Utah vs. Southern Cal, 01/12/17 – Prediction & Preview

Game Snapshot

University of Southern California
vs.
Utah Utes

Thursday, January 12, 2017 at 9:00pm

Written by on

Image licensed from USA Today Sports

Southern Cal Trojans (15-2 SU, 8-8 ATS, 8-8 O/U) vs. Utah Utes (11-4 SU, 6-6-1 ATS, 7-6 O/U)

NCAAB: Thursday, January 12, 2017 at 9:00 p.m. EST

The Line: Utah Utes -4. Total: 151

The Southern Cal Trojans will be looking to bounce back from a rare loss when they visit the Utah Utes at the Jon M. Huntsman Center on Thursday night. Southern Cal suffered its second setback of the season at home against California this past Sunday. The Utes have won four of their last five contests after most recently prevailing at Arizona State last weekend.

Tough start to Pac-12 schedule

Southern Cal has gone from its best start to a season since 1971 to the middle of the Pac-12 pack after four conference games. The Trojans have losses to Oregon and California to go along with wins over Oregon State and Stanford. They are coming off a 74-73 home setback against California, marking their first home loss since the regular-season finale last March. Southern Cal is already looking up at five teams in the conference standings, one of which is 2-1 Utah.

Elijah Stewart led the Trojans in scoring through most of the non-conference schedule, but he is coming off back-to-back games in single-digits for the first time this season. The junior guard has seen his scoring average drip to 13.9 points per game. Jordan McLaughlin has taken over as the team scoring leader at 14.5 ppg after averaging 17.5 over the last 10 outings. De’Anthony Melton is another player who can contribute in a variety of ways, as the 6-foot-4 freshman guard is fourth on the team in scoring (10.2 ppg), second in rebounding (5.5 rpg) and assists (3.1 apg), and No. 1 in steals (1.8 spg).

Battle of big bodies

Utah’s only hiccup so far in conference play is a 10-point loss at then-No. 16 Arizona last week. The Utes rebounded with an 88-82 victory at Arizona State this past weekend in which they got a career-high 26 points from Kyle Kuzma, who also grabbed 12 rebounds. Kuzma is 6-foot-9 and fellow starting forward David Collette is 6-foot-8, but they won’t have a size advantage against Southern Cal’s starting front-court of 6-foot-11 forwards Chimezie Metu and Nick Rakocevic.

The Utes have six players who average double-figures in scoring, led by Collette (15.4 ppg) and Kuzma (14.8 ppg). Lorenzo Bonam and Sedrick Barefield have been struggling with their offense lately, but JoJo Zamora picked up the slack with 18 points at the Sun Devils’ expense and freshman guard Devon Daniels has combined for 27 points and 14 rebounds in the last two games. Zamora is shooting 12-for-19 from the field in his last two outings.

NCAAB Trends:

The Southern Cal Trojans are:

  • 1-7 ATS in their last eight overall
  • 3-8 ATS in their last 11 road games
  • 1-4 ATS in their last five games agains the Pac-12

The Utah Utes are:

  • 3-1-1 ATS in their last five overall
  • 9-2-1 ATS in their last 12 games against the Pac-12
  • 7-0 ATS in their last seven games against Southern Cal

Utah has won 24 of its last 28 conference home games dating back to the 2013-14 campaign. Barefield has been somewhat cold of late, but he showed what he can do in a 35-point performance against San Francisco on Dec. 22–his second game after gaining eligibility following his transfer from SMU. Utah leads the Pac-12 and is ranked 12th in the nation with a plus-8.7 rebound margin. Southern Cal is 1-7 ATS in its last eight overall, 3-8 ATS in its last 11 on the road, and 1-4 ATS in its last five against the Pac-12. The Utes are 3-1-1 ATS in their last five overall, 9-2-1 ATS in their last 12 against the Pac-12, 7-0 ATS in the last seven meetings between the two teams, and 4-0 ATS in their last four at home against the Trojans. Count on those trends continuing.

Pick: Utah Utes -4

NCAAB on Sunday, 2-19-2017

Loyola - Chicago vs. Illinois State, 02/19/17 - Preview & Prediction

The Illinois State Redbirds have won 15 of their last 16 games heading into a home date with the Loyola-Chicago Ramblers at Redbird Arena on Sunday afternoon.... Read More

Michigan vs. Minnesota, 02/19/17 - Prediction & Preview

Michigan heads to Minnesota to take on the Golden Gophers in a Big Ten contest on Sunday night. The Wolverines are coming off possibly their biggest win of the year, defeating Wis... Read More

San Diego St vs. UNLV, 02/19/17 - Preview & Prediction

The UNLV Runnin' Rebels will be hoping to halt a six-game losing streak when they visit the San Diego State Aztecs at Viejas Arena on Sunday afternoon.... Read More

Southern Illinois vs. Indiana St, 02/19/17 - Expert Prediction

The Indiana State Sycamores will collide with the Southern Illinois Salukis in an MVC matchup Sunday afternoon from the Hulman Center.... Read More

Connecticut vs. Temple, 02/19/17 - Prediction

The Connecticut Huskies will aim for their fourth straight win against the Temple Owls Sunday afternoon from the Liacouras Center in Philadelphia.... Read More

Georgia Tech vs. Syracuse, 02/19/17 - Prediction & Preview

Despite overall winning records and playing in the toughest conference in America, these two teams have some considerable work to do if they want to be considered by the committee ... Read More

Last Updated: January 12, 2017

Ricky Dimon

A 2006 graduate of Davidson College, Ricky is a freelance sports writer based in Atlanta, Georgia. He has previously worked with various websites in the sports handicapping industry and is generally a fan of going with the hot hand while in most cases showing a willingness to take favorites and give the points. Beyond the four major sports, Ricky is an avid tennis fan—and writer—and covers the ATP Tour on a daily basis.