NCAA Basketball Betting - BYU Cougars vs USC Trojans

Mark Lathrop

Saturday, December 3, 2016 10:10 PM UTC

Saturday, Dec. 3, 2016 10:10 PM UTC

Our handicapper finds a line that looks out of place in the huge slate of games played this Saturday. Read on as he breaks down this WCC vs. Pac 12 matchup and makes a NCAA basketball pick you can't miss!

2015-16  NCAAB  Record: 5-0, +5.00 Units 


BYU Cougars vs USC Trojans

In the second game of the nationally televised Basketball Hall of Fame’s Hoophall LA at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, we have the 5-2 BYU Cougars of the West Coast Conference matching up with the 7-0 USC Trojans of the Pac 12. It’s the first matchup between these two teams on a basketball court, and the oddsmakers appear to be extending home court advantage to the Trojans, placing them as 5.5 to 6-point favorites across the board. The O/U total has been placed sky high for these offenses, currently coming in at 168 at BookMaker.

Both teams come into this game with injury concerns. The leading scorer and rebounder for BYU, Eric Mika (19.7 points and 8.4 rebounds per game in 23.9 minutes), is listed as questionable for this matchup with an ankle injury. Senior 6’ 8” forward, Kyle Davis (10.2 points and 4.8 rebounds per game in 22.8 minutes) is also listed as questionable with a knee injury. For USC, their main injury concern is the loss of 6’ 10” sophomore forward, Bennie Boatwright. Boatwright was averaging 10.8 points and 4 rebounds per game in 24.6 minutes before the injury. The loss of Boatwright will mean more playing time for Nick Rakocevic, a 6’ 11” true freshman that was only averaging 15 minutes per game for USC on the season. He’ll be paired in the front court with Chimezie Metu, another 6’ 11” forward that averages 12.6 points and 8 rebounds per game on the season for USC.

Both of these teams are averaging more than 80 points per game on the season, 80.0 for USC and 88.3 for BYU, but there are some red flags for bettors looking to take the Over. For one, BYU is shooting a terrible 30.3% from beyond the arc this year – a task they will have to be better at with USC packing the front court with two 6’ 11” forwards. USC will also have to have a major defensive lapse to have BYU break 80 points, as they currently only allow 64.3 points per game on the season. Each of these teams has not faced the level of competition that the another team represents this year.

BYU has cashed consistently for Under bettors this year, with 4 of 5 contests going Under the listed total – with only one of those totals listed in the 160’s. USC has cashed the Under in 4 of 6, and again, only one of those totals was listed over 160. I don’t know if the books are getting lazy on this line because of the sheer amount of lines they are setting, but this total looks way off. BYU would have to shoot lights out from behind the arc to get this over the total (or to have a chance in this game), and I don’t trust them to do that. Take Under 167.5 points in this game at 5Dimes, now offering a 50% free play bonus, as one of your top Saturday College Basketball picks.

 Free NCAAB Pick: Under 167.5Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

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