After a 79-70 win over Stanford snapped a two-game losing streak, the 17-4 #12 UCLA Bruins take on the 20-4 #21 USC Trojans tonight at 7:00 PM PST. WynnBET has the Bruins as 1.5-point favorites and -123 on the moneyline (bet $12.30 to win $10) while the over/under is set at 136.5 for this UCLA vs USC matchup.
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This is how we’re betting this game:
UCLA vs USC Prediction
UCLA comes in as a well-balanced but flawed team, they have the 20th-best adjusted offensive efficiency and 23rd-best defensive efficiency, but they tend to fall into isolation-ball on offense with star Johnny Juzang if the opposing defense is able to frustrate them.
They’ll need to remain focused against a USC defense that ranks 4th in opposing 2-point shooting percentage behind one of the longest starting lineups in the country. The Trojans have just the 333rd-highest defensive turnover rate though, so a Bruins offense that protects the ball as well as any team in America will have an opportunity to look for open shots if they can stay patient.
USC is just 1-4 against the spread (ATS) in their last five and nearly lost to Pacific as 19-point favorites in their last game so UCLA is catching the Trojans at the right time. They are just 1-8 ATS in their last nine home games but the Bruins are just 2-4 ATS in their last six road games.
I struggle to trust either team in this situation, but the total does present value. Prior to their triple-overtime loss to Arizona State, the under was 5-0-1 in UCLA’s last six road games and this matchup sets up well for another under cash.
The Trojans’ length should frustrate the Bruins and force them into long possessions. Neither team forces many turnovers or shoot free throws at a high rate while playing at tempos that rank outside of the top 200 nationally, so we should have a slow game without many free points created by offensive rebounds and fast breaks.
Each of the last four times these teams played each other, the score went under the total. I think tonight will make it five in a row and am taking the under 136.5 (-110) as my best bet.
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