Stanford vs. USC College Basketball Odds & Pick: Game Hinges On Oscar da Silva’s Availability
Abbie Parr/Getty Images. Pictured: Oscar da Silva.
- Stanford might be without star Oscar da Silva for its trip south to face USC.
- Without da Silva, Stanford will have a hard time matching up with the Trojans in the paint.
- BJ Cunningham breaks down where he sees betting value in this Pac-12 matchup.
Stanford vs. USC Odds
|+285 / -370|
USC looks to end its two-game losing streak when they host Stanford.
Stanford is having a disastrous season on and off the court, and its best player Oscar da Silva has been out the last two games. If that wasn’t enough, some division is going on between point guard Daejon Davis and head coach Jerod Haase,
Coach Haase says that Daejon Davis did not play the final 18:21 of the game due to a "Coach's Decision"
— Channel Tree Sports 🌲 (@channeltree) February 28, 2021
Stanford is currently sitting at 14-11 and on the outside looking in at the NCAA Tournament. So potentially without their best player and with all the turmoil going on, you have to question where their motivation is at this point in the season.
The Trojans are in the midst of one of the program’s best seasons in the past decade, currently only one half-game back of UCLA atop the Pac-12 standings. A date with their city rivals looms on Saturday.
USC beat Stanford, 72-66, in Palo Alto back in early February, so it’ll be looking to repeat as heavy favorites on its home floor.
When Stanford has the ball
The offensive end of the floor has been a struggle for Stanford this season, especially with da Silva on the sidelines. The Cardinal average only 1.01 points per possession, and things are likely to get worse if da Silva is on the sidelines again.
The only plus for Stanford offensively is they are the No. 1 team in the Pac-12 at shooting inside the arc, at 54.3%. However, a lot of that is thanks to da Silva, who is shooting 63.3% from inside the arc and has by far taken the most shots on the team.
Stanford has two main areas they struggle in: They can’t hold on to the ball, and they can’t hit anything from behind the arc.
Stanford has the second-highest turnover rate in the Pac-12 and is shooting a dismal 32.6% from beyond the arc. The biggest problem for the Cardinal in the first meeting with USC is the fact that they turned the ball over 22 times, so they’ll have to do a much better job the second time around because USC has one of the best defenses in the country.
The Trojans have been locking down their opponents during conference play, allowing only 0.97 points per possession. Their real strength lies inside, as they are the tallest team in Division I hoops, led by five-star freshman Evan Mobley. USC allows the lowest 2-point field goal percentage and has the highest block rate in the Pac 12, so they’ll be well equipped to handle Stanford down low.
When USC has the ball
The Trojans absolutely dominate their opponents in the paint with 7-foot freshman Mobley. USC is shooting 51.4% from 2-point range and an insane 61.1% on shots at the rim, according to Hoop-Math. In the first meeting with Stanford, the Trojans absolutely dominated the paint shooting 57.5% from 2-point range.
USC is also the best offensive rebounding team in the Pac-12, grabbing them at a 36.2% rate in conference play, per KenPom. If da Silva is not on the floor, USC is going to have so many second-chance opportunities because he is the Cardinal’s best rebounder. Additionally, Stanford isn’t going to have anyone to match Mobley’s size, so USC should have its way in the paint.
Two of the biggest reasons USC won the first meeting was because it grabbed 10 offensive rebounds and got to the free throw line 20 times. If the Trojans can do those two things well again in the rematch, as well as score consistently in the paint, they should be able to blow out Stanford.
Betting Analysis & Pick
If da Silva is not in the lineup, I have no idea how Stanford is going to hang with USC. The Trojans are going to be able to score inside at will and on the flip side almost all of Stanford’s inside scoring will be gone. According to my projections, da Silva is worth over four points to the spread, so my pick for this game is dependent on his availability.
I have the Trojans projected as -12.10 favorites without da Silva, so I’ll take USC at -7.5 if Stanford’s big man watches this one from the sidelines.
Pick: USC -7.5 (if da Silva is out)