Colorado vs USC Odds, Picks and Predictions for Pac-12 Tournament March 12

Updated: March 12, 2021

Both Colorado and USC played late into the evening yesterday—will that force both squads to play at even slower, defensive-oriented paces when they match up in Friday’s Pac-12 semifinal?

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After a long night in Las Vegas – which can be good or bad depending on your tolerance and company – the Pac-12 Tournament has its second semifinal matchup, with the No. 2 USC Trojans facing the No. 3 Colorado Buffaloes Friday.

The Trojans needed two overtimes to get rid of Utah in the quarterfinals, winning 91-85 but falling short of the 7.5-point college basketball betting spread. That marathon delayed the start of the Buffaloes’ quarterfinal versus Cal, in which they failed to cover as 14-point chalk in a 61-58 victory.

Here are our best free picks and predictions for Colorado vs. USC on March 12, with tip-off (hopefully) at 11:30 p.m. ET.

Colorado vs USC odds

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The opening odds listed the lower-seeded Buffaloes as 1-point neutral-court favorites while the Over/Under is set at 133 points. Check back later for a full report from Patrick!

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Colorado Buffaloes vs USC Trojans betting preview


Colorado: None.
USC: None.
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Betting trend to know

Colorado and USC have played Under the total in nine of their last 10 head-to-head meetings. Find more NCAA betting trends for Colorado vs. USC.

Against the spread (ATS) pick

The Buffaloes beat the Trojans twice this season, scoring a 72-62 win as 4-point road underdogs in Southern Cal on New Year’s Eve and, most recently, thumping USC 80-62 as 3.5-point home faves on February 25. That last victory is part of a five-game winning streak for Colorado (3-2 ATS).

The Buffaloes overcame a slow start versus Cal and leaned on its defense to get the job done Thursday night. They held the Golden Bears to 38 percent shooting from the field and allowed only seven 3-point hits on 25 attempts while also putting the clamps on Cal star Matt Bradley, who finished the game with 10 points on 3-of-11 shooting before fouling out.

Those were similar numbers to the ones Southern Cal posted in Boulder back in February, with USC making just 23 of 60 shots including a 5-for-16 performance from beyond the arc. The Trojans will undoubtedly have heavy legs for this semifinal showdown and needed star big man Evan Mobley to come to their rescue in overtime Thursday night.

Mobley didn’t do much in regulation – due to early foul trouble – versus the Utes but took advantage of a depleted Utah frontcourt, with its top two forwards fouled out, and scored 13 of his 26 points in the added frames. Colorado did a respectable job wrangling the 7-foot freshmen in both meetings this season, with Mobley totaling 23 points on a collective 11-for-27 from the floor in those losses to the Buffs.

It’s very difficult to beat a team three times in one season, but with Colorado holding the momentum edge and not having to put in extra work in the last round, we’ll take the Buffaloes as a near pick’em.

PREDICTION: Colorado -1 (-115)

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Over/Under Pick

Both of these Pac-12 heavyweights rank among the best defensive teams in the country, with Southern Cal sitting 15th in KenPom’s adjusted defensive efficiency and Colorado just behind them at 25th. These programs also institute a slower tempo on offense and that brings the pace of games to a screeching halt.

The Buffaloes force opponents to run through an average of 18.6 seconds per possession (seventh longest in the land) and have held their last six foes to 62 points or fewer, including offensive stalwarts like Oregon. However, offensively, the Buffs do dip in production when away from Boulder, averaging just 69.8 points away from home in the regular season and mustering 61 points on 38 percent shooting versus Cal on Thursday—it’s eighth Under in the past nine games overall.

Southen Cal’s defense is even stingier, giving up an average of 64 points on 39 percent shooting with both of those metrics ranking Top 40 in the country. The Trojans stretch opponents’ possessions an average of 18.2 seconds (18th longest) and will choose to rest on offense and put the reserve energy into the defense after Thursday’s double-overtime outing.

These rivals split Over/Under results in their two games this season, most recently going Over the 136.5-point number in Colorado on February 25 but had stayed Under the total in nine straight meetings going back to 2016 before that game.

PREDICTION: Under 133 (-110)

Colorado vs USC betting card

  • Colorado -1 (-115)
  • Under 133 (-110)

NCAA parlays

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