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Paige Bueckers #5 to head coach Geno Auriemma of the Connecticut Huskies as we offer our UConn vs. USC prediction and pick for the Elite Eight of the women's NCAA Tournament on Monday at the Moda Center in Portland, Ore.
Paige Bueckers #5 to head coach Geno Auriemma of the Connecticut Huskies during the first half against the Duke Blue Devils in the Sweet 16 round of the NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament at Moda Center on March 30, 2024 in Portland, Oregon. Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images via AFP.

Paige Bueckers and JuJu Watkins will be in the spotlight Monday when the USC Trojans face the UConn Huskies in the Elite Eight of the women's NCAA Tournament, as we offer our best UConn vs. USC prediction and best bet based on the latest Women's March Madness odds.

Despite all eyes being on Caitlin Clark and the national title rematch between Iowa and LSU, the stars will be out in full force on Monday when the top-seeded USC Trojans (29-5) take on the No. 3 seed UConn Huskies (32-5) in the Elite Eight at the Moda Center in Portland, Ore.

UConn enters Monday's contest as a 3.5-point favorite across our best sports betting sites, with tipoff scheduled for 9:15 p.m. ET on ESPN.

Paige Bueckers reasserted her case as the best player in women's basketball with a methodical performance in the Sweet 16, scoring a game-high 24 points in 40 minutes to propel UConn back to the Elite Eight. Similarly, USC star JuJu Watkins carried the Trojans with 30 points to survive Baylor and set up Monday's star-studded showdown.

As part of our March Madness predictions along with our LSU vs. Iowa prediction, here are our best UConn vs. USC prediction (odds via our best March Madness betting sites; pick confidence based on a 1-to-5-star scale).

UConn (3) vs. USC (1) game info

  • When: Monday, April 1
  • Tip-off: 9:15 p.m. ET
  • Where: Moda Center, Portland, Ore.
  • How to watch: ESPN
  • Favorite: UConn -3.5 (-110 via BetMGM)

UConn vs. USC odds

UConn-175-3.5 (-110)Over: 135.5
USC+140+3.5 (-110)Under: 135.5

UConn vs. USC prediction

USC +3.5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Best odds: -110 via BetMGM

When the bracket was first released, I circled (and bet) USC as the most undervalued team in the field with 50/1 odds to win it all. That price has since been slashed, but it feels like the market continues to sleep on the Trojans.

This team was on the ropes against a capable Baylor squad on Saturday, but Watkins scored nine of her team's final 10 points to break a 64-64 tie and guide her team to victory. Really, though, it was USC's deep rotation that helped weather the storm and catalyze an 8-0 run to turn the tides in the fourth quarter.

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That's a major advantage against UConn, which played just six players in Saturday's win over Duke - with four of them logging 38 to 40 minutes. That's been an issue all tournament for the Huskies, who rely on Bueckers and their suffocating defense to win with an injury-shortened rotation.

I'm not so sure that'll work on two days' rest against a USC roster with more depth, size, and ways to win on Monday. This game could come down to Watkins' ability to get to the free-throw line, as she did 13 times in the Sweet 16. If she can get UConn's starters into foul trouble early on, the Huskies will be hard-pressed to keep pace down the stretch.

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UConn vs. USC spread & Over/Under analysis

UConn may be the higher seed in Monday's matchup, but the Huskies are still 3.5-point favorites over USC across all of our best sportsbooks ahead of the Elite Eight. That's much lower than what most projection models have for this final result, but those systems may be underrating the fatigue and late-game personnel issues that Connecticut faces with a six-player rotation.

The total is trading at a consensus 135.5 across our best sports betting apps, which is one of the lower numbers of this tournament and nearly 35 points lower than the total for Monday's first game between LSU and Iowa. That's a credit to this stellar UConn defense, though with Bueckers and Watkins on the court, we could see some fireworks on display.

UConn-USC prediction made Monday at 1:30 p.m. ET.

Here are our best March Madness betting sites:

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* Bonuses not applicable in Ontario.

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