Arizona vs USC: Betting Odds, Starting Lineups, Picks, and Predictions (3/1/22)

Arizona vs USC Betting Odds

USC will try and build on its six-game win streak against Arizona. With the Wildcats dropping its road game against Colorado, the Trojans are not out of the running for the Pac-12 regular-season title.

Meanwhile, Arizona will try and bounce back from that loss. It was a bad performance by Arizona, but it was also an excruciatingly tough spot.

So, can the Wildcats bounce back? Or will USC blow through another opponent on the first day of March?

Arizona Wildcats Odds

Look, the Wildcats are ending a three-game road trip. After spanking Oregon State by 40, the Wildcats had to play at 5400 feet of elevation against a Buffalo team on its senior night. Plus, Tommy Lloyd was likely looking ahead to this game and the other two it has this week.

We can forgive Arizona for this loss.

Luckily, the Wildcats lost last Saturday when a record seven teams in the AP Top-10 lost. The Wildcats keep their projected No. 1 seed in the tournament – for now.

This is a tough spot too, however, but is a far more important game. I’d expect the Wildcats to go all-out in this game with Stanford and Cal on deck at home. Because if the Wildcats win this game, it’s got the Pac-12 regular-season title locked up.

Arizona will run like crazy and try to establish superiority in the paint – Arizona is first in the Pac-12 in tempo and 2-point percentage. USC will do its best to avoid that, as the Trojans are eighth in tempo and first in 2-point defense.

This is setting up to be an interesting matchup.

Arizona Starting Lineup

  1. Kerr Kriisa
  2. Bennedict Mathurin
  3. Dalen Terry
  4. Azulas Tubelis
  5. Christian Koloko

USC Trojans Odds

USC pulling off a road victory over Oregon following a double-overtime victory over Oregon State is impressive, to say the least.

USC put up a 116.5 offensive efficiency mark in that game behind Drew Peterson and Isaiah Mobley’s 37 combined points. Peterson shot 2-for-4 from 3 in that game, but his biggest shot came with under a minute left.

USC is dangerous because it combines length with shooting, and all the Trojan big men can stretch the floor. That opens the floor for plenty of Boogie Ellis drives, and he’s averaging 12.3 points per game as a result.

But that length is most important on the defensive end. If you try and get the ball on the interior against USC, you’ll be facing a three-through-five that stand 6-foot-9 or taller. As a result, USC is first nationally in 2-point percentage allowed – overtaking Arizona, who has led the nation in that stat all season.

The question is if the USC offense can score efficiently enough to keep up with Arizona’s offense. Guys like Azuolas Tubelis, Bennedict Mathurin, and Kerr Kriisa are going to put up numbers, and the jury is out if the Trojans’ big three can keep up.

USC Starting Lineup

  1. Boogie Ellis
  2. Max Agbonkpolo
  3. Drew Peterson
  4. Chevez Goodwin
  5. Isaiah Mobley

Arizona vs USC Prediction and Pick

My pick: USC +4.5 (-110 at BetMGM)

The Trojans are now 4-0 against the spread and 3-1 straight up as an underdog this season.

Look for that streak to continue Tuesday night.

I still don’t like this spot for Arizona, even if it’s a bounce-back game. The Wildcats are rounding up a three-game road trip with two more games happening this week.

Moreover, it’s USC’s Senior night, and you know the team will show up for that.

USC is going to try and slow the game to a grind and mess with Arizona’s up-tempo pace. We’ve seen Arizona get bothered on the road in other spots like this (UCLA, Colorado), and it could happen again.

Moreover, USC doesn’t even have to win. The Trojans just have to keep this within five points.

I’m expecting that to happen.

Tanner joined Lineups to cover everything, but he has vast experience in, and unlimited passion for, Major League Baseball and NCAA Basketball. He’s a McGill University grad and former (Canadian) Division-I alpine ski racer who now spends his time drinking beer and betting home underdogs. Patrick Mahomes is a poor man’s Tom Brady.

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