3 Bold Predictions for USC vs Arizona

Boogie Ellis has at least 21 points in three of his last four games
Boogie Ellis has at least 21 points in three of his last four games / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

USC and No. 8 Arizona square off tonight in a rematch of a 81-66 Wildcats victory earlier this season. With both teams tied in the Pac-12 standings, this is an opportunity for the Trojans to cap off a great year.

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3 Bold Predictions for USC vs Arizona

Given Arizona's strong resume, the Wildcats are in line for a two seed in the NCAA Tournament. USC's status is up in the air and a victory here could bolster the Trojans into a top-four seed. With four straight wins, USC is surging and hopes to build off that momentum.

With that in mind, here are my best bets:

1. USC Wins

The Trojans excel in this spot, having won four of their last five as home underdogs. They're catching the Wildcats at the perfect time too, as Arizona covered the spread just once in its last four contests coming into tonight.

USC will hang around in this game thanks to its elite defense. The Trojans are ninth nationally in opponent effective field goal percentage (44.9%) and second in opponent two-point shooting percentage (42.3%), so any path to victory will rely on that strong defense.

Arizona struggles to protect the ball, ranking 195th in turnover rate (18.5%) and struggles to defend three-point shooters. Expect USC to generate some easy looks off turnovers and hit some shots from beyond the arc to steal a win.

2. Boogie Ellis Has a Big Night

Given the Wildcats' struggles to defend against the three-point shot, Ellis is in line for a huge night. He shoots 41.7% from beyond the arc at home and has been on fire during USC's four-game winning streak.

He's cleared this prop in three of those wins, averaging over 25 points per game in that stretch. Ellis shot just 2-of-11 against Arizona earlier this season, so we're getting a discount on his prop as a result.

The Wildcats struggled to defend Arizona State's guards in their last game, allowing three different players to score over 15 points. I anticipate a big night for USC's leading scorer.

3. Kobe Johnson Dominates Inside

Kobe Johnson is asserting himself more of late, clearing this prop in three of his last four games while shooting at least nine times in five of USC's last six games. I think that hot streak and aggressiveness continue into this evening.

Arizona has a stellar interior defense but ranks 100th in opponent three-point shooting percentage (32.8%). Johnson is 8-of-17 from beyond the arc in his last four games with at least three shots from the perimeter in each of his last seven contests. If he stays aggressive, he should clear this number with ease.

Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.