USC (-5) at Stanford
The spread has grown overnight from -3.5 to -5 after opening at -1 in favor of USC. As USC backers are confident in this, Stanford has kept this contest close over the years.
USC had lost four of five on the road versus Stanford and the Trojan’s won last season’s meeting in Los Angeles, 82-78 in OT. However, this will be an interesting “home” game for Stanford. The Cardinals are the only power conference program ye to play a true home game. Stanford is currently playing home games in Santa Cruz opposed to Stanford.
The Trojans have won the last four meetings at USC and three of the last four games overall. USC is 9-1 ATS in their last 10 games following a SU loss and 9-2 ATS in their last 11 road games. The defense has been a massive factor in their success this season. The Trojans have held their opponents to 37.3% shooting this season, the NCAA’s sixth-best rate.
In USC’s last game, a 58-56 loss at Oregon State, something happened that does not very often. Entering that contest, USC was 78-4 SU in their last 82 games (2/28/2015), holding opponents under 70 points — Oregon State made that 78-5.
Offensively, USC has struggled to go on runs, and in one particular area, they have repeatedly shot themselves in the foot. The Trojans have attempted 338 free-throws this season, the seventh-most in the country. However, USC has only made 217 free-throws, 64.2%, good enough for 301st in the country. As the spread goes, I would not go past -6 as USC’s free-throw shooting could allow a comeback.
Stanford and USC matchups have featured four of the previous five meetings decided by five points or fewer. I grabbed this at -3.5 last night and would play this up to -6.
Game Pick: USC -5 (1u) – playable to -6
Indiana at Iowa (-10.5)
This could be one of the most thrilling games of the night as both teams should be poised for a high-scoring affair. The Over is a hot 12-4 in Iowa’s last 16 overall and 4-1 in Indiana’s last five overall.
Most models project Iowa to beat Indiana by double digits, and the spread is set accordingly at -10.5 in favor of the Hawkeyes. The Hawkeyes are winners of five straight, and at home, they have won 22 of the last 23 games.
Indiana is 8-6 with two losses in their last three games overall. Iowa lost to Indiana, 89-77 last season, but swept them in the 2018-19 season. Indiana received Armaan Franklin back from a rolled ankle and scored 14 points and grabbed seven rebounds versus Purdue in the 12-point loss. Indiana has won three of the last five in this series, and all five matchups have been high-scoring.
The game totals have finished at 141, 146, 149, 165 and 168 points in the last five meetings. Iowa has scored 86 or more points in four of their last five games behind Luka Garza and the team’s three-point shooting. Garza’s averaging 26.9 points, 8.7 rebounds, and 62.5% from the field in 29.5 minutes per game.
Iowa is shooting 41.9% from three in seven Big Ten performances, and Indiana is ranked last in the conference allowing over 40%. That’s going to be what makes or breaks Indiana’s chances as Iowa as an array of three-point shooters. C.J. Fredrick (51%), Luka Garza (48%), Joe Wieskamp (42.1%), Keegan Murphy (42%), and Jordan Bohannon (41%) all shoot above 40% from deep for Iowa this season.
Iowa will be able to put up points, and Indiana has allowed 76, 80 and 81, over their last three games versus Nebraska, Purdue and Wisconsin. Iowa is better than all three and should surpass 81 points tonight.
Game Pick: Iowa Team Total Over 81.5 (1u) – playable up to 83.5