College Basketball Pac 12 Betting: UCLA Bruins at USC Trojans

UCLA Bruins at Southern California Trojans
Sunday, February 24, 2013, 3:30 pm Eastern, TV: Fox Sports Net
Galen Center – Los Angeles, California
Opening Line: UCLA -1 1/2
Current Line: UCLA -2
Opening Total: 141
Current Total: 143
Opening Money Line: UCLA -125 / USC +105
Current Money Line: UCLA -140 / USC +120

UCLA is  slight favorite at crosstown rival USC Sunday.
UCLA is slight favorite at crosstown rival USC Sunday.

Nine of the twelve Pac 12 teams have at least an outside shot of winning the conference regular season with only 4 games left for most teams. The 19-7 UCLA Bruins are 9-4 in the Pac 12, a game behind conference leaders Arizona and Oregon. The Bruins take on crosstown rival USC Sunday in the Trojan’s home building. The 12-14 Trojans are 7-6 in conference in 7th place in the conference.

UCLA leads the series 132-105 against USC. The Trojans upset the Bruins January 30 at Pauley Pavilion 75-71 in overtime to snap a four game losing streak against their rivals. In that game the Bruins overcame a 15 point deficit in the second half to force overtime. The Bruins led briefly in overtime, but USC took a  3 point lead. UCLA guard/forward Shabazz Muhammed missed a potential game tying 3 pointer, and USC made a free throw to seal the 4 point win.

UCLA is coached by Ben Howland. The Bruins have losses to Georgetown in Brooklyn, at home against Cal Poly and Oregon, to San Diego St in Anaheim, at Arizona St and Cal, and at home to USC in overtime. The Bruins have key wins over Indiana St, UC-Irvine, James Madison, Georgia in Brooklyn, Texas in Houston, Long Beach St, Fresno St, Missouri, Cal, Stanford twice, Oregon St, Washington St, and Washington and at Utah, Colorado and Arizona St. The Bruins beat Stanford last Saturday in Palo Alto 88-80 last Saturday. UCLA is 10-15 ATS and the total is 9-10 this season.

UCLA is outscoring teams 76-69 this season. The Bruins are #23 in scoring. UCLA is #42 in field goal percentage at 46.4% from the field and shoot 33.9% from 3 point range. UCLA makes 71.3% of their free throws. The Bruins average 37.3 rebounds and give up 34.9 per game. Bruin opponents are shooting 41.9% from the field and 30.6% from 3 point range. UCLA averages 17 assists, 8 steals, 4 blocks, and 11 turnovers per game.

Muhammad averages 18.2 points, and 5.2 rebounds a game. The freshman missed the first 3 games of the season due to being ineligible, but has been sensational since then. Guard Jordan Adams averages 14.9 points, 3.8 rebounds, 1.8 assists, and 1.9 steals per game. Forward Travis Wear averages 11.6 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 1.2 blocks per game. He is doubtful with a foot injury. Guard Kyle Anderson averages 9.6 points, 8.8 rebounds, 3.7 assists, and 1.7 steals. Guard Larry Drew II averages 7 points, 7.7 assists, 2.7 rebounds and 1.4 steals per game. Forward David Wear averages 6.9 points, and 4.8 rebounds per game. Guard Norman Powell averages 6.5 points, 2.2 rebounds, and 1.2 assists per game. Little used guard David Brown is doubtful with an ankle injury.   Guard Nick Kazemi hasn’t played yet this season, and is out indefinitely with a knee injury.

USC fired coach Kevin O’Neill after a slow start. Bob Cantu is the interim coach. The Trojans have key wins over Long Beach St, Texas in the Maui Invitational, Dayton, Stanford, Oregon St, Washington St and Washington, along with road wins at Utah, UCLA, and Stanford. Southern Cal has losses to Illinois and Marquette in Maui, at home against San Diego St, Minnesota, UC-Irvine, California twice and Oregon, along with road losses at Nebraska, New Mexico, Georgia, Colorado Arizona St and Arizona. USC lost at Cal last Saturday 76-68 to snap a four game winning streak for the Trojans. The Trojans are 10-12-3 ATS and the total is 13-8 this season.

USC is being outscored 67-66 this season. The Trojans are shooting 43% from the field and 33.7% from 3 point range. USC makes 69% of their free throws. The Trojans average 35.3 rebounds per game, and they give up 32.1 per game. USC opponents are shooting 41.8% from the field and 34.8% from 3 point range. The Trojans average 13 assists, 6 steals, 5 blocks, and 14 turnovers a game.

Forward Eric Wise averages 12 points, 5.8 rebounds, 1.9 assists, and 1 steal a game. Guard J.T. Terrell averages 10.9 points, and 2 rebounds per game. Guard Byron Wesley averages 10.3 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 1.9 assists per game. Guard Jio Fontan averages 9.8 points, 5.1 assists. and 1.8 rebounds per game. Center Omar Oraby averages 6 points, 3.3 rebounds, and 1.3 blocks per game. Forward Dewayne Dedmon averages 6.7 points, 6.8 rebounds, 2.1 blocks and 1 steal per game. Aaron Fuller and Chass Bryan also get significant minutes. Forward Ari Stewart is out indefinitely with a thumb injury.

UCLA is 18-37-1 ATS after a cover, 6-13 against teams with winning home records, 1-4 in Sunday games, and after a straight up win. The Bruins are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 trips to the Galen Center. The road team is 11-4 ATS in this series recently.

USC is 3-0-1 ATS against teams with winning records, 3-0-2 overall, and in Pac 12 games, 7-18-1 in Sunday games, 8-21-1 after a straight up loss, 8-22-1 at home, and 1-4 against teams with winning road records.

UCLA has been inconsistent recently and USC has been playing a lot better under Cantu. Both teams lost to Cal last weekend, but beat Stanford. With Wear likely out, I think USC has a good chance for the sweep of their crosstown rivals.

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