Struggling Trojans Giving Up Too Many Points to Santa Clara

Willie Bee

Thursday, December 14, 2017 1:21 PM UTC

Thursday, Dec. 14, 2017 1:21 PM UTC

The final game on Thursday’s short NCAA basketball betting board finds the USC Trojans huge favorites to end their losing streak against Santa Clara.

NCAAB Season Record: 11-15 (-4.75)

Free NCAAB Pick: Santa Clara +17Best Line Offered: Heritage

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Santa Clara Broncos at USC Trojans

It has been a quick and hard fall for Andy Enfield and Southern Cal. After jumping out to a 4-0 start and rising to No. 10 in the conventional polls, the Trojans have dropped three in a row as they steam towards the Pac-12 schedule in a little more than two weeks. To make matters worse, USC is still playing without De’Anthony Melton, who was suspended just prior to the season due to a federal bribery investigation.

There’s no word on when Melton, a key member of Enfield’s rotation as a freshman last year, will return so the Trojans have to end the skid without him Thursday night at home against the Santa Clara Broncos. Without a ticket to get inside Galen Center, the Pac-12 Network is your only shot at seeing the 10 PM (ET) tip that finds Heritage selling Southern Cal at -17 with a 143 total.

3-Pointers Not Dropping For SoCal

Herb Sendek and the Broncos aren’t currently having much fun, either. Santa Clara looked to be heading towards its third consecutive win last Saturday with a 17-point second half lead over Portland State, only to watch the Vikings sink their final 16 field-goal attempts to rally for an 87-84 mild upset as 2-point underdogs. The Broncos have shown some offensive punch at times, but defense has been another story and a big reason why their last three lined games went ‘over’ the NCAA basketball odds.

The Trojans were soundly whipped at home by Texas A&M and again on the road at SMU to start this little skid. Those defeats were followed by a slow start last Friday across town at LA’s Staples Center that was too much to overcome against Oklahoma, the Sooners holding off USC’s late rally for an 85-83 result. Outside shooting has been one issue during the losing streak, the Trojans only able to connect on 22 of 71 (30.9%) from 3-point range.

Rivalry Trends, Final Thoughts & A Free Pick

As 30 previous meetings would suggest, there’s plenty of history between these two programs. Unfortunately, most of it is rather ancient history with only one meeting in the last 34 seasons. That meeting took place at Galen Center in November 2010, the Trojans posting an 86-73 decision as 8½-point favorites that had plenty to get past a 129-point total. Southern Cal has won 11 of the 13 meetings in its home floor.

Maybe facing the visiting SC’s weak perimeter defense will help wake up the home SC’s outside shooting, but in their current slide, 17 points are too many for me to lay on the Trojans with my free college basketball pick.

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