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USC vs. UCLA Predictions, Odds, Preview


Mar. 6, 2021
Thom Cunningham
NCAA BK Expert

A big Pac-12 game sees the USC Trojans taking on rivals the UCLA Bruins. Tip for this clash is set for 4 p.m. (ET) and will air on CBS.


USC-UCLA Betting Odds

  • Spread: USC -2.5
  • Money-Line: USC -145 UCLA +125
  • Total: 135.5

Odds Subject to Change

UCLA will open as a rare home underdog, given a +1.5-point spread. USC has covered the spread in 16 of 26 games this season, while UCLA has failed to cover the spread in 13 of 24 games.

The point total is set at 134.5, which favors the OVER for both teams. USC is 14-12 on the O/U this season, while UCLA has gone OVER the point total in 14 of its last 24 games.

The USC Trojans and the UCLA Bruins square off in a huge rivalry game just before entering this year's Pac-12 Tournament. (AP)

Betting Analysis – USC Trojans

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

  • SU: 20-6
  • ATS: 16-10
  • SU - Home: 13-3
  • SU - Away: 7-3
  • O/U: 14-12

USC was able to stop the bleeding with a victory over Stanford, ending almost all hope of a March Madness bid for the Cardinal with a 79-42 win. The Trojans have lost three of their last five games however, now entering a venue in which the Bruins are difficult to beat.

USC is shaky on the road, dropping games to Utah and Oregon State this season. Recently, however, the defense has been just as big of a concern for the Trojans. USC has allowed 71 points or more in four of its last six games, allowing 80 in two of those four.

Evan Mobley leads the team in both points and rebounds per game, while his brother Isaiah Mobley averages 9.9 points and 7.7 rebounds per game. Tahj Eaddy has seen his point per game average climb to 13.7, the senior leader of this club who has scored 13 points or more in eight of his last 10 games.

As a team, the Trojans do a lot of things well - most of which are at the rim. They rank 11th nationally in blocks per game (5.2), they rank 17th nationally in rebounds per game (40.2) and rank 59th nationally in field goal percentage (46.5%).

Betting Analysis – UCLA Bruins

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

  • SU: 17-7
  • ATS: 11-13
  • SU - Home: 11-0
  • SU - Away: 6-7
  • O/U: 14-10

The Bruins have lost two straight games, and although they should make March Madness, a complete drop off isn't out of the picture yet. UCLA needs to be very careful this game and the team they face in the Pac-12 Tournament doesn't get away from them. Much like USC, the Bruins recent concern is the defense.

UCLA has allowed 70 points or more in three of its last four games. Jalen Hill being out probably had some factor there, but he isn't on the injury report as of today. This team has plenty of weapons regardless, so Hill playing is just an extra body to an already talented team.

The Bruins have five players who average a double-digit point total, and the 57th-most efficient offense in the nation. Scoring shouldn't be the issue with UCLA, also hitting 36.9% of its three-pointers which ranks 50th in the nation.

Inside the Stats – USC Trojans

  • PS/G: 74.7 (96th)
  • PA/G: 64.2 (39th)
  • Off Rtg: 108.7 (52nd)
  • Def Rtg: 93.3 (39th)

Inside the Stats – UCLA Bruins

  • PS/G: 73 (140th)
  • PA/G: 68.1 (117th)
  • Off Rtg: 108.5 (57th)
  • Def Rtg: 101.2 (211th)

Key Players to Watch

  • USC - Evan Mobley (16.2 PPG, 8.5 RPG)
  • USC - Tahj Eaddy (13.9 PPG)
  • UCLA - Tyger Campbell (10.6 PPG, 5.7 APG)
  • UCLA - Johnny Juzang (14.2 PPG, 4.3 RPG)

USC-UCLA Predictions

The small spread makes live betting for plus-value the intriguing play in terms of the point spread market. If you fancy either team to win SU, then that would be the best advice to take. Its highly unlikely either school maintains a lead throughout the entire game, so take the team you like at plus-value in a live betting situation.

UCLA would be my pick, but the point total seems to have more conviction. The OVER is slightly favored with both schools at a combined 28-22 O/U record. The point total does seem low enough to consider the possibility of both teams flirting with 70 points, which should be manageable. If you like the Trojans though, its tough to argue against their much better ATS record than the Bruins.

  • Score Prediction: UCLA 68 USC 67
  • Best Bet: OVER


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