Arizona Will Get The Job Done At USC In Pac-12 Matchup

arizona basketball

Thursday, January 19, 2017 2:41 PM GMT

Tinseltown beckons the No. 14 Arizona Wildcats for the weekend, and we've got a free college basketball pick for their Thursday night matchup against the formerly ranked USC Trojans.

Will extra rest before a big weekend trip to Los Angeles help or hurt the Arizona Wildcats? Can the USC Trojans shed their recent struggles to climb back among the leaders in the Pac-12 race? Those are the questions we have going into Thursday's tip at Galen Center (9 p.m. ET), and BookMaker has Arizona at -3½ with 143½ for the total.

Sean Miller brings the Wildcats to LA ranked No. 14/13 in the polls and sitting pretty atop the Pac-12 with a 5-0 mark, tied with Oregon. The Trojans just fell out of the polls and sit in the middle of the conference with a 3-3 record, and Andy Enfield knows his team could use a big weekend against the two schools from the Grand Canyon State to build momentum before their matchup next Wednesday against UCLA.

 

When Will 'Cats Get Trier Back On The Floor?

Arizona (16-2 straight up, 11-7 against the spread) will catch UCLA before the Trojans do, following this contest up with a Saturday visit to Pauley Pavilion, that matchup part of our free NCAA basketball pick slate. The Wildcats have spent most of the New Year at home with 10 straight wins since the loss to Gonzaga at LA's Staples Center on Dec, 3, covering eight of those victories with four of their last five cashing 'over' tickets.

We continue to wait to see when Arizona will get Allonzo Trier back on the floor. The sophomore guard was suspended before the season started for a reported PED violation and continues to ride the bench after averaging nearly 15 PPG as a freshman.

A 14-0 start by Southern California (16-3 SU, 9-9 ATS) had us all turning our heads, even if it wasn't a very tough schedule. The Trojans failed to cover the NCAA basketball odds in the last five wins of that perfect start and have gone 2-3 both straight up and ATS since opening conference play with a win at Oregon State. The good news is they'll be home for the next three games and appear closer to getting Bennie Boatright back into the rotation after the 6-foot-10 sophomore went down with a knee injury at the end of November.

 

Home Teams Have Been Bettors' Friend

If you ask the NCAA how this series has gone all-time, the suits will tell you 63-41 in favor or Arizona. It's really 64-42 with each subtracting thanks to some NCAA penalty. The schools split their two games last year, each winning at home with the home sides covering eight of the last 11 meetings overall. The matchup in LA ago was great, going to the fourth overtime before the Trojans picked up a 103-101 upset as 3½-point underdogs. Both games last year went 'over' the mark, four of the last five cashing for high-side bettors.

I'm a little wary of both teams reaching the 70 point plateau in this one, making the 'under' an attractive play. My confidence is higher, however, on the Wildcats getting the job done and moving on to Westwood for Saturday's big contest with No. 3 UCLA still sporting a perfect record in Pac-12 action. Season record: 23-23-1 (-2.30).

NCAAB Free Pick: Arizona -3.5Best Line Offered: BookMaker

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