USC Trojans at Kansas Jayhawks
Saturday, 12/18/10, 12:00 PM EDT, TV: ESPN
Opening Point Spread: Kansas -16
Current Betting Line: Kansas -17.5
Opening Total: 135
Current Total: 135
USC is set to play at No. 3 Kansas at Allen Fieldhouse on Saturday afternoon in front of a national audience. “We’re getting better as a team and with what’s coming up, we better be better,” said head coach Kevin O’Neill. This will be the first meeting between these programs since the Jayhawks’ 59-55 win on December 2, 2007. The Trojans are 5-9 all-time against the Jayhawks and have lost five straight in the series since a 89-83 win in 1978. The team picked up a 60-52 home win over Northern Arizona in its last contest a week ago, with senior guard Donte Smith scoring a career-high 22 points. USC is 5-4 ATS on the season and is currently a double-digit underdog on the college basketball lines page.
The Trojans have lost their two true road games this season and are 4-19 in such contests since the 2008-09 campaign. USC will need to have a balanced scoring attack in possibly pulling off a major upset in this contest, which means center Nikola Vucevic will need to regain the form he had when scoring a career-best 24 points in a 73-56 win over then-19th-ranked Texas. “We’re going to be an inside team first,” O’Neill commented. “That’s where our two most experience players are.”
Kansas returns home after a two-game hiatus on the road and will look to improve upon its perfect 9-0 record to start the season. The Jayhawks are a young and talented squad that is constantly testing head coach Bill Self’s ability to adapt. “We’ve got a team of guys that can lose focus for four or five plays,” he commented. “We’re not committed to seeing it through or carrying out assignments, and that’s up to me as a coach.” The team leads the Big 12 in scoring at 87.3 points a game that leads to its incredible plus-27.4 scoring margin over opponents. Kansas is 3-1 ATS as a home favorite of 12.5 or more points this season.
The Jayhawks are excited for the long-awaited debut of Josh Selby, who was suspended for the team’s first nine games by the NCAA for allegations tied to accepting Impermissible benefits. He was the nation’s top recruit coming into the year and the most heralded freshman to come on campus since Danny Manning. “He thinks he’s the baddest boy out here every day regardless of who is out there with him,” Self stated. He’s expected to join a bench that averages 31.3 points a game compared to its opponents’ 20.1 a contest.
Bettors will have a interest in the Trojans 4-1 ATS mark versus the Big 12, while the Jayhawks are 1-4 ATS against Pac-10 opponents.
The college basketball handicappers at Maddux Sports are ready to fire away at a major card this Saturday and can’t wait for you to be a part of it!