March Madness Sweet 16 Picks
USC ranks 15th on offense and 5th on defense, per KenPom. Oregon ranks 10th on offense and 52nd on defense. Oregon comes into this matchup after having a Covid no-contest win against VCU in round 1 followed by a beat down win over 2 seed Iowa 95-80. USC comes into this game with plenty of confidence after dominating their first two games against Drake and Kansas. USC’s defense has been the real deal holding Drake to 56 points and Kansas to 51 points. Oregon’s offense was able to take advantage of a horrible Iowa defense in their last game, but their defense was still lit up for 80 points. They had no way to stop Iowa’s 6’11 Player of the Year Forward Luka Garza. This could be a big problem for the Ducks because the Trojans are massive ranking 2nd in the country in average height. USC has the Mobley brothers who start and Evan is 7’0 and Isaiah is 6’10. Oregon’s tallest starter is 6’6 and will be dominated inside and on the boards by USC.
USC ranks 12th in Offense Rebounding % and 157th in Defense Rebounding %. Oregon ranks 152nd and 156th in these categories. USC’s elite defense should be able to stop the hot shooting Ducks. USC ranks 160th defending the 3, 1st defending the 2, and 7th in Defense Effective FG %. Oregon ranks 15th in 3 point shooting %, 47th in 2 point shooting %, and 25th in Offense Effective FG %. Oregon has the advantage from 3, but the Trojans have held their last two opponents to 30% and 24% from 3. I expect their length to bother Oregon’s shooters. Oregon’s defense will be the their downfall in this matchup. Oregon ranks 147th defending the 3, 184th defending the 2, and 181st in Defense Effective FG %. USC ranks 81st in 3 point shooting %, 73rd in 2 point shooting %, and 60th in Offense Effective FG %.
These teams met once earlier this year and USC beat Oregon at home 72-58. A few things stick out to be from this contest. One, Oregon had a full squad while USC was without Isaiah Mobley. Two, Evan Mobley only had 11 points, 5 rebounds, and 0 blocks. Three, Oregon shot 41% from 3. All these things went against USC and they still managed to beat Oregon by 14 points. The key to USC’s win last game was their 2 point defense and their rebounding. They held Oregon to 40% shooting from 2 and out-rebounded Oregon 39-25. I expect the Trojans to hold these same advantages this time around. Look for the size and inside game to be too much for Oregon to overcome. The play is USC -2. Best of luck!
The Pick: USC -2 @ -104 (Click To Bet)
This game features one of the closest lines of the day with the Trojans being 2 point favorites. They're the most popular team with bettors on the moneyline, with 56% of bets being on USC, compared to just 44% on Oregon.
When it comes to betting against the spread things are even close with 51% backing the Ducks +2. It really feels like a close game and it appears that bettors agree with such close betting between the two teams.
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NCAA Tournament Expert Picks
USC -2 @ -104 (Click To Bet)