Pac 12 Basketball Betting Picks: #23 USC Trojans at #17 Arizona Wildcats

#23 Southern California Trojans at #17 Arizona Wildcats
Sunday,February 14, 2016, 8:00 pm Eastern, TV: Fox Sports 1
McKale Center – Tucson, Arizona
Opening Line: Arizona -9
Current Line: Arizona -9
Opening Total: 154 1/2
Current Total: 155 1/2
Opening Money Line: Arizona -500 / USC +400
Current Money Line: Arizona -500 / USC +400

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Arizona is a 9 point favorite against USC Sunday in Tucson.

Oregon was two games clear in the loss column in the Pac 12 entering this week’s games. However, the Ducks were swept in their Northern California road trip losing to both Cal and Stanford. This has tightened up the Pac 12 race considerably. The Ducks still lead the conference at 9-4 but the 8-4 Arizona Wildcats and 7-4 Southern California Trojans are right there. The 20-5 Wildcats host the 18-6 Trojans Sunday night in a battle of ranked teams. Three other Pac 12 teams have five losses.

Arizona leads the series 63-42 including 37-10 in Tucson. Arizona has won seven of the last ten overall against USC. The Trojans won 103-101 in four overtimes January 9 of this year in Los Angeles.

USC is coached by Andy Enfield. The Trojans have losses to Xavier and Monmouth in a tournament in Orlando, plus road losses at Washington, Oregon, Oregon State and Arizona State 74-67 Friday night. USC had won three straight games before that loss against ASU. The Trojans have home wins over San Diego, Monmouth, New Mexico, CS-Northridge, Idaho, Yale, Cal Poly, Arizona State, Arizona, Washington State, Washington and UCLA. USC has a neutral site win over Wichita State in Orlando, plus road wins over UC-Santa Barbara, Washington State and UCLA. The Trojans are 15-8-1 ATS this season and the total is 12-12. USC was a 1 point underdog against Arizona State and the total was 157.5.

Arizona is coached by Sean Miller. The Wildcats have a neutral site loss to Providence in Fullerton, CA, road losses at UCLA, USC, and California, plus a home loss to Oregon. Arizona has neutral site wins over Santa Clara in Fullerton and Boise State in Anaheim. The Wildcats have home wins over Pacific, Bradley, Boise State, Fresno State, Missouri, UNLV, Long Beach State, Washington State, Washington, Oregon State and UCLA 81-75 Friday night. Arizona has road wins at Gonzaga, Arizona State, Stanford, Washington State and Washington. The Wildcats have won four straight games. Arizona was an 11.5 point favorite against UCLA and the total was 152. The Wildcats are 14-11 ATS and the total is 16-9 this season.

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USC is outscoring teams 84-73 this season. The Trojans are #12 in scoring nationally. USC is shooting 46.2% from the field and 38.8% from three point range. The Trojans are #28 in three point shooting nationally. Southern Cal makes 68.7% of their free throws. Opponents are shooting 39.8% from the field and 30.3% from three point range. The Trojans are #33 or better in both categories. USC averages 41.8 rebounds per game and opponents average 35.1. The Trojans are #10 nationally in rebounding but #297 in rebounds allowed. USC averages 15.7 assists, 12.7 rebounds, 6.5 steals and 5.8 blocks per game. Opponents average 13 assists, 13 turnovers, 6.2 steals and 4 blocks per game.

Guard Jordan McLaughlin averages 12.6 points, 3.7 rebounds, 5.1 assists and 1.6 steals per game. Guard Katin Reinhardt averages 12.4 points, 3.1 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1.2 steals per game. Julian Jacobs averages 12.3 points, 5.3 rebounds, 5.9 assists and 1.4 steals per game. Nikola Jovanovic averages 12.3 points and 7.1 rebounds per game. Elijah Stewart averages 11 points and 4 rebounds per game. Chimezie Metu averages 7 points, 3.7 rebounds and 1.7 blocks per game. Forward Darion Clark is out until late February with a shoulder injury.

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Arizona is outscoring teams 81-68 this season. The Wildcats are #22 in scoring. Arizona is shooting 48.8% from the field and 37.6% from 3 point range. The Wildcats are #14 nationally in field goal percentage. Arizona makes 72.5% of their free throws. Opponents are shooting 41.7% from the field and 31.8% from 3 point range. Arizona averages 40.4 rebounds per game and opponents average 26.2. The Wildcats are #31 in  rebounding and #3 in rebounds allowed nationally. Arizona averages 14.8 assists, 13.4 turnovers, 5.3 steals and 4.4 blocks per game. Opponents average 12.7 assists, 12.2 turnovers, 5.2 steals and 3.2 blocks per game.

Ryan Anderson averages 16 points and 10.6 rebounds per game. Gabe York averages 14.7 points, 3.4 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game. Allonzo Trier averages 14.5 points, 3.3 rebounds and 1.1 assists per game. Caleb Tarczewski averages 9.9 points and 8.6 rebounds per game. Kadeem Allen, Mark Tollefsen, and Dusan Ristic all average at least 8 points a game. Guard Elliot Pitts and Ray Smith are both out for the season.

USC is 8-3 ATS after failing to cover, 15-7-1 against teams with winning records, 1-4 in road games and against teams with winning home records. The over is 5-2 in Tucson between these teams recently.

Arizona is 4-1 ATS in Sunday games, 8-3 at home, 21-8 against Pac 12 teams, 10-4 after a straight up win, 13-6 overall, and 23-11 against teams with winning records. The home team is 5-1 ATS in this series recently. The favorite is 5-2 ATS recently. The Wildcats have covered 6 of the last 8 against the Trojans including 5-0 in Tucson.

The loss Friday night at Arizona State was disappointing for the Trojans as they want to prove they are truly a Pac 12 title contender. It doesn’t get any easier as they travel south to Tucson from Tempe. Arizona is arguably playing their best basketball of the season, although they were a top ten team earlier in the season. Arizona is #3 in rebounds allowed and USC is in the top ten in rebounding. If Arizona can control the boards, then I like the Wildcats to win comfortably at home.

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