USC vs. Arizona State College Basketball Odds, Picks, Predictions: Back the Road Favorite (Thursday, February 3)
Keith Birmingham/MediaNews Group/Pasadena Star-News via Getty Images. Pictured: Isaiah Mobley.
- The Arizona State Sun Devils host the USC Trojans in Pac-12 After Dark college basketball action on Thursday.
- The Trojans crushed the Sun Devils last time the two teams met up, but this matchup takes place in Tempe instead of Los Angeles.
- Keg breaks down the game and shares his top bet below.
USC vs. Arizona State Odds
-105o / -115u
|Arizona State Odds|
-105o / -115u
USC will head to Arizona State in search of its best start to a season since it began 19-3 in 1974.
The Trojans bounced back against Cal in their last game after suffering a 64-61 defeat at home to Stanford. The loss was just their third of the season, but their second to the Cardinal.
The Trojans do have a good team, but it will be seriously tested in this final stretch of the season. USC’s next two games come on the road against both Arizona Pac-12 schools, followed by a four-game homestand. Then, USC will end its season on a three-game road swing into Oregon before playing UCLA at home. Can it keep up the impressive season it’s put together so far?
Arizona State is on the complete opposite end of the spectrum. Just 1-6 in its last seven, this season couldn’t end soon enough for the Sun Devils. But even through their struggles, Arizona State has pulled off some impressive upsets, beating Creighton and Oregon both at home. Can it pull off another one against USC?
USC leads the all-time series, 26-17, but own a record of just 7-14 in Tempe. The Trojans beat the Sun Devils by 22 just 12 days ago. Now, can they cover a third of that on the road?
The Trojans’ scoring offense ranks 68th in the country and is third in the Pac-12 with 74.5 points per game. They are also one of the top rebounding teams, averaging 40.9 per contest to rank ninth nationally.
Isaiah Mobley and Boogie Ellis have been leading this offensive charge. In USC’s last game against Cal, Mobley set a career high with 24 points, while Ellis posted his largest scoring performance of the season with 21. The win over Cal was maybe one of the Trojans’ most impressive all season, as the Golden Bears had their second-best shooting day of the season.
On the season, Mobley and Chevez Goodwin have led the Trojans in both scoring and rebound. Mobley is posting 14.9 points per game and 8.5 rebounds per contest, while Goodwin has added 12.2 points and seven rebounds per game.
USC’s offense has been impressive, but it’s the balance of the team and its defense that sets it apart from the crowd.
The Trojans’ scoring defense In the 34th in the country and second in the Pac-12, holding teams to just 63.5 points per contest. They rank top-10 in opponent effective field goal percentage and shooting percentage overall.
The Sun Devils aren’t a good shooting team to begin with, and it’s hard to see them having any sizable production against the Trojans, even on their home court.
Thursday marks the Sun Devils’ third straight game against a ranked opponent, and on Saturday, they will have their fourth when they take on UCLA.
No Pac-12 team has played five-straight ranked teams since ASU did so in the 2001-02 season.
Arizona State did have a rough showing in its first game against USC, but it was down to just seven scholarship players. USC’s bench also had a huge game while the Sun Devils had little to no production. USC’s bench outscored ASU, 36-8. The Trojans also out-rebounded the Sun Devils, 49-24.
Offense hasn’t been a strong point for Arizona State, as it’s ranked 327th nationally with just 62.7 points per game. It’s had success rebounding, though, coming in at 127th by pulling down 35.7 boards a contest.
The Sun Devils haven’t been able to find success shooting from really anywhere on the floor, ranking outside the top 300 in 2-point, 3-point, and free-throw shooting.
Defense has been a non-negotiable for a Sun Devils team that can’t get much of anything done on offense. Arizona State is limiting teams to just 68.7 points per game.
The Sun Devils don’t force a lot of turnovers, but they have found a way to get stops around the basket. Arizona State ranks 45th in block percentage and averages 4.3 blocks per contest.
USC vs. Arizona State Betting Pick
Arizona State was without some players in its first meeting against USC, but I don’t think having them back will be a major difference in this contest. The Trojans are a better shooting team and a better defensive team.
The only area where USC could find trouble is in the foul department. The Trojans are averaging 18.9 fouls per contest, but the Sun Devils haven’t been a force when it comes to getting to the line. Arizona State opponents are averaging just 15.9 fouls per contest.
Both of these teams have been awful from the charity stripe, as they both hit below 70% on free throws.
I’m backing the Trojans to pick up the series sweep and would take them as high as an 8-point favorite.