UC Irvine vs USC Odds, Pick | College Basketball Betting Guide
Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images. Pictured: Isaiah Collier (USC)
UC Irvine vs USC Odds, Pick
Editor's Note: Kobe Johnson (undisclosed) and Boogie Ellis (ankle) are out
On Tuesday evening, the No. 21-ranked USC Trojans host the formidable UC Irvine Anteaters in Southern California.
Here's college basketball odds and a prediction for UC Irvine vs. USC for Tuesday, Nov. 14.
The Anteaters lost their starting guards — Dawson Baker and DJ Davis — to the portal, so seeing early-season offensive struggles is no real surprise when 30 points per game departs.
Although key pieces moved on, it's nothing new for Russell Turner. The 53-year-old Anteater head coach brought his team to second place or better finishes in nine of the past 10 Big West seasons. That's a level of consistency that indicates head-coaching success and culture.
So, UC Irvine will figure out ways to win games without the pieces who won it games in 2022-23.
Luckily for Coach Turner, senior Andre Henry went from three points per game to 17 points per game through two outings. The offense should improve thanks to Henry, floor-general Pierre Crockrell Jr., 7-footer Bent Leuchten and Devin Tillis. That's a solid top-four, although it lacks the star power of former UC Irvine teams.
UC Irvine struggled to find offensive consistency in last week's loss to San Jose State, shooting just 2-of-12 from deep with 15 turnovers. Lapses on offense have plagued UC Irvine over the years, but its defense usually picks up the slack.
USC made easy work of Kansas State and Cal State Bakersfield in the season's opening week, scoring 80+ points and allowing less than 70 in each. Some teams have to win using defense and some have to win using offense, but not many can dominate opponents on both sides.
The Trojans have an elite guard tandem featuring Pac-12 preseason POY Boogie Ellis and the burly-built freshman Isaiah Collier.
We haven't seen a player like Collier in quite some time. Standing at 6-foot-5, 210 pounds, his strength and speed combination has been on full display already. Collier is averaging 18.5 points and 5.5 assists per night so far, and Ellis is averaging 17.5 points.
Then USC has two elite defensive options — wing Kobe Johnson and Joshua Morgan — to slow down opposing teams.
Perhaps the most impressive aspect of USC's defense is its size and strength. Four of the five starters are 6-foot-5 or taller, and all the "forwards" can defend the perimeter.
If you can get past one of USC's perimeter bodyguards, you meet Morgan inside to swat your shot away. It's just not an ideal scenario for hopeful opponents.
UC Irvine vs. USC
Betting Pick & Prediction
The Trojans are like a torrent of lava. They come out hot and are overpowering.
UC Irvine has a fair amount of athleticism for the Big West, but it's not up to compete against USC's NBA-level athletes.
USC might have the best mixture of offensive and defensive consistency in the sport.
If you've yet to watch Collier play, please do. It's one of the many reasons USC has caught my eye so far.
Pick: USC -14
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