- No. 17 USC will bring a six-game winning streak into a Pac-12 home game against Arizona State on Wednesday at 8 pm ET
- USC 7-foot freshman center Evan Mobley is projected to be one of the first five players taken in the 2021 NBA draft if he (as expected) leaves school early
- Check the odds, analysis and betting predictions below
No. 17 USC (17-3, 11-2 Pac-12) has won 12 of its last 13 games as it prepares to play host to Arizona State (7-9, 4-6) in a Pac-12 game at 8 pm ET Wednesday.
The Trojans are off to their best 20-game start since 1991-92, and with a victory would have their best start since the 1973-74 team that featured Gus Williams opened 18-3 and went finished 24-5 and reached as high No. 7 in the AP poll.
Arizona State vs USC picks and odds
|Arizona State Sun Devils||-xxx||+11.5 (-110)||146 (Over-110)|
|USC Trojans||-xxx||-11.5 (-110)||146 (Under-110)|
Arizona State has not had its full roster available for any game this season and has had six Pac-12 games postponed or cancelled because of Covid-19 issues in its and other programs. The Sun Devils were scheduled to open the season against Baylor in the Empire Classic but the Bears backed out because of coronavirus concerns.
The Brothers Mobley Help USC Establish Dominance in the Paint
Seven-foot freshman Evan Mobley and older brother Isaiah Mobley, a 6-10 sophomore, anchor a USC defense that has limited opponents to 37.98 percent shooting from the field, fourth in NCAA Division I and trailing only Michigan (37.5) among Power Six teams.
Evan, a projected top five pick in the 2021 NBA draft should he enter, is averaging 16.6 points and 9.0 rebounds per game. He leads the Pac-12 with nine double-doubles, second among Division I freshmen, and he leads Division I freshmen with 63 blocked shots and 3.15 blocks per game.
USC’s plus-12.2 scoring margin leads the Pac-12 and is sixth among Power Six teams.
— USC Men’s Basketball (@USC_Hoops) February 14, 2021
Isaiah, averaging 9.3 points and 7.6 rebounds, has five double-doubles. Evan and Isaiah have had double-doubles in the same game three times, including in a 73-64 victory at Arizona State on Jan. 9 in which Evan had 19 points and 13 rebounds and Isaiah had 13 and 10.
USC is No. 4 in Division I with 5.7 blocks per game and has a Pac-12 high plus-8.3 rebounding margin. With the Mobleys supplying the impetus on both ends of the floor, USC has outscored opponents in the paint by 10.8 points a game.
By the Numbers
USC has won six in a row and covered its last five, thrashing UCLA 66-48 as a 4.5-point favorite in its most recent home game Feb. 6. The Trojans are 13-7 ATS this season and 4-2 ATS in Pac-12 home games, their only league home loss coming to Colorado 72-62 on New Year’s Eve.
The Trojans have been over the total in four of the last six and six of the last nine. USC is 10-1 at home and is No. 15 in the NCAA net rankings, ahead of Florida State, Oklahoma, West Virginia and Wisconsin through games of Monday.
Arizona State, which was picked to finish second behind UCLA in the Pac-12 in a preseason media poll, has been a go-against all season.
The Sun Devils are 3-13 ATS, and have the worst winning percentage (18.8 percent) of any Division I team. They have failed to cover in 10 of their last 12 and are 3-7 ATS in the Pac-12, 1-2 ATS on the road.
They have won three of their last four straight up on a recent four-game homestand capped with a 75-73 victory over Oregon State as a five-point favorite.
USC is 16-3 against Arizona State at home and has won five of the last six.
Arizona State Has Been Particularly Bothered by the Pandemic
Arizona State has used eight starting lineups in its 16 games and only one player, reserve guard Holland Woods, has played in all 16.
The Sun Devils beat Oregon State without freshmen starters Josh Christopher (back) and Marcus Bagley (ankle), and the status of each remains unclear. Christopher, 6-5, took a hard fall while blocking an attempted dunk in the Oregon game.
Once considered a lottery pick in the 2021 NBA draft if he leaves school, Christopher has dropped into the lower third of the first round in some projections.
Senior guard Remy Martin, who missed one game while observing Covid-19 protocols, leads the team in scoring (19.2) and assists (4.0) per game. Christopher is averaging 14.3 points and 4.7 rebounds while Bagley is averaging 11.8 points and 6.1 rebounds.
Bagley has played only 11 games and starting center Jalen Graham missed a month because of the coronavirus and mononucleosis. Graham, 6-9, tied his career highs in points (14) and rebounds (11) against Oregon State and has scored in double figures in five of the last six since returning.
USC Has Recently Received Surprising Help from Its Backcourt
Trojans’ graduate transfer guard Tahj Eaddy, 6-2, had 29 points in the Trojans’ last game, a 76-65 victory over Washington State on Saturday. Eaddy spent the last two seasons at Santa Clara after beginning his college career at Southeast Missouri State.
Reserve sophomore guard Ethan Anderson had career highs with 19 points and five 3-pointers in the lopsided victory over UCLA. Eaddy is averaging13.5 points and is shooting a career-high 45.2 percent.
Rice transfer 6-8 Drew Peterson (9.2 points) and Utah Valley transfer 6-7 Isaiah White (7.7 points) join the Mobleys to give USC the tallest starting group in the league. The Trojans are the tallest team in the country according to KenPom, averaging 6-6.5.
The pick: USC -11.5 (-1xx)
Jack has covered college and professional sports for various Arizona media outlets and has written for the AP, USA Today and Baseball America, among others. He staffed the 2015-17 World Series and has staffed four Super Bowls.