BANKER (USC vs. Colorado)
Very surprised at this line given how well USC has played this season and how badly Colorado has played against top tier opponents. Colorado has struggled this year against ranked opponents. Colorado lost by 12 to UCLA, lost by 15 to Tennessee, and lost by 21 to Arizona. USC is very similar to these teams as USC is a very good defensive team with length and athleticism at every position. USC is the 3rd tallest team in the nation and think that will cause trouble for Colorado on the offensive end in this matchup. USC is ranked 37th in overall adjusted defensive efficiency, 7th in defensive effective field goal percentage, and 5th in defensive 2-point field goal percentage so they are an excellent all-around defensive team.
On the other side of the ball, USC has improved on offense compared to last year as they rank 32nd in overall adjusted offensive efficiency, 27th in lowest turnover percentage, and 35th in offensive rebounding percentage so USC really hits the offensive glass hard. One area that USC struggles with is free throw shooting as they only shoot 61.3% as a team. USC has been struggling a little bit as a team lately as they’ve gone 1-2 in their last 3 games including 2 losses as heavy favorites to Oregon and Stanford and didn’t cover in their win against Oregon State.
I think this is a very solid bounce back spot for USC as a team vs a team in Colorado who has struggled against teams in the upper echelon. Colorado has struggled on offense this year as they rank 97th in adjusted offensive efficiency, 188th in effective field goal percentage, 191st in turnover percentage and 240th in 3-point FG% so they have struggled on offense this year. Overall USC has more talent and think this is the perfect spot for them to bounce back with a statement win here. Score Prediction: 71-62 USC
Florida international has been a hot and cold team this year but they have been very good at home going 7-1. They face a Marshall team who has really struggled on the road this year with a 1-5 record and haven’t won a road game since early December. Marshall also lost their last game against Rice and has lost 7 games in a row. Marshall also has not performed well in this spot situationally as they have gone 0-9 ATS after a loss this season. This tells me that Marshall doesn’t bounce back very well, and I don’t think this is a good spot for them to get back on track.
I expect FIU to get a much-needed home win and I’m honestly surprised that they are not favored in this game. Marshall as really struggled on defense this year as they rank 254th in adjusted defensive efficiency, 292nd in defensive effective field goal percentage, and 330th in defensive 3-point field goal percentage so they are a horrendous defensive team which I think FIU can take advantage of here. Score Prediction: 82-75 FIU
UC San Diego is a relatively new program as this is only their 2nd season in division 1 but they have a very solid team out of the big west conference. They have been struggling a lot lately losing 3 in a row, but all of those games were on the road and now they get to finally come back home against a very weak Long Beach state team. Long Beach state is only 1-4 on the road and hasn’t won a road game since their very first game of the season on November 10th against a putrid Idaho team. Long Beach state is ranked 315th in defensive effective field goal percentage and 348th in defensive 3-point percentage so they really struggle on the defensive end. I think UC San Diego gets back on track here behind a string offensive performance from Bryce Pope and Toni Rocak.