Colorado Buffaloes at USC Trojans – NCAAM December 31

Colorado (6-2, 0-1 ) at USC (5-1, 0-0) – ESPN, 10 pm EST

Series:

Colorado leads the Trojans 13-7 in the series as the Buffaloes are on a four-game winning streak in the series over the past two seasons. Prior to that the Trojans put together a four-game win streak of their own.

Vs. the Spread:

The total has gone UNDER in 13 of USC’s last 18 games and it has also been UNDER in the last eight matchups between the Buffaloes and the Trojans. USC is 1-6 ATS in it’s last seven home games vs. Colorado. The Buffaloes are 6-12 ATS in their last 18 games. The total is also UNDER in five of CU’s last seven games as the Buffs are 4-1 SU in their last five games.

Teams Spread Money Line Total Points
Colorado +2½ (-105) +128 O 140½ (-110)
USC -2½ (-115) -148 U 140½ (-110)

Last Time Out:

Evan Battey led Colorado with 18 points as the Buffaloes fell at Arizona, 88-74, on Monday evening. Guard McKinley Wright, IV, scored 10 points in 33 minutes, but went out in the final minute with a right ankle injury.

USC never trailed in storming to an 86-63 win over Santa Clara on Dec. 29. The Trojans’ defense was at the pinnacle of the win s USC held the Broncos to 37.7 percent from the field. Evan Mobley led the Trojans with 17 points and seven rebounds while his brother Isaiah had 13 and seven.

Roaming the Range:

Colorado Buffaloes LogoThe health of McKinley Wright’s injured ankle is front row and center right now for the Buffaloes’ and he is not listed on injury reports heading into the matchup with the Trojans. Wright (15.5 ppg, 5.6 apg) is one of the most underrated guards in the nation as he is the center piece in what coach Tad Boyle looks to do on each end of the floor.

Colorado was in major foul trouble in Monday night’s loss at Arizona so a matchup against USC leading scorer Evan Mobley could be tough as CU averages 14.5 fouls per game.

Boyle features a defensive approach – opponents shoot only 38 percent – that feeds into the offense provided by Wright and big men Dallas Walton (10.3 ppg, 71% FG) and Evan Battey (8.7 ppg, 4.9 rpg). Tulsa transfer Jeriah Horne (11.4 ppg, 6.0 rpg) has made 12-of-24 threes.

Fight On:

USC Trojans LogoThis Trojans defense is for real as it holds the opposition to 35.7 percent which is good for sixth in the nation. The Broncos’ 37.7 percent was the highest for any team since Cal-Baptist shot 45.1 percent from the field in the season opener. How well the Trojans and freshman guard Tahj Eddy can control Wright will go a long way in deciding this game.

Both teams shoot 37.5 percent from three while CU holds opponents to 29 percent from behind the arc and USC’s opposition only shoots 30.8 percent from there. If the two teams cancel out each other’s 3-ball, brothers Evan (17.5 ppg, 8.7 rpg) and Isaiah Mobley (10.0 ppg, 8.8 rpg) and their matchup with Walton and Battey will likely decide the game.

Winner: USC (-2½) 70, Colorado 66
O/U: Take UNDER 140½

The Bets
USC -2½
-115
UNDER 140½
-110
Sub Categories:
Kenneth Cross / Author

Kenneth Cross is a new entry to The Sports Geek staff as he has 25 years of experience in print, broadcast, and internet sports journalism. Cross is a lover of all sports, but college basketball is his passion. He estimates that he has seen around 1,500 college basketball games - live and in-person - and hopes that grows this season. If you listen to Radio, you have likely heard him on Sundays covering the Carolina Panthers for some 20 years. Now in Tampa Bay, he works as a national radio correspondent.