Oregon has emerged as one of the top teams in the PAC-12 after dealing with an early season injury bug.
With the Ducks flying, can the team keep it rolling on the road against a USC team in a tailspin? The Trojans have dropped five straight in PAC-12 play and already has a lost on the ledger to Oregon, will the team be able to get back on track at home?
Here's how I'm betting this PAC-12 matchup on Thursday night.
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Oregon vs. USC Odds, Spread and Total
USC vs. Oregon Betting Trends
- USC is 9-11 against the spread (ATS) this season
- Oregon is 12-8 ATS this season
- USC is 2-4 ATS as an underdog this season
- USC has gone OVER in 13 of 20
Oregon vs. USC How to Watch
- Date: Thursday, Feb. 1
- Game Time: 10:30 PM EST
- Venue: Galen Center
- How to Watch (TV): ESPN
- Oregon Record: 14-6
- USC Record: 8-12
Oregon vs. USC Key Players to Watch
N'Faly Dante: Dante has only played in six games this season, but he's putting up numbers in bunches, averaging 15 points per game and eight rebounds with more than a block and steal per game. However, he's a brutal free throw shooter at less than 55%. Can he use his 6'11" frame to overwhelm USC around the bucket.
Boogie Ellis: With Isiah Collier nursing an injury still, a lot of pressure is on Ellis to perform. He is off a poor game against UCLA, hitting only 3-of-10 shots, however Ellis has been far better from the perimeter this season, shooting 45% on more than seven attempts. Can he have a bounce back outing against the Ducks?
Oregon vs. USC Prediction and Pick
The Ducks are trending upwards, even after a setback against PAC-12 favorite at home over the weekend, now fully healthy and ready to play into a firm spot in the field of 68 come Selection Sunday. Meanwhile, the team plays USC, who is mending plenty of key injuries and in the midst of a five game losing streak.
While the Trojans have talent, I'm not sure this is the game for the team to get back on track.
The key to this one will be the impact of big man N'Faly Dante. The offensive numbers look similar for the Ducks, but his gravity on offense has opened up the perimeter for the Ducks, who are shooting 44% from beyond the arc when he is on the floor (up from 36% when he is off). Further, he is an elite rim protector, Oregon is allowing teams to shoot 51% at the rim when he's playing, down from nearly 59% when he is off. 51% would be inside the top 30 nationally if used on a full game sample.
This is all to say that Oregon is better when Dante is on the floor. The team is second in PAC-12 effective field goal percentage and the defense is starting to round into form. The Ducks travel to SoCal to take on a Trojans team that has fallen off in league play, ninth in P12 effective field goal percentage and posting the second worst turnover percentage in the league.
The offense could only muster 50 points against UCLA over the weekend, and I don't believe the current roster can handle Oregon's morphing zone pressure. Further, this is a rematch from earlier this month when a banged up Ducks team comfortably beat USC, who was much closer to full strength with Isaiah Collier on the floor, leading by as much as 20 in the first half.
I like Oregon to continue its upward trajectory with a road win.
Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.
Track Reed's bets here!