Last Updated Jan 28, 2023, 7:20 AM
UCLA Bruins vs. USC Trojans Picks, Predictions, Odds
Sports Betting Expert
The UCLA Bruins are running away with the Pac-12, and they can put a hammerlock on the conference this Thursday night with a win over the rival USC Trojans. UCLA was able to knock off USC in the first meeting between these teams back on January 5, but it was a two-point win for the Bruins at home, and they will have to head across town to take on the Trojans in the rematch.
On Thursday, January 26, 2023, the USC Trojans will host the UCLA Bruins at the Galen Center in Los Angeles, California. The game will be broadcast on ESPN2 at 9 p.m. ET.
UCLA Bruins vs. USC Trojans Betting Prediction
After falling to Arizona last weekend, the UCLA Bruins will look to get back to their winning ways on Thursday night. UCLA is the top team in the Pac-12 at 17-3 overall and 8-1 in conference play. In the first game between these teams, the Bruins took an 18-point lead into halftime against USC before going ice cold from the field in the second half.
UCLA only scored 16 points after halftime, so the Bruins had to hold on for a narrow 60-58 win. They won't have the same issues this time and will end up cruising to a comfortable win over the Trojans on Thursday night.
Score Prediction: UCLA 79, USC 64
Best Bet: UCLA -5.5
UCLA Bruins vs. USC Trojans Betting Odds
UCLA Bruins vs. USC Trojans Betting Resources
Date: Thursday, Jan. 26, 2023
TV-Time: ESPN2, 9:00 p.m. ET
Venue: Galen Center
Location: Los Angeles, California
UCLA Bruins vs. USC Trojans Betting Stats
Straight Up (SU), Against the Spread (ATS), Over-Under (O/U)
Points Per Game (PPG), Opponents Points Per Game (OPPG)
UCLA Bruins Betting Analysis
This is a veteran team led by Jaime Jaquez Jr., Tyger Campbell, and Jaylen Clark. Jaquez Jr. is the leading scorer and rebounder on the team as a 6'7 guard, averaging 16.1 PPG and 7.2 RPG. He is making 48.9% of his field goals, but his three-point shooting has been disappointing. He is making less than 30% of his perimeter shots on the season.
Clark is the second leading scorer and is posting similar stats to Jaquez with 13.9 PPG and 7.0 RPG. He is more efficient from the field, knocking down 49.5% of his field goals and 34% of his threes, and he is one of the best on-ball defenders in the country with 2.7 SPG. As for Campbell, he is the distributor on the team. He is averaging 13.8 PPG and leads UCLA with 4.6 APG, but he isn't a very efficient scorer. David Singleton is the perimeter shooter to watch on UCLA, as he is sinking 44.1% of his threes.
Freshman Amari Bailey was the one young gun that was having a big impact on this team, averaging 9.5 PPG, 3.3 RPG, and 2.3 APG before suffering a foot injury. Bailey is still out for the foreseeable future, so that has led to fellow freshmen Adem Bona receiving more playing time. Bona gives the Bruins some size off the bench at 6'10, and that will come in handy here as the Trojans have four starters that are 6'6 or taller.
USC Trojans Betting Analysis
Seniors Boogie Ellis and Drew Peterson are the only players averaging more than 10 PPG for USC. Ellis is the team's leading scorer, averaging 15.6 PPG while making 43.3% of his field goals and 37.2% of his threes. Peterson is listed as a guard, but he plays more like a forward at 6'9, and he is averaging 14.0 PPG and leads USC with 6.6 RPG and 4.8 APG. He isn't a very efficient shooter for his size though, hitting just 45.5% of his field goals and 35.1% of his threes.
No one else on USC is averaging over 10 PPG, and that is why this offense struggles in a number of areas. According to Ken Pomeroy, the Trojans turn the ball over on 19.6% of their possessions, and they are an awful perimeter shooting team. USC is making just 31.8% of its threes on the year. Additionally, although they have size, they struggle on the glass. USC ranks outside the top 100 teams in offensive rebounding percentage, and the Trojans really struggle when it comes to limiting second chances for opponents off of misses.
USC is a fringe NCAA Tournament team because of its defense. The Trojans rank 15th nationally in effective field goal percentage on defense, and they do a great job of stopping opponents in the paint. Opposing teams are hitting just 41.7% of their two-point attempts against this team, and the Trojans record a lot of blocks. Joshua Morgan ranks 10th nationally in block rate, and he is averaging 2.6 BPG.