Washington State vs USC Odds, Picks: Pac-12 NCAAB Betting Guide

Washington State vs USC Odds, Picks: Pac-12 NCAAB Betting Guide article feature image

Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images. Pictured: Boogie Ellis (5) of the USC Trojans.

Washington State vs USC Odds

Thursday, Feb. 2
11 p.m. ET
Washington State Odds
-110o / -110u
USC Odds
-110o / -110u
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute college basketball odds here.

On Thursday nights, we bet Pac-12 basketball — and one of the best matchups on tonight's slate is the Washington State Cougars vs. the USC Trojans.

The Cougars have been streaky, seemingly trading wins and losses in bunches throughout the season. With this trend has come a few good wins but many more bad losses as they sit 10-13 on the year.

However, one of Washington State's wins came against the USC Trojans, who will be looking for revenge on their home floor. The Trojans enter Thursday's game with momentum — winners in four of their last five games, including big victories over Utah and UCLA.

So with the stage set, let's dive into this Pac-12 showdown and evaluate whether or not to back the Trojans' bid to split the season series with the Cougars.

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Washington State Cougars

It is clear which players opposing coaches circle in their game plan against Washington State: TJ Bamba and Mouhamed Gueye are this team's 1-2 punch. Bamba and other backcourt members must play to their strengths and stretch this USC defense out.

The Cougars will let it fly from deep; 42.5% of their shots come from beyond the arc. Meanwhile, the Trojans are a team that has been burned perimeter shooting; nearly 35% of the points they've surrendered have been 3-pointers.

This mismatch and game plan fit Washington State's offensive profile, but it also increases the team's variance. Haslametrics projects the Cougars to shoot nearly 37% from beyond the arc, but far lower in all other areas of the court. That brings their projected field goal percentage to 5.2% below the Division-I average.

If the Trojans can close out on shooters and prevent Gueye from getting good position inside, then they could force some extended cold stretches for the Cougars.

USC Trojans

This Trojans team should come into this matchup with plenty of confidence. We have not seen them since last Thursday, but the performance by USC summoned against UCLA is precisely the type that can carry over.

After being held in check in the first half, the Trojans came out and blew the doors off in the second stanza. USC erased a 12-point deficit and turned it into a 13-point win as Boogie Ellis dropped 31 points.

The Trojans' star backcourt of Ellis and Peterson should stay hot, because the Cougars defense will likely give up plenty of good midrange looks. Washington State ranks 200th in 2-point percentage allowed, and USC is projected to have more than 38% of their shots come from the midrange in this game.

Expect USC to take advantage of this mismatch by executing through the high pick and roll, creating space for jumpers or opening up driving lanes. The Trojans should also be able to finish around the rim: Washington State is 230th in block rate.

Washington State vs USC Betting Pick

This is a smash spot for the Trojans — nearly everything points in their direction. They have an excellent matchup that fits their offensive strengths, and they have had a week of preparation. So, the game plan should be clear on the defensive end of the floor.

Also, USC is at home, which is another significant edge. Washington State has struggled away from home and has only one true road victory all season.

Back the Trojans to roll.

Pick: USC -6.5 ⋅ Play to -7

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