Oregon Is Our Free NCAA Basketball Pick To Continue Home-Win Streak Over USC

Kevin Stott

Thursday, January 21, 2016 1:23 PM UTC

Thursday, Jan. 21, 2016 1:23 PM UTC

USC head to Oregon to face the Ducks who come in riding a 3-game win streak. But are the host Ducks worth an automatic NCAA basketball pick here? Let’s dig in to see what we can find.

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Final Score Prediction: Oregon 83 - USC 77
Free NCAA Basketball Picks: Oregon -200; Winning Margin - Oregon 1-10 +130
Best Lines Offered: at Bookmakerat PaddyPower


Odds Overview
USC at Oregon: The #21-ranked USC Trojans (15-3, 4-1 Pac-12) head up the Pacific Coast to the Matthew Knight Arena in Eugene on Thursday night to face Oregon (14-4, 3-2 Pac-12) in a big Pacific-12 game for the host Ducks who face a team tied with Washington (4-1 Pac-12) atop the conference and riding a 3-game win streak. Offshore NCAA basketball odds boards have opened up Oregon as 4½-point -115 favorites (Bookmaker) with the Total (Points) set at 156 (Over -113, Bookmaker). The Money Line (Winner) odds in this game sees host Oregon as -200 Favorites with Road underdogs USC priced at +165 (Betway). Some Props for your perusal: Winning Margin: Oregon 1-10 +130 (Paddy Power); Overtime? Yes +1,400, No -10,000 (Paddy Power) and, the uber-niche Halftime/Fulltime: Oregon/Oregon +100, USC/USC +275, USC/Oregon +450, Oregon/USC +650, Tied/Oregon 25/1, Tied/USC 60/1 (Paddy Power).


USC Trojans
USC (13-4-1 ATS, 9-9 O/U) and third-year Head Coach Andy Enfield have been a pleasant surprise in the Pac-12 this season and are the Point Spread darlings, clicking at 13-4-1 ATS (76.5%) heading into this affair in Eugene and are riding a nice 3-game SU win streak heading in here (Arizona State, Arizona, @ UCLA). In their last game, a win against crosstown rivals UCLA in Los Angeles, 89-75, G Jordan McLaughlin led the way for the visiting Trojans scoring 23 points while F Chimezie Metu added 21 points and 8 rebounds off the USC Bench. Along with McLaughlin (13.5 ppg)—who was 5-for-8 on his 3-point attempts in the victory—in the Southern Cal Starting 5 against the Bruins were F Nikola Jovanovic (8 points), F Bennie Boatwright (5 points), G Julian Jacobs (7 points) and Mater Dei High School product SG Katin Reinhardt (14 points) who was 3-for-3 from 3-ville and ate 3 Tacos and had 3 Pepsi after with 3 teammates. The Trojans jumped out to a 48-30 lead at Halftime in the game and never looked back, only when playing Defense. Here in Eugene, USC (150/1 to win NCAA Championship, Ladbrokes) will really be put to the test and McLaughlin, Jacobs (5.7 apg), Jovanovic (7.6 rpg), Metu (1.9 bpg) and bomber Reinhardt will have to be at their best. The Trojans three Losses so far this season have come at the hands of (then) #23 Xavier, vs. Monmouth at Home in Lalaland and at Washington against the Huskies in the Trojans Pac-12 opener.


