Grab 'Over' With Your NCAA Basketball Picks In Pac-12 Washington St. & USC Clash

Willie Bee

Thursday, January 28, 2016 1:51 PM GMT

Thursday, Jan. 28, 2016 1:51 PM GMT

One of the final games on Thursday's college basketball betting card takes place in the Pac-12 where USC meets Washington St. Find out our NCAA basketball pick inside.

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Free NCAA Basketball Pick: Over 160
Best Line Offered: at Bookmaker

 

Once the dust clears this weekend, the conference schedule out in the Pac-12 will be at its halfway point. The timing is appropriate since entering play on Thursday, more than half of the league is within a game-&-a-half of the top spot in the standings, leaving me to wonder if any team really wants to win the regular season title.

Among the eight teams still in the running are the USC Trojans, who just so happen to be hosting the Washington State Cougars on Thursday night down in Los Angeles. Start time for the league clash is 10:30 PM (ET) with the Pac-12 Network providing the broadcast from Galen Center.

It would appear there has been very little action on this contest since the spread first went out Wednesday evening. Early numbers shifted between 12½ and 13 points in favor of USC, settling in this morning at the -13 mark. Bookmaker is showing a nice round 160 for the scoreboard tally.

 

Recent Series Dominated By Low Scores
The Cougars and Trojans are meeting for the second time this year, the first taking place New Year's Day up in Pullman where the two schools tipped off their Pac-12 schedules. Southern Cal never trailed in the contest which closed -3 for the Trojans on the NCAA basketball odds, opening up a 25-point lead in the first half en route to a 90-77 cakewalk.

Five Trojans scored in double-digits, led by Nikola Jovanovic's 20, the junior forward also grabbing a dozen rebounds in one of his six double-doubles of the campaign. The Trojans shot nearly 53% from the field that evening, including 8-of-16 from outside the arc.

The victory gave USC a 70-48 lead in the series with Wazzu, and continued a streak for the visitors coming out on top in the last three meetings. The final had plenty of room to get past a 151½ point total, the second straight 'over' at Washington State. Those 167 points were something of an aberration in this rivalry that has seen some awfully low scores over the past eight seasons. From 2009-14, totals ranged from as low as 112 to as high as 129½, seven of the 11 games in that span still finishing 'under' the mark with the teams combining for fewer than 100 points on three occasions.

 

Trojans Out To Stop 2-Game Mini Skid
Two games were on tap last night in the Pac-12, Utah taking down California and Colorado sharpshooting its way to a win over Stanford. The victories left the Utes and Buffs just a half-game behind Oregon and Washington at the top of the league ranks, while Southern Cal (15-5 straight up, 13-7 against the spread) sits a game back in a tie for third with Arizona.

If there's one thing Andy Enfield has to guard against tonight, it's keeping his team from looking ahead to Saturday's home date with the Huskies. The Trojans are coming off successive losses last week at Oregon and Oregon State, defeats that saw them drop out of both rankings, and Enfield must get the lads focused on just the Cougars and getting back into the win column now.

It's been a long season already for Ernie Kent and Washington State (9-10 SU, 8-10 ATS), and it's very likely going to get worse over the next six days before it gets any better. The Cougars follow this matchup with a visit to Pauley Pavilion to face UCLA on Saturday, then head home to host No. 18 Arizona next Wednesday. They've now dropped eight of their last 10 despite being one of the top teams in the country with a 48.7% field goal success rate.

My instinct is to play the 'under' for my free NCAA basketball picks given the series history, but scoring is up overall in the Pac-12 this season, so let's go the other way.

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