Pac 12 Betting Picks: #10 Utah Utes vs #7 Southern California Trojans

Pac 12 Tournament First Round
#10 Utah Utes vs #7 Southern California Trojans
Wednesday, March 13, 2013, 9:00 pm Eastern, TV: Pac 12 Network
MGM Grand Arena – Las Vegas, Nevada
Opening Line: USC -1 1/2
Current Line: USC -2
Opening Total: 124
Current Total: 124
Opening Money Line: USC -125 / Utah +105
Current Money Line: USC -125 / Utah +105

Utah is a slight underdog against USC in the first round of the Pac 12 tournament Wednesday in Las Vegas.
Utah is a slight underdog against USC in the first round of the Pac 12 tournament Wednesday in Las Vegas.

The 14-17 USC Trojans take on the 13-17 Utah Utes in the first round of the Pac 12 tournament. The Trojans were 9-9 in conference and part of a 4 way tie for 6th in the conference with Stanford, Arizona St, and Washington. USC was seeded 7th via the tiebreaker. Utah was 5-13 in conference and finished 10th. The winner of this game will take on #2 seed California in Thursday’s quarters.

USC leads the series 17-14 against Utah, and the Trojans have won 3 straight games in the series. USC won the only meeting this season 76-59 January 12 in Salt Lake City.

Utah is coached by Larry Krystkowiak. The Utes have losses to Sacramento St, at SMU, at BYU, CS-Northridge, at Arizona St, Arizona twice, UCLA, USC, at Washington St, Cal twice, Stanford twice, at Oregon St, Oregon, and at Colorado. The Utes have key wins over Central Michigan, Wright St, Boise St, SMU, at Washington, Colorado, Arizona St, Oregon St, and Oregon 72-62 Saturday to close out the regular season Saturday. Utah swept the Oregon schools to break a 4 game losing streak. Utah is 18-9-1 ATS and the total is 9-9 this season.

Utah is outscoring teams 64-63 this season. The Utes are shooting 44.5% from the field and 35.7% from 3 point range. Utah is 23rd nationally in free throw shooting at 74.7% from the line. Utah averages 34.5 rebounds per game and gives up 30.6 per game. Utah opponents are shooting 39.7% from the field and 33.4% from 3 point range. The Utes average 14 assists, 6 steals, 3 blocks and 13 turnovers.

Guard Jarred DuBois averages 12.2 points, 2.6 rebounds, and 3.1 assists. Forward Jordan Loveridge averages 11.9 points, 6.9 rebounds, and 1.9 assists. Center Jason Washburn averages 11.8 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 1.5 blocks per game. Brandon Taylor averages 6.5 points, 1.6 rebounds, and 2 assists per game. Guard Aaron Dotson is questionable 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, Arizona, and Arizona St ¬†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, Oregon, and UCLA along with road losses at Nebraska, New Mexico, Georgia, Colorado Arizona St, Arizona, Washington, and Washington St. USC lost at Washington St last Saturday 76-51 to close out the regular season. The Trojans are 11-16-3 ATS and the total is 14-12 this season.

USC is being outscored 68-66 this season. The Trojans are shooting 42.7% from the field and 32.6% from 3 point range. USC makes 69.1% of their free throws. The Trojans average 35.2 rebounds per game, and they give up 32.5 per game. USC opponents are shooting 41.6% from the field and 34.2% from 3 point range. The Trojans average 13 assists, 6 steals, 5 blocks, and 14 turnovers a game.

Forward Eric Wise averages 11.9 points, 5.6 rebounds, 1.7 assists, and 1 steal a game. Guard J.T. Terrell averages 11.6 points, and 2 rebounds per game. Guard Byron Wesley averages 10.3 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 1.9 assists per game. Guard Jio Fontan averages 9.5 points, 5.7 assists. and 1.2 rebounds per game. He is probable with an ankle injury. Center Omar Oraby averages 5.9 points, 3.7 rebounds, and 1.5 blocks per game. Forward Dewayne Dedmon averages 6.7 points, 7 rebounds, 2.1 blocks and 1.1 steals per game. He is suspended indefinitely along with reserve center James Blascyzk for their role in allegedly instigating a melee last week in Spokane, Washington when the Trojans traveled there to play Washington St. Aaron Fuller and Chass Bryan also get significant minutes.

USC is 7-15-1 ATS after failing to cover, 16-35-3 overall, 9-23-1 after a straight up loss, 1-4-1 in Pac 12 games, and 1-5 against teams with winning records.

Utah is 4-1 ATS after a straight up win, 6-2 against teams with losing records, and against Pac 12 teams, 5-2-1 in Wednesday games, 25-10-1 overall, and 7-3-1 after a straight-up win.

Who know how USC will react with the loss of two key players, especially Dedman. Fontan should play, but might not be 100%. Anything can happen in the crazy Pac 12, where any team can beat any of the others on a given day and they have. I like Utah to pull off the mild upset against a too inconsistent USC team.

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