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NCAA Tournament handicapper Brandon Hurley is back with his expert pick for USC vs. Gonzaga in the Elite 8 round at March Madness

March Madness Elite 8 Picks

USC Trojans vs. Gonzaga Bulldogs

USC is ranked 14th on offense and 4th on defense, per KenPom. Gonzaga is ranked 1st on offense and 7th on defense. Gonzaga comes into this game a perfect 29-0 on the season. They have won all their tournament games easily beating 16 seed Norfolk State, 8 seed Oklahoma, and 5 seed Creighton. They are the hottest team in the country, but their opponent next game is hot as well. USC has been dominating teams this tournament too. The Trojans have smoked 11 seed Drake, 3 seed Kansas, and 7 seed Oregon. USC has been getting it done with their length, defense, and 3 point shooting.

This is a classic battle of offense vs defense. Gonzaga will try to play fast and get out in transition. USC will try to slow the pace to a crawl and use their length on defense. USC’s defense is the key to the cover in this contest. They have held their tournament opponents to 56, 51, and 68 points. Their extended zone has been a nightmare for opposing teams shooters. USC ranks 141st defending the 3, but they have held their last 3 opponents to 30.4%, 24.0%, and 23.8% from behind the arc. USC is also ranked 1st defending the 2. This is crucial because Gonzaga is ranked 1st in 2 point shooting % and 29th in 3 point shooting %. USC’s offense has also been fantastic lately. They have scored 72, 85, and 82 points in their 3 tournament games. USC ranks 60th in 3 point shooting %, 71st in 2 point shooting %, and 54th in Offense Effective FG %. Gonzaga ranks 81st defending the 3, 61st defending the 2, and 45th in Defense Effective FG %. I believe this hot shooting USC offense plus their top notch defense can keep pace with this high powered Gonzaga offense. I expect the Trojans to play at their slower pace and get some high percentage looks with their longer bigs inside. As long as Gonzaga doesn’t go nuclear from 3, I think USC has the pieces to hang around in this one. Give me USC and the points. Best of Luck!

The Pick: USC +9 @ -110 (Click To Bet)

USC Trojans vs. Gonzaga Bulldogs Betting Data 

TeamPoint SpreadMoneyline
USC Trojans+8.5+350
Gonzaga Bulldogs-8.5-400

OddsChecker bettors are heavily backing the Zags here. 84% of ATS bets are backing the Bulldogs -8.5 and 90% of the ML wagers are backing Gonzaga too. We don't see teams with this much action on one side very often.

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NCAA Tournament Expert Picks

USC +9 @ -110 (Click To Bet)


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