NCAA Basketball Picks For Friday, December 30

USC Trojans players

Joe Catalano

Friday, December 30, 2016 6:23 PM UTC

Friday, Dec. 30, 2016 6:23 PM UTC

We're only two days away from the New Year, and let's go out with a bang as there are some very competitive matchups in NCAA basketball on Friday. Here are your profit-making opportunities with our picks of the night.

No. 22 USC Trojans (14-0) At No. 21 Oregon Ducks (12-2)

The Ducks are coming off of a huge 89-87 victory over the previously undefeated and No. 2 UCLA Bruins on Wednesday in a thriller. That victory might also have affected the NCAA basketball odds in Oregon's matchup with an undefeated USC team as the Ducks giving 9 appears quite high.

With the exception of Isaac Hamilton, who had just 2 points in the loss to Oregon, UCLA still played a very strong and efficient game against Oregon. The Ducks actually shot worse from the field than UCLA, but the difference was turnovers. If anything, it reinforces the idea that Oregon's defense can be scored upon. Their their upset of UCLA could be short-lived regarding any momentum if they take USC lightly.

With no definitive go-to guy, the Ducks feature 5 players in double-figure scoring. Anyone from Chris Boucher (13.7 points, 7.8 rebounds) to Jordan Bell (10.5 points, 8.2 rebounds, 2.4 blocks) can lead the way for Oregon in any given game and depth is certainly a strength of Oregon's. One player who has proven himself throughout his collegiate career is junior forward Dillon Brooks, who hit the last-second winning 3-pointer vs. UCLA. He is on track to be a first-team All-American and  potential Pac-12 Player of the Year.

The Trojans finally got respect from the pollsters as they've won 14 consecutive games and finally cracked the AP Top 25, but as the betting odds indicate the respect isn't unanimous as this is a team which has yet to face a ranked team.

USC is also coming off of a very unimpressive 70-63 victory against Oregon State in the last game. Elijah Stewart continued his poor shooting and finished with just 8 points and 0-for-5 from 3 point land, and Jordan McLaughlin attempted a mere two shots. In order to keep pace with the Ducks, McLaughlin must look for his offense.

Even though Oregon is coming off the huge upset, USC is still the pick here as 9 points are a lot for unbeaten Pac-12 team to be getting.

NCAAB Free Pick: USC +9Best Line Offered: 5Dimes

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No. 2 UCLA Bruins (13-1) At Oregon State Beavers (4-10)

As I mentioned in the previous pick, UCLA's offense played really well against Oregon in Wednesday's last-second loss as the Bruins shot 53.1% from the field and 44% from 3-point territory. Four starters scored in double figures as Thomas Welsh and Bryce Alford had 20 points apiece. The only thinking lacking from UCLA was the effectiveness of Isaac Hamilton and that's a rarity. This is a 15.7 ppg scorer who had only 2 vs. the Ducks. UCLA averages 95 points per game while shooting over 50% from the field and over 40% from beyond the arc for the season.  It has been the nation's best offensive club so far. 

As for the Beavers, they were competitive against USC in the Pac-12 opener, but the results were the same as they lost 70-63. One player that needs to have a big game for OSU here is guard Stephen Thompson Jr. He's averaging 15.4 points, 4.9 rebounds and 3.1 assists. Thompson lit USC up for 24 points. He will have to have a huge night for OSU to stay remotely close. The Beavers remain without arguably their best player, Tres Tinkle, due to wrist injury.

NCAAB Free Pick: UCLA -21Best Line Offered: BetOnline

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