#12 UCLA vs #21 USC College Basketball Predictions, Preview & Odds

#12 UCLA vs #21 USC | College Basketball Predictions, Preview & Odds

Los Angeles is considered more of a college football town than basketball, but the City of Angels has two Final Four contenders in No. 12 UCLA and No. 21 USC and they face off in a terrific late-night matchup Saturday. Check back for NCAAB odds.

How to Bet UCLA at USC NCAA Basketball Odds & TV Info

  • When: Saturday 10 PM ET
  • Where: Galen Center
  • TV: ESPN
  • Stream: ESPN app
  • Radio: Tunein.com
  • Opening NCAAB Lines: TBA

Last Meeting

It’s the first of two meetings between the schools. The Trojans won both last year, including 66-48 at home. Ethan Anderson had five 3-pointers and 19 points, and Tahj Eaddy added 16 points for the Trojans. Anderson is still with the team but Eaddy isn’t. Johnny Juzang led the short-handed Bruins with 13 points and 13 rebounds. He was their only double-digit scorer. Big men Cody Riley (right ankle) and Jalen Hill (personal reasons) were out. Riley is still around.

UCLA leads the all-time series against USC by a 143-113 margin (dating back to 1928). UCLA has gone 8-7 against USC at the Galen Center (the arena opened prior to the 2006-07 season).

Why Bet on UCLA?

The Bruins (17-4) snapped a two-game skid with a 79-70 win at Stanford on Tuesday. Jamie Jaquez missed two easy layups to start the second half. Johnny Juzang then drained a 3-pointer and was fouled. That sparked an 11-0 run, putting UCLA ahead 52-37 five minutes into the second half. Stanford never got closer than seven points the rest of the way. UCLA turned the ball over a season-low six times. The Bruins came into the game ranked fifth nationally in fewest turnovers (9.5).

“Offensively, that’s as good as we’ve played in a while,” coach Mick Cronin said. “We ran the floor and passed the ball better than we have.”

Juzang led all scorers with 23 points on the night, his second-straight 20+ point outing and eighth on the season. Jaquez Jr. and Tyger Campbell added 14 points apiece for UCLA, with Campbell adding a game-high seven assists.

Juzang has been named to the midseason team for the 2022 Naismith Trophy, as announced Thursday by the Atlanta Tipoff Club. The guard has averaged a team-best 18.1 points per game this season. Juzang currently ranks second in the Pac-12 in scoring. He has shot 45.5 percent from the field this season and 36.8 percent from 3-point territory. He leads all UCLA players in 3-pointers made (35) and has shot a team-best 84.9 percent from the free throw line (45-of-53).

UCLA has gone 6-2 in true road games and 10-1 at home (the Bruins are 1-1 in a pair of neutral site contests). The Bruins rank No. 2 in the Pac-12 in margin of victory (11.9 ppg) and points per game (77.8 ppg). UCLA ranks in the top 11 nationally in fewest turnovers per game (No. 4, at 9.3) and turnover margin (No. 11, at 4.7).

Why Bet on USC?

USC (20-4) escaped vs. Pacific on Tuesday, 74-68, playing without star Isaiah Mobley. He suffered a non-displaced fracture during last Saturday’s game against Arizona. Not clear if Mobley will play in this one. He leads the team in most major statistical categories. In Mobley’s absence vs. Pacific, Isaiah White got shifted to the starting lineup and Max Agbonkpolo got the start over Ethan Anderson, and those two combined for just eight points on 2-12 shooting from the field.

Pacific led 30-22 at halftime, and pushed their advantage to a game-high 13 points at 39-26 with 17:01 remaining after a layup from Nick Blake. USC’s comeback was aided by three 3-pointers from freshman Harrison Hornery, who entered with just five total points in 15 career minutes. After a Drew Peterson basket with 5:27 remaining gave USC a 57-56 lead, the Trojans never trailed again while winning for the third time in their last four games. USC shot 61.5% from the field in the second half and outscored Pacific 52-38 in the final period.

“Defensively in the first half, we gave them too many shots at the rim,” USC head coach Andy Enfield said. “In the second half, we went to zone and did a better job protecting the lane and the 3-point shots. Our goal was to speed the tempo with the press, but we couldn’t make shots so we couldn’t press.”

Boogie Ellis finished with 13 points and Drew Peterson and Chevez Goodwin each scored 12 for USC. The Trojans improved to 10-2 at the Galen Center this season. USC is 57-8 in home nonconference games under Andy Enfield, including 45-5 in the last 50 regular season home nonconference games.

USC picked up its 20th win of the season. USC has won 20 or more games the last three seasons, matching the school’s best streak of 3 consecutive 20-win seasons (2016-18). USC’s 20-4 start to the season is its best since also being 20-4 to start the 2017 seasons.

Expert Prediction

  • UCLA 71, USC 69
 
 

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