Arizona vs USC Odds & Prediction: Betting Value on Wildcats?
Pictured: Arizona Wildcats guard Courtney Ramey #0. (Photo by Christopher Hook/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Arizona vs USC Odds
-115o / -105u
-115o / -105u
The Wildcats are coming off a heartbreaking loss in which they lost on a half-court buzzer-beater. Now, the No. 8 team in the country must pick head to southern California and face USC before a massive season finale against UCLA.
The Trojans are rolling into this matchup as they have won four straight games. However, Arizona is a big step up in competition from the teams they’ve toppled lately.
Can the Wildcats get back on track? Or will the Trojans catch them looking ahead? Let’s dive in to find out.
Arizona is a prolific offensive team that can do it all. The Wildcats have the size to dominate down low, the sharpshooting backcourt to sink shots from deep and the tempo to run with anyone in the country.
They are going to need to implement all of the above to get past the Trojans, but the good news is they should be effective in each aspect.
Let’s start down low.
Azuolas Tubelis and Oumar Ballo are in the conversation for the best frontcourt in the country, as both can finish around the rim and dominate the glass. However, they will have to contend with Joshua Morgan, who is the 14th-best shot blocker in the country. While he may be a tough matchup, he can’t guard both Tubelis and Ballo.
Then you go beyond the arc.
This is the area where the Wildcats have the biggest edge. USC is 108th in 3-point percentage allowed and Arizona’s backcourt of Kerr Kriisa and Courtney Ramey has been excellent from long range.
Lastly, this game will likely be a bit uptempo as the Trojans are 91st in average offensive possession length. That pales in comparison to the Wildcats’ rank of 11th, but it does give Arizona an opportunity to utilize its athleticism and skill in transition.
If you watch the Trojans, you’ll see quickly who they want to run their offense. The USC offense features the dynamic backcourt duo of Boogie Ellis and Drew Peterson.
The two have complementary skillsets, but are both dangerous from the mid-range, where USC has generated over 35% of its offense. However, the Wildcats proved in the first meeting that they could contest USC’s jumpers and hold the Trojans in check.
Ellis and Peterson combined for 26 points and shot 5-for-27 from the field in that game. If the Wildcats can replicate that performance, it could be another long night for the Trojans, who lack the supporting cast to pick up the slack if their stars slump.
Arizona vs USC Betting Pick
The Wildcats opened up as short road favorites, but the 1.5-point spread is surprising when you consider that they won the first meeting by 15.
The market is likely factoring in USC’s hot streak and the possibility of the Wildcats looking ahead. However, the lookahead spot is a facade as Arizona is three games out of the Pac-12 regular-season title and needs this win to pad its resume.
The Wildcats should roll offensively and also have the size to contain the Trojans’ only two weapons. Back Arizona to rout USC.
Pick: Arizona -1 (Play to -3)
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