College Basketball Odds, Picks & Predictions for Auburn vs. USC (Sunday, Dec. 18)
Photo by Michael Chang/Getty Images. Pictured: Tre Donaldson (Auburn)
- Auburn and USC square off in one of the best games on Sunday's college basketball slate.
- Both defenses should be locked in for this one, and it should reflect that on the scoreboard.
- Keg dives in to provide a preview and a pick below.
Auburn vs. USC Odds
-110o / -110u
-110o / -110u
USC is 8-3 on the season and looking to extend its four-game winning streak.
Auburn, meanwhile, is 9-1 on the season, with its only loss coming on a neutral court against Memphis. This, however, will be the Tigers’ first true road game of the season, and they have struggled at times against inferior competition.
While USC may be 6-1 at home on the season, it’s just 1-6 ATS. The Trojans played a close game against the only top-25 team they played so far this season, losing to Tennessee, 73-66, in overtime.
How much will the Trojans’ home court play a factor against the Tigers?
Auburn’s offense has been solid, as it’s averaging 72.9 points per game. Despite only beating Georgia State by eight, the Tigers hit an insane 66% from the field in the second half.
One key factor Auburn has relied on this season has been its ability to come down with offensive rebounds. The Tigers average 13.3 offensive rebounds per game, coming in at the 93rd percentile. They also rank in the 93rd percentile when it comes to second-chance points, averaging 14 per contest.
USC, meanwhile, has struggled to limit teams’ second-chances. Opponents average 10.5 offensive rebounds against the Trojans, which has them ranked outside the top 300.
On the defensive end, USC is struggling, specifically from beyond the arc.
On the other end of the floor, this Tigers team should make success from beyond the arc even harder to come by for the Trojans. USC is hitting just 32.2% of its 3-point attempts, while Auburn is 13th in the nation, limiting opposing teams to just 27.1% from beyond the arc.
The Tigers also rank 22nd in the nation when it comes to opponents’ overall shooting percentage. Points should be even harder to come by than they already are for this USC team.
USC has been far more consistent overall than the Tigers. The problem is the Trojans have consistently failed to cover the spread.
The Trojans haven’t been a great shooting team from really anywhere on the floor, but they’ve taken a significant chunk of their shots from the mid-range.
The Trojans rank in the 97th percentile, with 21.8% of their field-goal attempts coming from mid-range 2-point shots. Unfortunately for USC, the Tigers have held opposing teams to just 23.7% from the mid-range.
Another major issue for USC on the offensive end has been turnovers. The Trojans have seen 19.6% of their possessions end in a turnover. Auburn, meanwhile, has forced opponents to turn the ball over on 21.3% of their possessions so far this season.
If USC can’t find success in the mid-range and continues to struggle with turnovers, this game could get out of hand quickly.
Auburn vs. USC Betting Pick
USC is 17-2 in the month of December over the last three seasons. And with this being Auburn’s first true away game — it has to travel across the country — I think this could become a difficult test for the Tigers.
Both teams have been elite defensively, holding opponents to less than 66 points per game so far on the season. I expect both defenses to be impressive on Sunday afternoon.
And while they do both look to push the pace — specifically Auburn — I think the efforts defensively will cause issues for both teams when it comes to scoring.
That’s why I’ll be betting this game to stay under the total of 134 or better.