College Basketball Odds, Pick & Preview for Stanford vs. USC (Thursday, January 27)
Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images. Pictured: Drew Peterson (USC)
- USC attempts to get revenge on Stanford after the Cardinal ended the Trojans undefeated season.
- The Trojans have won three straight games in Pac-12 play.
- Kyle Remillard breaks down the matchup and offers up his top selection.
Stanford vs. USC Odds
-110o / -110u
-110o / -110u
USC opened the season on a 15-game win streak and was one of the two remaining unbeaten teams early in the new year. But that streak was snapped after a 75-69 road loss to Stanford in each team’s return from an extended COVID layoff.
That loss was the beginning of a tough stretch for the Trojans, who struggled with Oregon State and lost to Oregon. But since then, USC has strung together three impressive conference wins in a row and seems to have its groove back.
The Cardinal have gone in the opposite direction since that victory on January 11th. The program lost to Washington, which sits at the bottom of the conference, and followed that up with a 28-point home loss to Arizona.
USC will look to expose the weak interior defense of Stanford, something it couldn’t do in the first meeting.
Stanford was trailing USC in the first matchup before taking the lead in the final three minutes. Freshman Harrison Ingram had a career-high 21 points while shooting 3-of-5 from beyond the arc. Spencer Jones matched him with 21 points in that game, his second-highest scoring outing of the season.
It’s hard to imagine them replicating that effort, as the two have averaged just over 10 points per game this season.
Stanford ranks outside the top 100 in offensive efficiency rating this season. The group struggles to score on the interior, where it hits on 48% of its shots, which ranks outside the top-200 nationally.
Though the Cardinal don’t take many attempts from the perimeter, they convert at a 35% clip. That was pivotal in the first matchup, when they hit 10-of-24 from deep.
Jerod Haase’s group ranks near the bottom in the nation in turnovers, coughing the ball up on 23% of its possessions. The offense averages 16 turnovers per game and has exceeded 17 or more in nearly every Pac-12 matchup this year.
Stanford has been owned in the paint defensively this season. Opponents are hitting 54% on 2-point attempts, which ranks 316th in the country. In its last two games, the defense has allowed a combined 45-of-69 (65%) on shots inside the perimeter.
The Trojans look like they got their groove back by stringing together three wins in a row. The unit has shot above 45% — both from the field and beyond the arc in its last two games.
USC owns a top-40 offensive efficiency ranking and puts up 75 points per game. The offense is reliant around scoring around the rim, as 59% of its shot attempts come inside the perimeter. And for good reason, as the group hits 52% on 2-point shots due to having the third-tallest roster in the country.
The Trojans are also more than capable of catching fire from outside, as they’ve hit 36% on the season. That wasn’t the case in the first matchup, as USC hit just 6-of-21 from deep vs. Stanford.
6-foot-10 forward Isaiah Mobley has been a monster for USC, putting up 15 points and nine rebounds a game. Mobley’s a mismatch nightmare for opposing defenses, as he’s hitting 42% from beyond the arc on the season.
In the first matchup, he scored 16 points, but was held to just five field goal attempts, his lowest of the season.
USC thrives on the defensive end of the floor, holding the 24th ranking in defensive efficiency. The Trojans own the second-best 2-point defense that allows just 40% on those shots. They’re just as strong defending the perimeter, holding opponents to 31%.
Stanford vs. USC Betting Pick
Stanford’s offense has been atrocious as of late. The group shot 30% against Arizona and 38% against Arizona State. The only reason the Cardinal were able to escape against the Sun Devils was thanks to 41 free-throw attempts.
The offense won’t be able to find any easy buckets against a stout USC interior defense.
USC also just matched up against Arizona State in its last game. The Trojans cruised to an easy 78-56 victory while hitting 45% from the field.
USC will expose the soft interior defense of Stanford that ranks 316th against 2-point field goals. The Trojans make their living in the paint and will surely utilize their size advantage this time around.
The Trojans will come out motivated in this revenge spot after Stanford ruined their undefeated run. Andy Enfield will have his roster fired up to even up the series against one of only two teams that have beaten them this season.