UCLA Bruins (17-3) vs. USC Trojans (14-6)
January 26, 2023 9:00 pm EDT
The Line: USC Trojans +5 / UCLA Bruins -5 ; Over/Under: 136
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The UCLA Bruins and the USC Trojans meet Thursday in college basketball action from Galen Center. UCLA is 17-3 on the season so far. The Bruins lost to Arizona in their last game. As for USC, they’re 14-6 following a win over Arizona State on Saturday. Check back all season long for free college basketball picks at Sports Chat Place.
UCLA managed to go a nice 14-2 over their first 16 games. The Bruins lost to only Illinois and Baylor in that time. UCLA would then beat Utah, Colorado and Arizona State before falling to Arizona in their most recent appearance.
Back on Saturday versus Arizona, the Bruins were down 26-23 at the break. UCLA fell further behind with 29 second-half points and ended up losing 58-52. Jaime Jaquez (12 points; 11 rebounds) and Jaylen Clark (12 points; 10 rebounds) each doubled up.
Over on the USC side, they went 11-5 through their first 16 games with losses to FGCU, Tennessee, Wisconsin, Washington State and UCLA. The Trojans are 3-1 since then with wins over Colorado, Utah and Arizona State.
Matched up against Arizona State on Saturday, USC jumped out to a 43-33 halftime lead. The Trojans managed a 36-34 deficit in the second on the way to a 77-69 victory. Tops in scoring was Drew Peterson with 19 points and eight boards.
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I might take a stab on USC here. You could easily make a case either way, though. The last time these teams met up back on January 5 at Pauley Pavilion, the Bruins eked out a 60-58 victory. The Trojans shot a nice 47.2 percent in that one but hit just 3-of-16 (18.8 percent) on 3-pointers and were out-rebounded 16-6 on the offensive end. That said, USC has played well in the four games since, taking a lone loss to a great Arizona team that just beat the Bruins. I like the Trojans to give UCLA some trouble here in a competitive, tight, fun game to watch. Should be a good one.