Road Dog USC Is Our NCAA Basketball Pick To Cover vs. Arizona

Nikki Adams

Sunday, February 14, 2016 7:37 PM UTC

Sunday, Feb. 14, 2016 7:37 PM UTC

No.23 USC and No.17 Arizona collide on Sunday amidst a packed day of NCAAB betting. Join us as we breakdown this Pac-12 tilt and serve up our NCAA basketball picks.

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Free NCAA Basketball Pick: USC +9.5
Best Line Offered: at Heritage


USC (18-6, 7-4 Pac-12)
USC take a solid 18-6 SU record on the season, which includes a 7-4 SU record in Pac-12 play, into tonight’s clash with Arizona. In spite of the good account of the Southern Californian Trojans, they enter this game as the overwhelming +9.5-point road underdogs. Does the market have it right?

Books opened with a 9-point line with the Trojans to the disadvantage at early doors in their NCAA basketball odds boards, but they quickly inched up to 9.5-points as betting flowed in. At the time of writing, 51% of spread tickets are cornered in the hosts’ camp, which means the public is leaning towards Arizona on their NCAA basketball picks ever so slightly.

It’s worth noting that USC currently have the best overall ATS record of the Pac-12 field, which stands at 15-8-1 ATS and includes a 9.9-point winning margin and a plus 3.5-point record versus the spread.

Where the Trojans fall short of the mark somewhat is when priced as away underdogs. They have a 1-2 ATS record but with a nominal 0.3-point losing margin and a plus 2.3-point differential versus the spread. They beat UCLA 89-75 as the 2.5-point road underdogs and lost to Oregon 89-81 as the 4.5-point underdogs and Arizona State 74-67 as the 1-point road underdogs. In both losses to Pac-12 opponents, the Trojans lost rather narrowly.

In Conference play the Trojans are 6-5 ATS with a 4.2-point winning margin and a plus 1.9-point differential versus the spread. After a loss, the Trojans are 2-3 ATS with a 1.4-point winning margin and a negative 4-point differential versus the spread.


Arizona (20-5, 8-4 Pac-12)
The Arizona Wildcats are a solid 20-5 SU on the season with a 14-11 ATS record that includes a 13.3-point winning margin and a plus 1.4-point differential versus the spread. By the stats, there’s a lot to like about the Wildcats at first glance, not to mention the four-game winning streak they are currently enjoying, which includes convincing wins over Oregon State, Washington State, Washington and UCLA and three of four covers against the spread.

In their last ten games, the Wildcats are 7-3 SU and 6-4 ATS. Most importantly, at home the Wildcats strike a convincing pose behind a 13-1 SU record, underscored by a whopping 20.1-point winning margin and a plus 3.1-point differential versus the spread– the lone loss came to Oregon on January 28 when they succumbed to an 83-75 upset.

In Conference games, the Wildcats are 8-4 SU and 7-5 ATS with a 9.2-point winning margin and a plus 1.5-point differential versus the spread. Given this latest stat it’s not surprising the odds makers opened this game on a 9-point line. Question is whether the extra point added on the line at just about every single sports betting outlet opens the door to contrarian value on the visitors.


NCAAB Betting Verdict
By all accounts this is going to be a very intriguing clash between Pac-12 foes that are playing rather well this season. At first glance, the NCAAB betting line fall makes sense when considering the hosts are nigh infallible at home with a 13-1 SU record and a 20-point winning margin. But this is a conference game which only adds to the pressure and the Wildcats are a so-so 7-5 ATS in conference play with a 9.2-point winning margin. That last little bit might indeed open up contrarian value on the visitors now that the line is trading at 9.5-points. As such, we’re taking a chance on the road underdogs to cover in a game that could be closer than the odds makers would have it. Take the Trojans as the 9.5-point underdogs on your NCAAB picks for Sunday.  

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