Two of the top teams and in-state rivals clash Saturday night when the #12 UCLA Bruins (17-4, 9-3 Pac-12) and the #21 USC Trojans (20-4, 9-4 Pac-12) take the court. Both teams are coming off triumphs earlier in the week, with the Bruins knocking off Stanford and the Trojans handing Pacific a loss. The matchup will be the first of two meetings between the two rivals.
The tip-off of Saturday’s contest is at 10 p.m. EST inside the Galen Center in Los Angeles, CA. The Bruins are a 2-point road favorite in the conference tilt, and the over-under total is currently at 137.0 points.
What to Know – UCLA Bruins
UCLA dropped a pair of conference contests last week, both on the road, that snapped a six-game Pac-12 winning streak. The Bruins regrouped and bounced back in the win column on Tuesday in a 79-70 victory over Stanford. The clash with USC is UCLA’s fourth-straight away game.
The Bruins score 78.0 points per game, hitting 45.6 percent of their shots from the floor and 35.4 percent from beyond the arc. UCLA’s defense holds opponents to 63.9 points per game, 40.9 percent shooting from the field, and 31.8 percent shooting from the 3-point line.
Johnny Juzang scored a game-high 23 points, highlighted by a four-point play early in the second half, and Jaime Jaquez Jr. and Tyger Campbell added 14 points apiece to propel the Bruins past Stanford. The Bruins shot 54.8 percent from the floor and turned the ball over only six times in the victory.
UCLA is 10-10-1 against the spread with a 4-4 mark ATS on the road. The Bruins are 5-2 ATS over their last seven games against Pac-12 foes.
What to Know – USC Trojans
USC’s won three of its last four contests and risen to just 2.5 games outside of the top spot in the Pac-12 standings as the regular season winds down. The Trojans responded to a single-digit loss at Arizona last Saturday with a 74-68 victory against the Pacific Tigers Tuesday night.
On offense, the Trojans score 73.3 points per game, shooting 45.8 percent from the field and 34.3 percent from deep. The USC defense surrenders 63.6 points per game, second-best in the Pac-12, and limits teams to 38.1 percent shooting from the floor and 31.9 percent from three.
Boogie Ellis scored 13 points, leading the Trojans to a victory over Pacific after trailing by eight at halftime. USC was without the services of star player Isaiah Mobley. Chevez Goodwin and Drew Peterson chipped in 12 points apiece.
The Trojans are an even 12-12 ATS and 4-8 ATS inside the Galen Center. USC is 1-8 ATS over its previous nine games at home.
The Pick is In
The status of Mobley will have a major impact on the outcome of Saturday’s contest. If he can go, watch out for the Trojans, who have beaten their rivals four straight times and three consecutive times at home. If Mobley is a go and USC starts hitting their shots from deep, watch out for the Trojans to win their fifth in a row over their city rival.
Betting Pick: USC Trojans +2