-84 victory over Middle Tennessee State in their last outing. Chimezie Metu led the team with 27 points on 11 of 15 shooting with a team-high 9 rebounds. Bennie Boatwright came 2nd with 23 points on 4 of 11 shooting with a 12 for 16 mark from the foul line, 3 triples, 6 rebounds, 6 assists and 3 blocks. Elijah Stewart added 3 threes and some free throws for his 13 points, while Jordan McLaughlin added 11 points and 6 assists of his own with a pair of steals. Shaqquan Aaron added 10 points to finish off the scoring in double figures for the Trojans in the win. Metu leads USC by averaging 19 points and 8.3 rebounds per game, while McLaughlin is the team’s top assist man, dishing out 7.8 assists per game this season. As a team, USC is scoring 81.9 points per game on 46.6% shooting from the field, 40% from behind the arc and 71.3% from the foul line this season.

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New Mexico State vs. USC - 12/25/17 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

USA TODAY Sports

The New Mexico State Aggies will try to keep the momentum going and win the title after posting 5 straight wins and 10 of 11 following their 63-54 victory over Miami in their last outing. Zach Lofton led the team with 15 points, 9 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals. Sidy N’Dir and A.J. Harris added 10 points each to round out the scoring in double digits for the Aggies in the win. N’Dir went 4 for 9 with a pair of threes, while Harris shot 5 of 8 from the floor with a block. Eli Chuha added 8 points to match his 8 rebounds, while Jemerrio Jones added 6 points and 8 boards of his own in the win. Lofton leads the team with an average of 18.2 points per game, while Jones is averaging a double-double per game with 10.2 points to go along with team-high averages of 10.8 rebounds and 3 assists per game this season. As a team, New Mexico State is scoring 73.5 points per game on 46.2% shooting from the field, 31.2% from behind the arc and 62.1% from the foul line this season.

USC is 7-0 ATS in their last 7 neutral site games and 11-5 ATS in their last 16 games overall while the over is 4-1-1 in their last 6 non-conference games. New Mexico State is 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games following a win and 0-6 ATS in their last 6 games against the Pac-12 while the under is 27-9-1 in their last 37 neutral site games.

The Aggies have had their fair share of struggles ATS when it comes to the Pac-12, but the Aggies are rolling coming into this one, and coming in in much better form than the Trojans. Sure, the Trojans blew out Akron and took down a solid Middle Tennessee State team, but the Aggies just shut down probably the best team in the tournament in the Miami Hurricanes. I’m not sure who wins this one, but I do see this going down to the wire, so I want to have the points in my back pocket as they could come in handy. Give me the points and New Mexico State here.

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