Menu Close

USC vs. Arizona: Expert Pick and Prediction – January 17, 2024

USC vs. Arizona Expert Pick and Prediction – January 17, 2024

USC VS. ARIZONA EXPERT PICK AND PREDICTION – January 17, 2024 — This wasn’t the season that Andy Enfield and USC had in mind when they brought in Bronny James. The Trojans have won 20+ games in four consecutive years, but that’s in serious danger this year.

With nine losses already on the ledger, the Trojans would have to run the table just to match their record in 2020. There’s still two months to go, but it appears USC is in big trouble as far as making the NCAA tournament.

Related: Creighton vs. Connecticut Pick and Prediction

Arizona appears to have its season at a crossroads after taking its second Pac-12 loss on Saturday at Washington State. The Wildcats should be on track to gain a No. 1 seed at season’s end, but they have to figure out how to win away from home. So far, Arizona has four defeats, and they’ve all come outside of Tucson.

But by that same token, Arizona’s been invincible at McKale Center. It hasn’t mattered who the opposition has been; the Wildcats have run them over. In eight games at home, the closest anyone has come to beating the Wildcats was last time out — a 19-point win for Arizona against Utah.

The Odds

Matchup Open Spread Points Moneyline

(8-9 SU, 8-9 ATS)

O159.5  +18.5 O159 +1200

(12-4 SU, 12-4 ATS) 

-17.5 -18.5 U159 -2400


When: Wednesday, January 17 at 7 p.m. EST

Where: McKale Center, Tucson, Ariz.


Public Bets: 56% on Arizona

Public Money: Unavailable

Odds courtesy of DraftKings, as of January 16th, 2024.

USC vs. Arizona In-Season Trends

Incredibly, Arizona has yet to win a game this season without covering the spread. The Wildcats have matched their spread result to their game result every time they’ve taken the court, even with some of their spreads reaching ridiculous numbers. The Wildcats have been favored by double digits on eight occasions, and they’ve usually covered the number with ease.

USC has played better as of late in covering three of its past four games overall, but that’s in part because of the schedule easing up. Out of the past six games, the Trojans have gone 3-3 and have seen the over cash in four of them. The Trojans haven’t been getting there because of offense; they’ve allowed no fewer than 68 points this season.

The Difference-Makers

At 8-9, Boogie Ellis and USC are in serious danger of missing the NCAA tournament. (Photo by Getty Images)

Caleb Love has made a perfect fit in the desert, although the Wildcats do sometimes ask him to do too much. In Arizona’s four defeats, one of the main reason that the Wildcats fell short was because Love ended up taking too many shots.

It’s not a coincidence that the Wildcats’ four defeats have all come in the games where Love took the highest number of shot attempts. For the year, Arizona is 12-0 when Love takes 15 shots or fewer and 0-4 when he exceeds that number.

Related: American Express 2024 Field Best Bets

Boogie Ellis and Isaiah Collier shoulder far too much of the scoring load themselves for USC. Between them, the two average just over 34 points per game, just around 45% of the Trojans’ offense. USC has to find a consistent third contributor. Despite his father’s comments, that has not been Bronny James, who shot 0-for-7 in his first start.

The Pick

The Wildcats have dominated everyone who has challenged them at McKale Center this year, and it looks like that’s about to happen again. I don’t love the form Arizona comes into this game with, but SC is even worse shape, and it looks pretty unlikely that the Trojans will be anything more than a speed bump for the Wildcats.

With SC already seemingly in free fall and going into Tucson, this looks like it’s pretty much academic. The score will be whatever Arizona wants it to be.

Dan’s Picks  

 Arizona -18.5  

 Arizona TTO 88 



  • Dan Angell, Contributor

    Dan is originally from Virginia and has covered basketball games across the country over the past 18 years. He now resides in Indianapolis and loves a good defensive showcase. His Twitter @danangell11.

    View all posts

1 Comment

  1. Pingback:NFL Divisional Round: Picks for Every Game

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *