The No. 16 USC Trojans (25-5, 14-5 Pac-12) and No. 18 UCLA Bruins (22-6, 14-5) tangle in a Saturday night top-20 tilt in Los Angeles. The intra-city meeting at Pauley Pavilion is scheduled to get underway at 10 p.m. ET. Below, we look at the USC vs. UCLA odds and lines, and make our expert college basketball picks, predictions and bets.
USC has had a couple shaky defensive games of late. One of those games — Tuesday versus Arizona — resulted in a loss. The Wildcats are the only team to defeat the Trojans since Jan. 27; they’ve done so twice in that span.
Southern Cal plays tremendous defense. Since Jan. 20, the Trojans are 11-3; they’ve held foes to a 40.3% mark from the floor over that stretch.
The Bruins lost to USC Feb. 12. After going 10-1 in December-January, UCLA dropped four games in February. Three of those were against foes outside the top-25.
The slow-tempo Bruins excel in avoiding turnovers and extending possessions with offensive rebounds. They’ve averaged 10.5 offensive boards per game in going 5-1 since Feb. 17.
Rankings courtesy of the Ferris Mowers Coaches Poll powered by USA TODAY Sports.
USC at UCLA odds, spread and lines
Odds provided by Tipico Sportsbook; access USA TODAY Sports Scores and Sports Betting Odds hub for a full list. Lines last updated at 1:30 p.m. ET.
Money line: USC +290 (bet $100 to win $290) | UCLA -380 (bet $380 to win $100)
Against the spread (ATS): USC +7.5 (-107) | UCLA -7.5 (-115)
Over/Under (O/U): 135.5 (O: -107 | U: -115)
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USC at UCLA odds, lines, picks and predictions
UCLA 72, USC 66
The Bruins’ leading scorer, G Johnny Juzang, is averaging 17.6 points per contest. Juzang was listed midweek as questionable with an ankle injury. With tournament play looming, there may not be much incentive for playing the 6-foot-6 talent that has given UCLA 35 minutes-plus on a lot of nights.
UCLA likely wins at home and in a revenge spot, but there is a bit of value attached to the USC (+290) play.
Against the spread
The Trojans are 7-1 ATS in their last eight road games against teams filing better than a .600 winning percentage on home hardwood. The underdog has prevailed against the number is four of the last five USC-UCLA games.
Peg SOUTHERN CAL +7.5 (-107) with a slight lean.
PASS: too many cross signals to try and parse here.
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