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A pair of foes from the Pac-12 take the floor in college hoops in the Golden State. The USC Trojans are on the road as they make the trip to face the Cal Golden Bears Saturday night. USC comes in off a 79-76 road loss to Stanford Wednesday night in their last contest. Cal was dropped 75-67 in overtime at home by UCLA in their last game on Wednesday night. The Golden Bears lead the all-time series 81-79 but the Trojans have won the last three meetings, including an 82-73 triumph at home in the first matchup this season on January 3.
USC Trojans Hope to Snap Skid at Three
USC suffered a third straight loss as they were upended by Stanford on the road. The Trojans fell to 6-6 with the loss and stand tied for sixth in the Pac-12, 4.5 games behind Washington in the standings. USC led by five at the half and still held a four-point edge with 1:09 to play in the contest. The Trojans saw things fall apart down the stretch as they were outscored 7-0 the rest of the way to take the loss. USC shot 48.1 percent from the field, including seven of 12 from beyond the arc, and turned the ball over 15 times in the loss. Bennie Boatwright led the Trojans with 19 points and six rebounds in the loss.
— USC Men's Basketball (@USC_Hoops) February 14, 2019
The Trojans average 76.8 points per game on the season. USC comes into this one grabbing 36.4 rebounds a night while they dish out 16 assists a night. The Trojans are below average on the defensive end of the floor, ranking tied for 226th by allowing 73.2 points per game this season. Bennie Boatwright leads the team with 17.7 points plus 6.6 rebounds per game. Nick Rakocevic contributes 15.6 points plus 9.8 rebounds a night, Kevin Porter Jr. puts up 8.9 points a game, Jonah Mathews adds 12.8 points a night and Shaqquan Aaron chips in 8.7 points per contest. Derryck Thornton and Elijah Weaver each put up at least 4.7 points a night. USC shoots 45.8 percent from the field as a team this season. The Trojans drill 7.7 three pointers per game while shooting 37.3 percent from beyond the arc. USC is struggling at the line as they shoot 66.4 percent at the stripe. The team announced that Jordan Usher was transferring to Georgia Tech, removing a piece from their rotation.
Cal Golden Bears Continue to Flounder
Cal had their chances but dropped their 13th straight game as they were defeated by UCLA at home in their last contest. The Golden Bears are in the basement of the Pac-12 with a 0-12 mark in conference action. Cal was up nine at the half and held a four-point edge with 2:04 to play before ending up in overtime. The Golden Bears gave up the first five points of overtime and didn’t get closer than two the rest of the way. Cal shot 33.8 percent from the field, including six of 22 from three-point range, and lost the rebounding battle 50-36. Darius McNeill led the way for the Golden Bears with 18 points in the loss.
FOR THE TIE!!
We're headed to overtime! pic.twitter.com/HmIDF9kmXd
— Cal Basketball (@CalMBBall) February 14, 2019
The Golden Bears put up an average of 69.9 points per game this season. Cal collects 28.2 rebounds per contest and dishes out just 10.8 assists a night. The Golden Bears are a miserable tied for 330th in the nation in scoring defense with 79 points per contest. Paris Austin is second on the team with 11.8 points and 4.5 assists per game this season. Justice Sueing (team-high 14.9 points, six boards), Matt Bradley (10.2 points), Andre Kelly (7.8 points, 4.4 rebounds) and Darius McNeill (11.8 points) are all solid scoring options on the offensive end. Juhwan Harris-Dyson, Connor Vanover, Jacobi Gordon and Grant Anticevich all log double-digit minutes for the Golden Bears. Cal shoots 43.2 percent from the field as a team this season. The Golden Bears knock down 6.5 triples a night while shooting 34.4 percent from beyond the arc. Cal is above average at the charity stripe as they shoot 74.9 percent as a team.
- Golden Bears are 1-6 ATS in their last 7 games following an ATS loss
- Golden Bears are 1-6 ATS in their last 7 home games vs. a team with a losing road record
- Golden Bears are 1-8 ATS in their last 9 home games
- Trojans are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games vs. a team with a winning % below .400
- Trojans are 8-1-1 ATS in the last 10 meetings in California
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
This one is a matchup of two teams that have struggled of late and in desperation for a win in conference play. Cal has dropped 12 straight games and hasn’t picked up a win since beating San Jose State back on December 21. USC has dropped three in a row but let the game against Stanford slip away in the final minute. The Trojans had their chances against Stanford, Colorado and Utah before letting things slip away. Look for USC to take advantage of Cal’s penchant for losing and snap their skid at three games.
Prediction: USC Trojans -7
Full-Game Total Pick
Cal’s defensive struggles are a major reason why the team has lost 13 straight games and stand winless in Pac-12 action. The Golden Bears are dead last in Division I in field goal percentage defense (50.2 percent), 335th in three-point field goal percentage defense (37.9 percent) and 327th in free throw percentage defense (73.8 percent) this season. It’s tough to win games with those kinds of numbers. USC is just 1-6 on the road this season but they shoot well from the perimeter (52nd in the nation) and are 87th in scoring offense. Can the Trojans take advantage of the Golden Bears’ struggles and snap their skid?
The over is 5-1 in the Trojans’ last 6 road games. Cal has seen the over go 5-1 in their last 6 Saturday games, 13-5-1 in their last 19 vs. a team with a winning straight up record and 10-4-1 in their last 15 home games vs. a team with a road winning % of less than .400. The over is 9-3-1 in the last 13 meetings in California and 18-7-1 in the last 26 meetings overall. Look for this one to go over the total as the Golden Bears are torched again on the defensive end of the floor.
Prediction: Over 151