California Golden Bears (5-7) vs USC Trojans (7-6)Date : 01/03/2019
Time : 10:00 pm EST
Location : Galen Center, Los Angeles, California
Pick, Prediction, & Preview:
California Golden Bears vs USC Trojans
The California Bears will travel to Galen Center in Los Angeles, California, to battle the USC Trojans on Thursday night at 10 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. The Trojans have rebounded nicely from a damaging 4 game losing streak recently by picking up two straight wins, with their last being over the Aggies of UC Davis as The Trojans were able to run away with the game in the second half as they outscored the Aggies 41-25 during this time after going up at the half by only two points.
On the other hand, the California bears are losers of two of their last three games as their defense has certainly been non-existent in allowing opponents to score 80 or more points in each of their last three games, overall. In their last outing versus the Seattle Redhawks, the Golden Bears allowed 40 points to the visitors in the first half alone as Seattle shot 45% for the game while holding California to only 40% for them contest.
On the other hand, both teams got to the free-throw line frequently as the Golden Bears were able to grace the free throw line 30 times compared to 36 for Seattle. Finally, Seattle won the rebounding battle by a 34-28 margin for the game which certainly played a key role in picking up the victory. Nonetheless, California is 2 – 6-1 against the spread versus USC in their last nine games while the over has been the play in 17 of the last 25 meetings among these two teams.
California Golden Bears's Latest Performance :
California has simply not been able to get it together on the defensive end of the floor in 2018 as they are allowing opponents to score a tad under 80 points per game on 49% shooting , as stated. In fact, opponents have scored at least 80 points in each of their last three games versus the Golden Bears. This certainly did not change versus the Seattle RedHawks in their last matchup as the visitors scored 40 points or more in each half while shooting 45% on the night as they were led by Myles Carter along with Morgan Means, who ended with 26 and 24 points for the team.
On the other hand, Cal was only allowed to shoot 40% of the night while connecting on just five of 14 3-point attempts as Paris Austin had 20 points while Darius McNeill chipped in 19 in the loss, their sixth in 10 games. As stated, their inability to play any type of consistent defense has been the bane of their existence in 2018. Furthermore, going up against a USC team that is red hot at this point in the season may certainly not be the best situation for a California at this point in the season. Nonetheless, they will look to change the trends on Thursday night versus a Trojan team that has won four of the last five at Galen Center.
USC Trojans's Latest Performance :
While the Trojans are putting up a tad under 79 points per game on 46% shooting, they have recently enjoyed a winning streak to where they have allowed opponents to score just an average of 52 points per game. In their last outing vs the U C Davis Aggies, the Trojans allowed just 40% shooting while allowing them to connect on only four or 17 3-point attempts as Ty Shorts II along with Siler Schneider led team with 16 and 15 points, respectively, as they were the only two double-digit scores on the night for the Aggies.
On the other hand, the Trojans were able to shoot over 50% from the floor while also making good on 10 three-pointers led by Bennie Boatwright, who went 3-8 from long-range while leading the team with 19 points along with eight rebounds and four assists. Derryck Thornton also came off the bench in which to chip in 16 points while also going 2-4 from three-point range for the Trojans. And while USC certainly outshot their opponents on this night, they were also able to capitalize on 14 costly turnovers throughout the game in which to pull out the much-needed victory.
Look for the Trojans to really get up of this Pac-12 matchup versus the California Golden Bears on Thursday. In all, with the Trojans scoring 90 points in two of their last three games, overall, look for them to possibly have yet another stellar night on the offensive end as Cal is ranked as one of the worst teams in opponent field-goal percentage at 49% per night.
How California Golden Bears & USC Trojans Matchup.
Vegas Odds, Offshore Odds, & Odds ATS:
California is 4-8 ATS while the OU is 7-5
USC is 6-7 ATS while the OU is 5-7
In-Depth Analysis of each team:
This will be an interesting contest for both squads as they will each be looking to begin their Pac-12 schedule on a winning note. Also, California will certainly like to get back on the right track after a deflating loss vs Seattle in their last outing. Furthermore, look for USC to kick-start their offense early as they will push the pace versus a California defense that has shown no semblance of playing consistently. Nonetheless, one should certainly expect a highly competitive and possibly high-scoring matchup amongst these teams, judging from the way California has not played defense at all in 2018.
Against The Spread Selection: Pick: USC Trojans
My reason for the pick :
I will back the Trojans in this matchup as I happen to feel that they are not only the better team, but, the Golden Bears have simply not shown that they are willing to hunker down on the defensive end at all this season. This will certainly lead the Trojans to pull away at some point while picking up a convincing win to begin the Pac-12 slate. Also, as stated, USC has been on fire on the offensive end lately as this will likely continue versus a defensively inept quad in the California Golden Bears.
Totals Selection: Pick: Over
My reason for the prediction :
I would back the over in this matchup as I happen to believe that USC will take advantage of a lackluster defense for the Golden Bears early and often as they will push the pace in order to obtain easy buckets in transition and / or get to the free-throw line. Furthermore, USC continues to be on fire and I believe they will have a carryover effect in this contest as the score will balloon in favor of the home team.
Betting trends for California Golden Bears:
- Under is 10-2 in Golden Bears last 12 road games.
Under is 13-3 in Golden Bears last 16 vs. Pacific-12.
Betting trends for USC Trojans:
- Under is 19-6-1 in Trojans last 26 vs. Pacific-12.
Under is 20-8 in Trojans last 28 overall.