The Stanford Cardinal (16-8) and USC Trojans (6-19) will face off in a Pac-12 Conference affair inside the Galen Center on Sunday.
Stanford Cardinal at USC Trojans
Stanford has lost five of its past six games and has gone “under” the total in five of six contests. The Cardinal dropped a 72-61 decision to the UCLA Bruins as 7.5-point road underdogs last time out, with their last five losses coming by double-digit margins. “We have to have a sense of urgency, keep our emphasis on our defense,” stated Cardinal head coach Johnny Dawkins. The program will be looking to pick up its first road in in the city of Los Angeles since 2005. Stanford is 2-5 ATS on the road this season and the “over” is 4-3 in those contests.
The Cardinals will be looking for their first season sweep of the Trojans since 2005, picking up a 51-43 win in the first meeting in Palo Alto as 7.5-point home favorites on Dec. 31. Stanford has three starters averaging double figures in scoring, with senior forward Josh Owens averaging 12.3 points per game. The program is 7-26 on the road in conference play dating back to the 2008-09 season.
USC will look to snap a three-game losing streak and was handed a 75-49 blowout loss by the California Golden Bears Thursday night as 8.5-point home underdogs. The Trojans have gone “over” the total in six of their last eight games. Scoring under 50 points is nothing new for this stagnant offense, failing to reach that number in eight of the last 13 games. “If we don’t shoot the ball any better now, we are not going to win,” stated Trojans head coach Kevin O’Neill. USC is 2-11 ATS at home and the “over” is 7-5 in those contests.
The Trojans will need sophomore guard Maurice Jones to carry the offense, as he’s the only player on the roster averaging double figures in scoring. USC is 4-10 at home this season and 67-29 inside today’s venue in six seasons. Many Pac-12 experts weren’t expecting much from the program after starting point guard Jio Fontan went down with a knee injury in August, as the roster returned just 19.7 percent of its scoring and 12.4 percent of its rebounding at that point in time.
Bettors will likely back the Cardinal due to their 8-3 ATS mark on the road versus losing home teams, while the Trojans are 0-5 ATS as a home underdog of 6.5 points or less.
Recommendation: Stanford Cardinal -5.5
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