The No. 19 USC Trojans (19-4, 13-3 Pac-12) battle the Colorado Buffaloes (17-7, 11-6 Pac-12) on Thursday night in a conference battle between two teams in the top half of the standings. Both teams closed out 2020 with the Buffaloes topping the Trojans, 72-62, on New Year’s Eve.
Thursday’s tipoff is at 9 pm EST inside the CU Events Center in Boulder, CO. Colorado is a 2.5-point favorite in the PAC-12 showdown against USC, according to oddsmakers.
What to Know – USC Trojans
USC bounced back Monday night with a victory over Oregon after suffering their first conference loss in over a month on Saturday. A win Thursday gives the Trojans their 20th victory of the season, marking the fifth time in six seasons. The Trojans have a slim half-game lead atop the conference standings.
On offense, the Trojans average 75.7 points per game behind a 46.9% shooting from the floor and 35.2 effort beyond the arc. Defensively, USC allows opponents to score 64.1 points per game while shooting 38.6% from the field and 32.0% from three.
In Monday’s 14-point victory over Oregon, senior guard Tahj Eddy tallied a game-high 24 points behind 6-of-11 shooting from three. Junior guard Drew Peterson came off the bench to add 15 points and 11 rebounds, his third double-double this season.
The Trojans are 15-8 against the spread this season, including 7-1 over their last eight games. USC is 11-5 ATS in conference games this season but only 1-4 against the Buffaloes in their previous five matchups.
What to Know – Colorado Buffaloes
Colorado returns to Boulder after a four-game conference road swing that saw CU go 2-2. The Buffaloes bounced back after back-to-back losses to down Oregon State, 61-57, on Saturday. CU is tied for third in the Pac-12 standings as we near the end of the regular season.
CU pours in 73.5 points per game offensively thanks to a 45.7% shooting effort from the field and 36.1% from the three-point range. Colorado’s defense surrenders 63.2 points per game and holds teams to 41.7% shooting from the floor and 32.5% shooting from deep.
McKinley Wright IV, the Buffaloes leading scorer, paced CU in the win over Oregon State with a game-high 21 points. Starting forward Evan Battey and reserve forward Jeriah Horne each chipped in 10 points apiece in the victory.
Colorado is 13-11 ATS this year but only 2-6 over their last eight games. The Buffaloes are 9-9 ATS in conference games and 6-3 on their home floor.
The Pick is In
Both teams are coming off conference victories, and the Trojans would like to maintain their spot atop the conference standings. A win for Colorado gives the Buffaloes the season sweep over the Trojans and puts CU only 1.5 games back of the conference lead with just over a week left in the regular season.
Colorado has flourished on their home floor, sporting an 8-1 record in Boulder this season, and expect the Buffaloes to continue their home dominance.
The Pick: Colorado -2.5