Oregon Ducks
Oregon (8-7 ATS, 6-9 O/U) and Head Coach Dana Altman were relying on lockdown Defense to win games but in their last game, a trip to Boulder this weekend, the scoring faucets were unclogged and Colorado raced to a 91-87 victory as the Ducks could just never catch the Buffaloes who would answer ever Oregon bucket with one of their own. In the Loss, the Ducks were led in scoring by F Dillon Brooks (21 points, 9-13 FGM), G Tyler Dorey (19 points) and F Elgin Cook (14 points) but found it hard to deal with the raucous Road crowd an environment all teams in the pac-12 are now dealing with. Winning on the Road is a bitch. The Ducks also had two other players in double-digit scoring in starting F Chris Boucher (11 points) and Bench player F Dwayne Benjamin (10 points) while starting G Casey Benson and Bench F Jordan Bell both added 6 points. To show how good a game and how hot Colorado’s shooting was in this game, consider that the Ducks were 32-62 on FG attempts (51.6%) and 12-21 on 3-point FG attempts (57.1%). Oregon starting PG Dylan Ennis (Foot) is injured and out for the season and the Ducks (100/1 to win National Championship, bet365) were 17-0 when holding opponents under 70 points last season while the Ducks were just 9-10 when the opposition scored 70 points or more. So keeping the hot-shooting Trojans from getting clean looks at the basket here will be the key for Oregon to quack and get its 19th straight win at Home in Eugene on Thursday night.


Best Betting Approaches & Recent Series Trends
These two teams met twice last year with Oregon winning both of the games, 75-67 in Eugene (ORE -9½, 150) and 80-75 in Los Angeles (ORE -4, 148). But Atman and the Ducks had a stronger Roster last season, including future NBA guy, G Joseph Young (Indiana Pacers, 2nd Round, #43) and this year’s expected starting PG Ennis, is out injured with that aforementioned Foot injury. But the Site (Matthew Knight Arena), that lengthy Home Win Streak (18 games) and the fact that the Ducks are coming off a frustrating Loss at Colorado where they shot the lights out as well as the fact Oregon doesn’t want to start off the Pac-12 conference season with a 3-3 record should all play big here, although this may be the best Trojans team to come to town in awhile. Trend-wise, the Over is 5-1 is USC’s L6 games while the Under is 4-1 in Oregon’s L4 and whereas Pac-12 Conference play started out with 4 Overs in 5 games for USC, it started with 4 straight Unders then that high-scoring Over at Colorado on Sunday for Oregon.

It’s very hard to ignore USC’s 13-4-1 ATS mark (7-2 ATS L9) and the Trojans overwhelming 9-2 ATS mark the L11 here in Eugene as well as it is to try to ignore the Ducks big 18-game Home Win Streak and the powerful UHF Trend that has worked quite often through the years. And Oregon is 11-3 ATS in its L14 Home games, 9-4 ATS the L13 against the Pac-12 and the Ducks 17-8 ATS mark in their L25 overall, so this team has been covering the Point Spread and making their backers money. So confusing. And with the Underdog 8-2 the L10 in the series and USC (84.6 ppg) getting scoring from many places, maybe taking the Over or the 1st Half Over assuming a quick pace and hot shooting from both sides in an environment where the more Defensive team (Oregon) will feel more comfortable (Home-court)? Tough call. The Ducks have the best scoring Defense in the Pac-12 (66.3 ppg), but allowed 91 points to Colorado and may be a little gassed after playing 7 of the L12 on the Road. And when campus is in Eugene, Oregon in the Pacific Northwest—where Bigfoot prefers his Chicken Tacos in a hard shell if you ever get that question on Jeopardy!—the travel to opponents’ courts is usually much farther and takes much longer than in the East, South and Midwest regions where cities and states are closer. The big question here is can USC possibly pull off the upset and snap the Oregon Home Win Streak? With the Ducks having not lost to the Trojans here since the 2008/2009 season (83-62) and Oregon mad after shooting so well but losing to the Buffaloes in their last outing, expect a strong performance from the home team but still a game close enough to scare bettors on both sides, meaning taking a shot on at the Money Line with the side you like as a Parlay element may be the best approach for your NCAA basketball picks other than just watching the game. And with USC scoring 100, 90, 85, 75, 103 (OT) and 89 points in its L6 games, the miniature lean here is to the Over despite Oregon’s solid D and run of 4 Unders in its first 5 Pac-12 games.

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