Colorado vs. USC Predictions, Odds

  • December 31, 2020
  • By Thom Cunningham

The Colorado Buffaloes look to rebound after a tough road loss, traveling to Los Angeles in a crucial Pac-12 game against the USC Trojans. Tip from the Galen Center is set for 10:00 p.m. (ET) and will air on ESPN.



Colorado-USC Betting Odds

Line Movements

  • Spread: USC -1
  • Money-Line: TBD
  • Total: 139.5

Odds Subject to Change

The Trojans enter as one-point home favorites, as Colorado is now a one-point underdog in its second straight conference road game. The Buffaloes competed well against Arizona in their last road game, but were eventually left in the dust as Arizona ran away with the game.

The two schools are a combined 9-5 ATS, while the point total is a bit more different. Colorado has gone UNDER the point total in five of its last eight games, while USC has gone OVER in four of six. The point total is set at 139.5 for this game.


Betting Analysis – Colorado Buffaloes

Straight Up - SU, Against the Spread - ATS, Over-Under (O/U)

  • SU: 6-2
  • ATS: 5-3
  • SU - Home: 4-0
  • SU - Away: 2-2
  • O/U: 3-5

This game won't be any easier for Colorado, suffering a pretty ugly road loss to Arizona last time out. The Buffaloes played well in the first half, and were able to keep pace with Arizona scoring 50 first half points. Colorado's recipe to success is defense, so allowing 50 first half points to USC will result in another defeat.

McKinley Wright IV needs to step up, not very productive against the Wildcats. Wright IV has scored 10 points or less in two of his last three games, with only one made three-point shot in those three games. If McKinley Wright can't produce points, Colorado will have no choice but to rely solely on its defense to win.

They can do that, as it's extremely unlikely the Buffaloes allow an absurd amount of half points in a second straight game. Colorado has the 31st-fewest points allowed per game nationally (61.2), and that's after a blindsided offensive outpour from Arizona. Don't expect the Buffaloes defense to replicate its atrocious performance in Tucson.

The team was due for a gut check, allowing 69 points or fewer in all seven games prior to the Arizona point party. If Colorado does allow another offensive outpour from its home adversary, then this team is in danger for 2021. The Buffaloes have UCLA on the road next, and losing three straight in this conference isn't an ideal way to convince selectors of a March Madness bid.

Betting Analysis – USC Trojans

Straight Up - SU, Against the Spread - ATS, Over-Under (O/U)

  • SU: 5-1
  • ATS: 4-2
  • SU - Home: 4-1
  • SU - Away: 1-0
  • O/U: 4-2

What makes USC a good pick in this game is that the Trojans can match Colorado's big men. Evan Mobley and Isaiah Mobley lead the team with over eight boards per game. Evan also averages 17.5 points, while Isaiah averages 10. The Mobley's are going to be a big reason if USC wins this game, competing in the glass game with Jeriah Horne and Evan Battey.

Tahj Eddy and Drew Peterson must produce however, each averaging over 11 points per game and the veteran leaders of this USC club. This is a tall USC team, averaging 43.2 rebounds per game (19th-best in nation) and 5.7 blocks per game (12th-best in nation). Colorado should lose the big man game to USC, which makes Wright IV's play even more crucial.

If USC can control the big men, and force Wright IV into another abysmal offensive performance, the Trojans should be fine winning this home game. The only real concern for USC is that they've only played one game since Dec. 8, and that was against Santa Clara.

Inside the Stats – Colorado Buffaloes

  • PS/G: 77.4 (100th)
  • PA/G: 61.2 (31st)
  • Off Rtg: 113.6 (39th)
  • Def Rtg: 89.9 (62nd)

Inside the Stats – USC Trojans

  • PS/G: 80.8 (62nd)
  • PA/G: 63.7 (61st)
  • Off Rtg: 112.3 (48th)
  • Def Rtg: 88.4 (52nd)

Key Players to Watch

  • CU - McKinley Wright IV (15.5 PPG, 4.8 RPG, 5.6 APG)
  • CU - Jeriah Horne (10.9 PPG, 6.3 RPG)
  • USC - Evan Mobley (17.5 PPG, 8.7 RPG)
  • USC - Isaiah Mobley (10 PPG, 8.8 RPG)

Colorado-USC Predictions

Lack of consistency is the only reason USC isn't a certified lock in this game. They escaped against Cal Baptist in overtime, while losing on the road to UConn. The Trojans were impressive in a neutral court win over BYU, but facing Colorado is going to be the first true test.

If this game is low-scoring, then Colorado should manage. Whether or not the Buffaloes will be able to keep pace with USC is the big question, or at the very least can they bring USC's pace of play down? Colorado tried to play with Arizona's fast-tempo, which bit them in the rear.

Expect Colorado to keep this game within reach, and learn from errors against Arizona - which includes a much slower game. It's rare to see Colorado give up 80-plus points in back-to-back games. USC didn't score 80 against Montana, UConn or BYU - all solid defensive teams. Buying into USC not touching 80, and facing a much more focused Colorado team - the point total should go UNDER.

Neither team has a lot of conviction in terms of picking a winner. Although Colorado has a good chance to win if the point total is low, USC is the more athletic team and playing at home. Playing the odds, going UNDER is the best bet compared to picking a winner. If you must wager a winner, go with the home team as it will take an offensive USC meltdown for Colorado to comfortably win this game.

  • Score Prediction: USC 70 Colorado 69
  • Best Bets: UNDER
  • Best Bets: USC SU

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