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USC vs California Odds, Lines, and Spread (Jan. 6)

Daniel Coyle

by Daniel Coyle in College Basketball

Jan 6, 2022 · 7:10 AM PST

USC vs California
California forward Andre Kelly (22) drunks the ball against Santa Clara during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Dec. 11, 2021, in Berkeley, Calif. Cal won 72-60. (AP Photo/John Hefti)
  • The USC Trojans aim to stay undefeated when they visit the California Golden Bears
  • The Trojans sport a perfect 12-0 SU record but face a California squad rising a nine-game unbeaten streak on home court
  • Read on for all the odds and trends ahead of Thursday night’s Pac-12 conference matchup at Haas Pavilion

The USC Trojans will be looking to extend their unblemished straight up record to 13-0 when they visit the surging California Golden Bears as 5.5-point favorites. Tip off is set for 11:00 pm ET on Thursday night at Haas Pavilion.

USC Trojans vs California Golden Bears Odds

Team Spread Total Moneyline
USC Trojans -5.5 (-110) Ov 128.5 (-110) -230
California Golden Bears +5.5 (-110) Un 128.5 (-110) +188

Odds at FanDuel as of January 6, 2022.

Trojans vs Golden Bears Betting Trends

Thursday night’s matchup marks the first of two scheduled meetings between these Pac-12 Conference rivals this season. The Trojans have held a clear upper hand in recent dates with California, tallying six straight outright wins including a trio of victories on the road.

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USC has posted against the spread wins on four occasions during its current win streak versus the Golden Bears, but came up short as 8.5-point chalk in a 76-68 win in their most recent almost a year ago. Sports bettors have cashed in by taking the OVER in each of the past four clashes between these cross-state rivals. The total has topped 140 in each of those contests, and in seven of their past overall matchups. USC has also covered just once in their past four as road chalk, and are 2-5 ATS in their past seven while favored by fewer than 10 points on the road.

While the Trojans have been a reliable bet when facing California, they have produced mixed results during their 12-0 start, going 7-5 ATS including a middling 3-2 ATS mark on the road. SU winners in their past nine home dates, the Golden Bears also sport an 8-1 ATS record over that stretch. A stout defence has been key to that success, limiting opponents to 52.8 points per game over their past five home outings, fueling a steady 4-1 run for the UNDER during that stretch.

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USC Trojans Outlook

The Trojans will see their first action in almost three weeks when they hit the hardwood on Thursday night. Currently pegged at No. 7 in the AP Top 25 rankings, the Trojans faced little resistance while jumping out to an early double-digit lead on their way to a 67-53 win over Georgia Tech in their last outing on December 18. That marks somewhat of a turnaround for the undefeated Trojans, who have been prone at times to slow starts this season.

USC failed to take a halftime lead to the dressing room in three of their past five outings. That forced the team to produce big second-half performances in each of their recent victories over UC-Irvine, Long Beach State, and Washington State. That is reflected in the Kenpom ratings, where USC is pegged at No. 18 overall, but lags at No. 28 in adjusted offensive efficiency.

The Trojans have been getting offensive contributions from up and down the lineup. All five starters reached double digits in scoring in the team’s recent win over the Yellow Jackets. Isaiah Mobley has led the charge with 15.0 points and 9.6 rebounds per game, and has recorded double-doubles in five of his past seven appearances.

California Golden Bears Outlook

The Golden Bears showed no signs of rust in their return to action last weekend following an 11-day break, turning in a dominating performance in a 74-50 rout of the visiting Arizona State Sun Devils. California shooters exploited a porous ASU defence while converting on 50.9% of field goal attempts, including a 1 9-for-19 mark from beyond the arc.

The win over ASU also marked the fifth time in six outings that California has held opponents to less than 40% from the floor. That is reflected in the Kenpom ratings, where the Golden Bears sit at a lofty No. 51 in adjusted defensive efficiency.

Undefeated this season when scoring at least 70 points, the Golden Bears have leaned heavily on a trio of seniors to generate offence. Jordan Shepherd led the way in last weekend’s victory, dropping 16 points, and has now tallied double-digits in eight straight outings. Andre Kelly continues to lead the team with 14.6 points and 8.6 rebounds per game, while the team’s other senior big man Grant Anticevich has recorded double-doubles in five of his past six outings.

The Pick: Golden Bears +5.5 (-110); UNDER 128.5 (-110)

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