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USC Trojans vs. UCLA Bruins Battle of LA analysis, odds & NCAA tips

USC v UCLA

The battle for Los Angeles will have a second round as the UCLA Bruins (15-13) host the USC Trojans (15-13) in the newest chapter of a storied NCAA rivalry.

The Bruins will look to avenge a bad loss to the Trojans earlier this season.

USC had won two in a row before suffering a loss in their last game and they need to win just to get on the Big Dance bubble. They are 15-13 overall and 8-7 in Pac 12 play and that conference is down this season with only one ranked team in Washington. The Trojans need to keep winning and do some damage in the conference tournament to have any shot to get into the NCAA Tournament.

UCLA is in the same boat as USC with the same overall record and conference record, but they have won two in a row and three of their last four games. They had high hopes this season with a talented squad, but they have not been able to put it together and they fired their head coach earlier this season. The trouble for UCLA has been on the defensive end of the floor where they only rank 290th in the nation in points allowed.

This season UCLA is 12-5 at home and USC is 2-6 on the road.

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This season USC is 13-15 ATS and they have an Over/Under record of 11-16 and UCLA is at 11-17 ATS with an Over/Under record of 13-15.

Earlier this season at home USC beat UCLA 80-67.

The home team is 6-2 ATS in the last eight games between these Pac 12 rivals.

USC was at home in their last game losing to Oregon State 67-62. They shot the rock better than Oregon State (44.3% to 41.8%) and had fewer turnovers, but it killed them in a close game that they missed all six of their free throws while the Bears were a legit 15/19 from the charity stripe. Jonah Mathews led the Trojans with 15 points and Bennie Boatwright chimed in for 13 points.

Boatwright (18.3 ppg) leads three players for UCS averaging over 12 ppg and he had blown up for 56 points in the two recent wins before only going for 13 in the loss to Oregon State. Nick Rakocevic ranks 2nd on the squad in scoring (15.1 ppg) and leads them in rebounding (9.4 rpg), but only went for four points and had foul trouble in the last game. Each of these players went for 21 points in the earlier win over UCLA and Rakocevic had 12 rebounds as well.

In their last game UCLA was at home and they beat Oregon 90-83 where they had a big-time comeback. They were outscored by 16 points in the first half only scoring 28 points, but blew up in the 2nd half outscoring the Ducks 62-39. Both teams shot a similar FG%, but UCLA was on fire from deep with a 3-pt FG% of 63.6% while the Ducks were at 36.7%. Jaylen Hands led the Bruins with 27 points, Kris Wilkes had 20 points, and Jules Bernard had 20 points off the bench. Bernard is only averaging 7.2 ppg this season, but he has scored at least 19 points in two of his last three games.

Wilkes (17.2 ppg) and Hands (13.5 ppg) are the two leading scorers for UCLA and Wilkes had only totaled 17 points in two games before going for 20 points in the last game. Hands has scored at least 27 points in three of his last five games. 7’1” freshmen Moses Brown (10.3 ppg 8.5 rpg) has failed to score over seven points in three of his last four games.

USC Trojans betting trends

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UCLA Bruins betting trends

USC Trojans vs. UCLA Bruins betting predictions

We’re going with the hotter team in this game and believe UCLA will get the job done at home.

The Bruins will win this game with their scoring power and cover the spread, improving their Big Dance chances in the process.

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