Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#785 Southern California (USC) vs.
#786 Tennessee
Thursday, November 24, 2022 at 1:30pm EST
Written by Chris King

Five experts, five days of football, over 40 picks, and $8500 in profit to be had. All for only $55.

This article covers a past game!

View upcoming games.

It’s a semifinal matchup of the Battle 4 Atlantis on the hardwood when a member of the Pac-12 takes on the SEC on the college hardwood down on an island paradise. The USC Trojans are the “road” team as they take on the #22 Tennessee Volunteers Thursday afternoon. USC knocked off BYU 82-76 in their opening-round matchup, winning outright as a two-point underdog Wednesday afternoon. Tennessee stomped Butler 71-45 in their first-round matchup to easily cover as a 7.5-point favorite Wednesday night. In the all-time series between the schools, the Volunteers own a 4-3 advantage but the Trojans have won the last two matchups. That includes a 64-63 road win in the most recent matchup on December 21, 2010.

I just won $14,619 in parlay tickets in the month of November. Don't miss out on another big payday! Click here to get a month of my parlays for only $50 (normally $100)!

USC Trojans Seeking Fifth Consecutive Victory

USC won their fourth straight since their season-opening defeat to FGCU as they managed to knock off BYU in their first-round matchup. The Trojans put that 4-1 mark on the line as they take on the Volunteers here looking to reach the title game. Against BYU, USC jumped to a 7-0 lead and shook off a couple of rough stretches to lead 31-30 at the half. In the second half, the Trojans used an 11-0 run to take a 52-39 advantage with 12:12 to play. USC extended to an 18-point lead with 4:59 to play and held BYU at bay down the stretch to earn the victory. The Trojans shot 53.4% from the floor, including two of 10 from three-point range, and overcame missing 12 of their 30 free throw attempts in the contest. Boogie Ellis poured in 27 points to lead USC in the victory.

The Trojans average 76.2 points per game on the season, putting them 157th in the nation in scoring offense. USC comes into this one grabbing 39 rebounds a night while they dish out 15.4 assists a night. The Trojans are above average on the defensive end of the floor, ranking 123rd by allowing 67.8 points per game this season. Drew Peterson is one of three players averaging in double figures for the Trojans this season with 15.8 points, 8.2 rebounds and 7.6 assists per game. Boogie Ellis (18 points), Joshua Morgan (9.8 points) and Reese Dixon-Waters (10 points) are solid secondary scoring options. Tre White, Malik Thomas, Kobe Johnson, Harrison Hornery, Kijani Wright and Oziyah Sellers are all averaging solid minutes for coach Andy Enfield this season. USC shoots 46.8% from the field as a team this season. The Trojans drill 5.2 three-pointers per game while shooting 28.9% from beyond the arc. USC is mediocre at the line as they shoot 68.5% at the stripe as a team this season.

Tennessee Volunteers Look for Another Lockdown Defensive Performance

Tennessee dropped the hammer on Butler, especially in the second half, as they turned what was a close game for the opening 25 minutes into a rout. The Volunteers improved to 3-1 on the season with the win and look for another strong defensive showing here. Against Butler, Tennessee gave up the game’s first five points and trailed by as many as six in the opening half. The Volunteers used a 14-0 run spanning both halves to turn a five-point deficit into a nine-point lead in the opening minute of the second half. Tennessee, after seeing Butler climb within two, ripped off a 17-1 run to go up 53-35 and led by double figures the rest of the way. The Volunteers shot 48.1% from the field, including five of 15 from three-point range, and held a 37-29 advantage on the glass. Santiago Vescovi paced Tennessee with 13 points in the victory.

The Volunteers put up 73.3 points per game on the season, leaving them 171st in the nation in scoring offense. Tennessee pulls down 38.3 rebounds a night while dishing out 16.5 assists per game. The Volunteers are excellent on the defensive end, ranking 30th in the country by allowing 54 points per game. Josiah-Jordan James leads the team with 13.7 points plus six rebounds a night this season. Tyreke Key (11.8 points, 3.8 rebounds) and Zakai Ziegler (10 points, 3.5 boards, 3.8 assists) are good options offensively as well. Olivier Nkamhoua, Santiago Vescovi (10.3 points, 3.5 assists), Julian Phillips, Jahmai Mashack, Jonas Aidoo and Tobe Awaka have to step up and help out on both ends of the floor for coach Rick Barnes. Tennessee shoots 39.8% from the field as a team this season. The Volunteers knock down 9.3 triples a night while shooting 32.2% from beyond the arc. Tennessee knocks down a very solid 74.2% of their attempts at the charity stripe this season. James missed the game against Butler with knee soreness and is considered day-to-day.

Best Bets for this Game

Full-Game Side Bet

Insiders Status:


We’ve got a pair of teams that have some capable offensive weapons to work with to pile up points. The status of James is a big question mark for Tennessee: while they didn’t need him against Butler, he could be important when it comes to trying to slow down Peterson for USC. We know that the Trojans have been above average on both ends of the floor but this is their first clash against a team that is extremely tough on the defensive end of the floor. Tennessee is an experienced team and they have the depth to wear teams down. The Volunteers showed their grit and muscle in the opening round. They learn from that experience and handcuff the Ellis/Peterson duo to deliver a win, sending Tennessee to the championship game.

Prediction: Tennessee Volunteers

Full-Game Total Pick

Insiders Status:


USC has seen the over hit in three of their five games in regard to the total this season. The Trojans are 73rd in adjusted tempo according to KenPom with 71.5 possessions a game but they are turnover prone as well. USC is 229th in turnover percentage by coughing the ball up on 20.2% of their possessions. Those numbers kind of offset the fact that they are 58th in two-point shooting (55.4%) this season. Tennessee has stayed under the number in three of their four games this season. The Volunteers are a stellar 2nd in defensive efficiency, 20th in effective field goal percentage defense (41.3%), 4th in turnover percentage (28.9%) and first in steal percentage (17.8%) this season. Tennessee is an average team in tempo as they are 175th with 69 possessions per contest. The Volunteers’ defense clamps down here and that keeps this game under the total.

Prediction: Under

Written By Chris King , "Chris King"

Chris King has been immersed in the world of professional and collegiate sports for more than three decades. Whether it's playing pickup games or being involved in organized sports to being a fan, he's checked all the boxes. From the NFL to arena football, the NHL to the KHL, the NBA to the WNBA to college hoops, and even MLB to the KBO.  If it's out there, he's covered it and bet on it as well, as Chris has been an expert bettor in his career.  Before joining Winners and Whiners back in 2015, his work appeared around the internet and in print. He's written books for Ruckus Books about college basketball, the NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, golf, and the World Cup. If you're looking for the inside track on hitting a winner, do yourself a favor and read what Chris has to say.