USC vs Kansas March Madness Odds, Picks and Predictions March 22

Updated: March 20, 2021

Clock Icon Mar 20, 2021 – 10:59 PM ET

The USC Trojans, fresh off a 16-point victory, will face off against the Kansas Jayhawks in the Round of 32 on Monday.

Oddsmakers are expecting a close battle as college betting lines opened with Southern California as a slim 1-point favorite and the Over/Under at 134.

Here are our best free March Madness picks and predictions for USC vs. Kansas on Monday, March 22.

USC vs Kansas odds

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The line opened at USC -1, with the total at 134. Check back later for a full report from Patrick!

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USC Trojans vs Kansas Jayhawks betting preview


USC: None.
Kansas: Jalen Wilson F (Questionable), Tristan Enaruna G (Out).

Find our latest NCAA basketball injury reports.

Betting trend to know

The Trojans are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 games following a straight-up win. Find more NCAA betting trends for USC vs. Kansas.

Against the spread (ATS) pick

Interestingly, Kansas enters this game as a slight underdog despite having better March Madness odds of winning the NCAA Tournament than USC (+4000 for the Jayhawks compared to +6000 for the Trojans). The Jayhawks have gone through an up-and-down season but were playing their best ball of the year heading into the Big 12 Tournament… then COVID hit. 

The Jayhawks’ second-leading scorer and rebounder David McCormack was one of two players that tested positive and Kansas eventually withdrew from the tourney. McCormack rejoined the Jayhawks for their first-round matchup with Eastern Washington on Saturday and was a massive reason they took over in the second half. The big man scored 22 points and added nine rebounds in a 93-84 Kansas win.

Starting forward Jalen Wilson (12.1 points and 8.2 rebounds per game) missed that game due to his own positive test but could return on Monday, with coach Bill Self saying he hopes to give him key minutes. If Wilson plays that would be a big boost to a Jayhawks lineup that likes to spread the ball around and defends well at every level. 

The Trojans are coming off a 72-56 win over Drake in the first round on Saturday. They played their typical brand of basketball in that contest, relying on big men Evan Mosley and Isaiah Mobley to get buckets while their stingy defense held the Bulldogs to just 29 percent shooting from the field. 

USC is 4-1 SU in its last five games but just 3-6 ATS in its previous nine contests. And there were some troubling performances during that span — besides a pair of defeats against a good Colorado squad, they lost decisively to Arizona and Utah, edged UCLA by a single point, and were pushed into overtime against Utah in another contest. 

The Jayhawks, meanwhile, have been on a tear lately, going 9-1 SU and 7-2-1 ATS in their last 10 games. That stretch includes quality wins over Baylor, Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, and Texas Tech, while their only loss came in overtime on the road against a very strong Texas Longhorns team.

While the Trojans have a pair of terrific big men, their guard play has been subpar. Now they face a Kansas team that has the bigs to battle down low and the perimeter players to pressure the Trojan ballhandlers and harass their outside shooters. Back the Jayhawks. 

PREDICTION: Kansas +1 (-110)

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Over/Under Pick

USC center Evan Mobley took home Pac-12 Player of the Year honors after averaging 16.8 points, 8.6 rebounds, and 3 blocks per game. His biggest impact might be on the defensive end of the floor, with the Trojans’ towering size frustrating opposing shooters. USC ranks sixth in the country in blocks per game (5.3) and second in opponent two-point field goal percentage (42.2).

That said, the Trojans haven’t had the same dominance on offense. They rank outside the Top-200 schools in the country in assists per field goal while sitting outside the Top 250 in three-pointers made per game. That poor ball movement and outside shooting will make it difficult to rack up a ton of points against a very strong Kansas defense. 

The Jayhawks rank eighth in the country in adjusted defensive efficiency, according to KenPom, and while they’re coming off a game where they surrendered 84 points, expect them to bounce back to their usual stingy defense Monday. 

Both of these teams play at a slower pace, with the Trojans ranking 240th in the nation in adjusted tempo. With Kansas going 6-2 to the Under in its last eight games, take the Under again.

PREDICTION: Under 134 (-110)

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First-half pick

Kansas and Southern California both had a shaky first half in their first-round matchups. The Jayhawks trailed 46-38, while the Trojans had a slim 40-37 lead.

That said, they both impressed on the offensive end of the court and shot the ball well early. It was their surprisingly lackadaisical defense in the early going that led to their opponents also lighting it up. 

With the first-half Over/Under set at just 62 for Monday, don’t be surprised if both teams come out firing once again before ramping up the defensive intensity in the second half. Take the 1H Over.

PREDICTION: First Half Over 62 (-110)

USC vs Kansas betting card

  • Kansas +1 (-110)
  • Under 134 (-110)
  • First Half Over 62 (-110)

March Madness parlays

Did you know that if you parlayed today’s March Madness USC vs. Kansas picks, you could win $59.58 on a $10 bet?

Use our March Madness parlay calculator to create your own parlays and see their potential payouts.

Where can I bet on March Madness odds?

March Madness is one of the most popular times of the year for sports bettors, which of course makes it one of the busiest times of the year for online sportsbooks. Every betting site will offer March Madness odds but the top sites are safe and secure, offer a wide range of banking options, and give you a ton of markets for each game. Check out the best March Madness betting sites in your region.

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