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KJ Simpson of the Colorado Buffaloes in the first half at UCLA, and we're offering our top Colorado vs. USC predictions based on the best college basketball odds.
KJ Simpson of the Colorado Buffaloes in the first half at UCLA. Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images via AFP.

Our Colorado vs. USC prediction based on the best college basketball odds projects KJ Simpson to carry the Buffaloes against a disappointing Trojans squad.

There aren’t many teams underachieving more than the USC Trojans this season, and with Andy Enfield’s program in dire need of a win, it must deal with a high-flying Colorado Buffaloes squad.

Tad Boyle's program has several explosive scorers this season, and it heads to the Galen Center as a road favorite at our best sports betting sites.

Despite the hoopla around Bronny James and several big recruiting wins by Enfield this past offseason, USC is among the worst teams in the Pac-12. The Trojans are 10-15 on the season and 4-10 in conference play with just two wins in its last 10 games.

Defense has been USC's biggest issue this season and that doesn’t bode well for USC with how much firepower Colorado brings to the table.

The Buffaloes are one of the best scoring teams in the Pac-12 and desperately need a win in L.A. after dropping four of their last five games. A hungry Colorado team with an exploitable matchup against USC should be quite the recipe for star guard KJ Simpson to make a statement on the road after dark.

Here is our best Colorado vs. USC prediction and our college basketball picks (odds via our best March Madness betting sites; pick confidence based on a 1-to-5-star scale).

Colorado vs. USC prediction

KJ Simpson Over 18.5 points ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Best odds: +100 via FanDuel

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While Colorado hasn’t been playing to the level it needs to for an NCAA Tournament bid, its offense has been flashy with multiple scorers capable of taking over games. Chief among them is junior guard KJ Simpson.

Simpson is a big part of the reason the Buffaloes are scoring 79.8 points per game this season and rank 27th in adjusted offensive efficiency, per KenPom, and 33rd in OBPR, per Evan Miyakawa.

Simpson leads the way with 18.8 points per game this season and is the catalyst for an offense that’s 11th in the country in 3-point percentage. Simpson is hitting 42.6% of his threes and should be able to take advantage of a USC defense that’s struggled to defend the perimeter. The Trojans are 336th in the country in opponent 3-point percentage, allowing teams to hit 36.3% from deep.

Overall, Enfield’s team has been below average at best on the defensive end. USC gives up 74.9 points per game and ranks 111th in adjusted defensive efficiency and 91st in DBPR. The Trojans’ issues have also led to plenty of possessions for opponents, with USC seeing an average of 61.3 shots against its defense per game. Even in a down year for the conference, Pac-12 teams are scoring 76.3 points per game against the Trojans.

It’s going to be tough for this defense to find its footing against a player like Simpson, who ranks second in the conference in OBPR and 34th in the country. After making All-Pac-12 last season, the Buffaloes' lead guard has taken his game up a notch this season and has scored at least 19 in 14 of 25 games.

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Colorado vs. USC best odds

FanDuel (+100)

DraftKings FanDuel BetMGM Caesars bet365
KJ Simpson Over 18.5 points KJ Simpson Over 18.5 points KJ Simpson Over 18.5 points KJ Simpson Over 18.5 points KJ Simpson Over 18.5 points
-120 +100 -120 -129 -115

With the vast majority of our best sports betting apps listing KJ Simpson at -115 to -129 to go Over 18.5 points, there’s massive value in FanDuel having him at +100. No other book is offering close to that value, and it’s especially enticing with this matchup and Simpson having scored 19 points in 56% of his games this season.

The Trojans are one of the worst defenses against the three in the country and Simpson leads one of the most efficient 3-point shooting teams in all of college basketball. To get plus odds on his total points going Over when he averages more than 18.5 points per game is too good to pass up.

Colorado vs. USC odds

Colorado vs. USC odds analysis

Our best sportsbooks opened with Colorado as a 1.5 to 2.5-point road favorite. On one end, FanDuel has the Buffaloes -2.5 at -102 while CaesarsBetMGM, and bet365 have Colorado -1.5 at -110. DraftKings is offering Colorado -2 at -108.

Both USC and Colorado have struggled ATS this season going 11-14 apiece with the Trojans covering a 12-point spread when these two played earlier in the season.

Given Colorado’s offensive prowess and USC’s problems on defense, the game total opened as high as 151.5 at our best live betting sites. There’s some discrepancy over the game total as tip-off approaches.

DraftKings has it at 152.5 with the Over at +102, bet365 and Caesars have it at 151.5, and FanDuel and BetMGM have it at 150.5. The Buffs are 15-10 to the Over this season and the Trojans are 16-9.

Colorado vs. USC game info

  • When: Saturday, Feb. 17 at 10:00 p.m. ET
  • Where: Galen Center, Los Angeles, CA
  • How to watch: ESPN

Colorado-USC prediction made Saturday at 10:45 a.m. ET.

Here are our best March Madness betting sites:

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