USC vs UConn Picks and Odds

Southern California's Drew Peterson celebrating a basket

Southern California’s Drew Peterson reacts after scoring a basket in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against BYU, Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2020, in Uncasville, Conn. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)

  • A pair of unbeatens take the court on Thursday, Dec. 3, as USC faces UConn at 7:00 pm ET
  • Both teams are averaging over 80 points per game so far this season
  • Find odds for the game, as well as matchup analysis and a pick, in the article below

USC and UConn both bring spotless records into their neutral site game at Mohegan Sun Arena on Thursday, Dec. 3, at 7:00 pm ET. Of course, that will have to change.

Though UConn is only 45 minutes up the road from the site of the game, it’s fair to consider this a “neutral” location because it’s closed off from fans. What we’re left with is a very tight matchup on paper, in which the Huskies are slight favorites.

UConn vs USC Odds

Team Moneyline Point Spread Over/Under Total
UConn -124 -1.5 (-110) Over 143.5 (-114)
USC +106 +1.5 (-110) Under 143.5 (-106)

Odds taken Dec. 2 at FanDuel.

How They’ve Fared So Far

UConn’s stats are almost not worth looking at, because so far they’ve only played two grossly overmatched opponents. Playing at home in both instances, the Huskies defeated local foes Central Connecticut and Hartford by double-digit margins. Neither team is ranked inside KenPom’s top-300.

For interest’s sake, there are two things UConn executed particularly well in those two games: they grabbed offensive rebounds on 48.6 percent of opportunities (third in NCAA Division I) and they blocked 21.4 percent of their opponents’ shots (third in NCAA D-I).

USC has faced and defeated three top-300 opponents so far, including a resounding 26-point win over BYU (ranked 92nd by KenPom) in their most recent game. The Trojans have also been exceptional on the offensive glass (grabbing rebounds on 44.8 percent of opportunities, sixth in NCAA D-I) and are limiting opponents to 36 percent shooting from 2-pt. range (10th in NCAA D-I).

Keep in mind, though, the Trojans did need overtime to beat Cal Baptist in their opener — after trailing by five in the final minutes of regulation.

ATS Analysis

The Huskies are 1-1 against the spread this year, but 4-2 ATS when you look back to the end of last season. They are 3-4 in their past seven games as the favorite.

The Trojans are 2-1 ATS this year, and 7-3 ATS dating back to the 2019-20 campaign. As underdogs, USC has won three of its past four — including that mega win over BYU.

Who To Watch For

Isaiah Whaley is UConn’s veteran, do-it-all X-factor. The senior forward finally appears to be a steady starter (after making just 18 total starts in his first three seasons) and so far he is really justifying his minutes.

Whaley is averaging 11 points, three blocks, two assists and 8.5 rebounds per game so far, finding ways to help the Huskies at both ends. Can he keep these numbers up (we’re looking at that block rate in particular)? Time will tell.

On the other side, USC has seen a lot of great things from transfer guard Drew Peterson. The former Rice Owl is averaging 14.7 points, 2.3 assists and 4.7 rebounds so far in three starts.

Peterson was 3-for-4 from 3-pt. range in USC’s win over BYU, bringing his total up to 5-for-8 (62.5 percent) in the young season. Certainly someone to watch, especially in moments where the Trojans are looking for a quick bucket.

2021 NCAA Men’s Tournament Championship Odds Tracker

USC Is The Value Play

Look, 1.5-point spreads are not always the toss-ups they appear to be on paper. But we think this one appears that way, so why not hunt some value? USC’s moneyline odds of +106 are awfully enticing.

And you know what? So is the under. For as good as these teams have been offensively, they’ve found ways to impress on the defensive end, too. And now they’re both facing their stiffest competition of the season, which should tighten things up from a scoring standpoint.

Pick: USC Moneyline (+106); Under 143.5 (-106)

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Jordan Horrobin