Pac 12 College Basketball Picks: #23 USC Trojans at Arizona State Sun Devils

#23 Southern California Trojans at Arizona State Sun Devils
Friday, February 12, 2016, 8:00 pm Eastern, TV: Pac 12 Network
Wells Fargo Arena – Tempe, Arizona
Opening Line: USC -1
Current Line: USC -1 1/2
Opening Total: 155 1/2
Current Total: 157
Opening Money Line: USC -115 / ASU -105
Current Money Line: USC -120 / ASU +100

Big South Tournament
USC is a slight road favorite against Arizona State Friday night.

The 18-5 Southern California Trojans are off to their best start since the 1991-92 season. The Trojans are 7-3 in the Pac 12 and alone in second behind 9-3 Oregon. The Trojans look to return to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2011. Next up, is a Valentine’s Day weekend trip to the Arizona schools. USC travels to the 13-11 Arizona State Sun Devils Friday night. The Sun Devils are 3-8 in conference and alone in 11th place ahead of only 1-11 Washington State.

USC leads the series 54-38 against Arizona State. The Sun Devils have won seven of the last eight games against the Trojans in Tempe, but USC is 7-2 in the last nine in LA. The Trojans won 75-65 in Los Angeles January 7.

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, and Oregon State. USC has won three straight games. 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 80-61 February 4. 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 15-7-1 ATS this season and the total is 12-11. USC was a 5 point favorite against UCLA and the total was 161.5.

Arizona State is coached by Bobby Hurley. The Sun Devils have a neutral site loss to Marquette in a tournament in Brooklyn, plus road losses at Kentucky, USC, UCLA, California, Stanford, and Washington. ASU also has home losses to Sacramento State, Arizona, Washington and Oregon. The Sun Devils have a neutral site win over North Carolina State in Brooklyn, plus home wins over UC-Santa Barbara, Texas A&M, Stephen F. Austin, Washington State and Oregon State. ASU has road wins at Creighton, UNLV, and Washington State 67-55 last Saturday. Arizona State is 11-11-1 ATS and the total is 15-7 this season. The Sun Devils were 3 point favorites against Washington State and the total was 152.

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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 State is outscoring teams 76-73 this season. The Sun Devils are shooting 42.7% from the field and 33.6% from 3 point range. ASU makes 70.1% of their free throws. Opponents are shooting 45% from the field and 34.5% from 3 point range. ASU averages 37.8 rebounds per game and opponents average 31.8 per game. The Sun Devils average 13 assists, 12.2 turnovers, 5.5 steals and 3 blocks per game. Opponents average 14.9 assists, 13.5 turnovers, 5.8 steals and 4.8 blocks per game.

Tra Holder averages 15.5 points, 3.6 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 1 steal a game. Gerry Blakes averages 10.9 points, 5.4 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1 steal per game. Willie Atwood averages 10 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 1.4 assists per game. Savon Goodman averages 9.9 points, and 6.9 rebounds. Obinna Oleka averages 9.7 points and 5.1 rebounds per game. Kodi Justice, Eric Jacobsen and Andre Spight will also get time in the rotation.

USC is 4-1 ATS after a straight up win, 8-3-1 against teams with winning records, 9-4-1 after a cover, 18-8-1 overall, 27-13 after three or more straight home games, 2-6 in Friday games, and against teams with winning records. The road team is 4-1 ATS in this series recently.

Arizona State is 4-1 ATS against teams with losing road records, 9-4 in Friday games, 5-12 against Pac 12 teams, 7-18-2 after a cover, and 1-5 after a straight up win. The under is 5-0 in this series recently.

USC is projected to be around a five seed in the NCAA Tournament, while Arizona State will struggle to even make the NIT. The Trojans are well rested as they haven’t played a game in nine days. I like USC to win and 1.5 points seems like a bargain.

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