- USC (11-3, 5-2 Pac 12) battles Stanford (8-5, 4-3 Pac 12) on Thursday, Jan. 21 at 5pm ET
- The Trojans are coming off a tight loss on Tuesday, which snapped a six-game winning streak
- The odds for the game, as well as matchup analysis and a pick, can be found in the article below
USC and Stanford will meet on Thursday, Jan. 21 at 5pm ET for their first of two meetings in the next two weeks. The Trojans are coming off of their worst loss of the season by far, while the Cardinal has suffered a pair of losses against tough opponents in its past two games.
Here are the odds for Thursday’s game, which features USC as a very slight road favorite.
USC vs Stanford Odds
|USC||-130||-1.5 (-114)||Over 139.5 (-110)|
|Stanford||+108||+1.5 (-106)||Under 139.5 (-110)|
Odds as of Jan. 20th, 2020 at FanDuel.
How They’ve Fared Recently
Stanford might be catching USC at the right time, because the Trojans are coming off their most disappointing effort of the season. The good news is they held Oregon State (141st in KenPom’s rankings) to just 58 points. The bad news is they only managed to score 56 of their own.
Despite how tight the game was, USC did not lead at any point in the second have against the Beavers. The Trojans committed 13 turnovers and made just 10-of-18 (55.6%) of their free throws. Shooting free throws has been a recurring issue for the Trojans this season, as they rank 308th in NCAA Division I from the foul line (64.2%).
Fortunately, it hasn’t bitten them many times. Prior to Tuesday’s loss, USC had won six in a row. Their two other losses came against UConn (27th in KenPom) and Colorado (15th).
The Cardinal lost its past two games, against Colorado and Utah (75th in KenPom), by a combined 27 points. Not ideal. With the exception of Utah, though, Stanford’s other four losses came against teams ranked inside KenPom’s top 40.
Our focus remains the same.#GoStanford pic.twitter.com/7NVEIaI9Kg
— Stanford Men’s Basketball (@StanfordMBB) January 17, 2021
Arguably their best win came in their season opener, an 18-point drubbing against #18 Alabama.
Stanford has trouble taking care of the basketball (21.7% turnover rate, 280th in D-I), and they get blocked a lot (11% of possessions, 295th in D-I). But they have a top-15 defense, based on adjusted efficiency, and can put the clamps on an opponent on any given night.
The Trojans are 8-6 against the spread, but with three losses in their past four. As single-digit favorites this season, USC is 3-1 ATS. They’re also 2-1 ATS as the road team.
? SPLASH [email protected] drains a 3!
?: https://t.co/H47O1yamhO pic.twitter.com/KIZ3SM2bEg
— USC Men’s Basketball (@USC_Hoops) January 20, 2021
The Cardinal is 6-6-1 ATS this season and are coming off consecutive losses. That includes their 79-65 defeat at Utah, in which Stanford was a 1-point favorite. As a single-digit underdog, Stanford is 1-2-1 ATS.
The over is 4-0-1 in Stanford’s past five games, but it’s just 2-3 recently for USC. Probably best to steer clear.
USC and Stanford have matched up three times in the previous two seasons, with the Trojans taking two of three straight up and against the spread. That includes last year’s lone meeting, an 82-78 overtime win where USC served as 3.5-point favorites.
While USC’s poor showing on Tuesday doesn’t inspire much confidence, Stanford has struggled in its past two games. The Cardinal also have a pair of contributing players who are questionable for this matchup (Bryce Willis and Spencer Jones, who’ve combined to average 16.5 points and 8.2 rebounds per game). We like USC against the spread here.
Pick: USC -1.5 (-114)