The USC Trojans take on the Gonzaga Bulldogs. Check out our college basketball odds series for our USC Gonzaga prediction and pick. Find how to watch USC Gonzaga.
The Gonzaga Bulldogs lost to Purdue earlier this season, but they responded two days later at the Maui Invitational by beating UCLA. It was, on balance, a good trip to Hawaii for the Zags, who are dealing with some limitations to their roster. Steele Venters was supposed to be part of the GU backcourt rotation, giving coach Mark Few close to 20 minutes per game. He got injured before the season started and is out for the entire campaign. That significantly reduces Gonzaga's backcourt depth and will force other players to play more minutes. It also means Gonzaga might have to play offense by running sets through its big men a little more than it might have previously or originally preferred. Given those limitations, winning two games in Maui (Syracuse in addition to UCLA) is a good result. The Zags are in a reasonably good place right now and should feel they have survived some tests in the first four weeks of the season.
This game with USC is another test. The Trojans have not played as well as Gonzaga to this point in the season. They have dealt with some injuries of their own. Boogie Ellis and Kobe Johnson have both missed at least one game, as has D.J. Rodman. The Trojans have failed to find an offensive rhythm as a result. USC point guard Isaiah Collier, the top-ranked recruit in the Class of 2023, has committed a lot of turnovers this season. He is extremely talented, mostly because he is physical and tough and is able to finish plays through contact. However, when he can't get all the way to the rim, he forces passes and does not protect the ball as well as he could. He needs to deliver a big game for USC, which has lost twice this season and can use a resume boost.
Here are the USC-Gonzaga College Basketball odds, courtesy of FanDuel.
College Basketball Odds: USC-Gonzaga Odds
USC Trojans: +3.5 (-110)
Gonzaga Bulldogs: -3.5 (-110)
Over: 152.5 (-110)
Under: 152.5 (-110)
How To Watch USC vs Gonzaga
Time: 10:00 pm ET / 7:00 pm PT
Stream: fuboTV (click for a free trial)*
Why USC Could Cover the Spread
The Trojans will be highly motivated to win this game. They really need it. They will be positive and upbeat because they have learned that Bronny James has been medically cleared to practice and eventually take the court for the Trojans in a live game. We don't know when he will be able to play, but the odds are good that Bronny will be able to join USC for the start of the Pac-12 Conference season on December 28.
In terms of this game and this matchup, USC has Isaiah Collier, the No. 1 recruit in the country. If he plays up to his potential, that changes everything for the Trojans. He hasn't been at his best since the season opener against Kansas State on November 6, but if he can regain that level of play, USC becomes very hard to beat.
Why Gonzaga Could Cover the Spread
The Zags look like a much better team than USC. Their frontcourt is stronger and more active. Anton Watson scored 32 points on 14-of-15 shooting in the win over UCLA. If Gonzaga could handle UCLA, it can definitely handle USC. The Trojans' frontcourt of Joshua Morgan and D.J. Rodman has been inconsistent to start the season. Gonzaga should have a clear frontcourt advantage, particularly on the glass. If GU gets more rebounds, especially on the offensive backboard, it should win the game.
Final USC-Gonzaga Prediction & Pick
USC has potential but hasn't really fulfilled that potential just yet. Gonzaga actualized its potential in the win over UCLA. Gonzaga has evolved more to this point in the season and merits a clear edge.
Final USC-Gonzaga Prediction & Pick: Gonzaga -3.5