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USC Trojans vs. Gonzaga Bulldogs Free Pick - NCAA Elite Eight Betting

Written by:
Phil Simon
Published on:
Mar/30/2021

A matchup featuring the two most dominant teams in the NCAA Tournament is worthy of a championship game setting. Unfortunately one team will be knocked from its quest of reaching the Final Four when the USC Trojans take on the Gonzaga Bulldogs in an Elite Eight tilt on Tuesday. The Zags have looked every bit the No. 1 seed rolling through opponents all season. They’ve won 26 straight games by double-digits but face a still test in the confident Trojans, who ride the play of brothers Evan and Isaiah Mobley. Both teams are perfect against the spread in the Tournament with all the wins by at least 14 points. Gonzaga hit the board as a 9-point favorite on the college basketball betting line.  Bookmaker.eu offers a generous CASH welcome bonus (max bonus $1600)

USC Trojans vs. Gonzaga Bulldogs
Date and Time: Tuesday, March 30, 2021, 7:15 p.m. ET
Location: Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, IN
Opening College Basketball Odds: Gonzaga -9, O/U 153
USC vs. Gonzaga TV Coverage: TBS

Odds Analysis

This could be the toughest game Gonzaga has had all season. The Trojans enter this matchup riding high after knocking off Pac-12 rival Oregon, 82-68, in the Sweet 16. They’ve been doing it on both ends of the floor averaging almost 80 points while beating Drake, Kansas and Oregon by a margin of 21.3 points to go 3-0 ATS. It’s hard to believe they lost a game during the season, but they did. They were just 4-4 SU and 2-6 ATS in their eight games prior to the NCAA Tournament. USC is 0-2 SU and ATS in its last two games as an underdog and 2-3 SU and ATS when catching points this season. They are getting 9-points on the opening line. Gonzaga figures to be USC’s stiffest opponent as well, but that’s expected since the Zags are everybody’s nightmare. The Zags extended their run of double-digit victories to 26 by knocking off Creighton 83-65 in the Sweet 16. They are 3-0 ATS in the Tournament with an average margin of 25.7 points. Should the line close below -10 it’ll be first time since December that the Zags were a single-digit favorite. They are 3-1 ATS when spotting teams less than 10 points.

USC Trojans

Imagine your two biggest players – and I mean biggest since they both stand around 7-feet tall – not contributing like they normally do and you still win by 16 points. Such was the case for the Trojans in their win over Creighton. In fact star forward Evan Mobley hasn’t done much damage yet USC continues to roll. The Pac-12 Player of the Year averaged 16.1 points and 8.6 rebounds during the regular season and followed that up with a pair of 26-point games in the Pac-12 tournament. He scored just 10 points in each of the last two games allowing his teammates to take over. And they’ve done just that.

The backcourt tandem of Isaiah White and Tahj Eaddy combined for 42 points against Oregon and the Trojans were blistering hot from the field hitting 57.4 percent of their shots, including 10 of 17 from three-point range. Isaiah Mobley had 13 points and six boards and Evan had 10 points, eight boards and six assists. USC’s length proved disruptive to the Ducks and another strong showing is needed to slow down Gonzaga.

Gonzaga Bulldogs

If the Zags are feeling any pressure as they continue their march to history, they certainly aren’t showing it – at least not yet anyway. If they do get into a close game it’ll be interesting to see how they respond since it just hasn’t happened this season. Gonzaga has rolled through opponents winning the last 26 games by double-digits. Their closest game was an 87-82 decision over West Virginia back on Dec. 2. That was the only game that was decided by fewer than 10 points. The offense has been lights out leading the country in scoring at nearly 93 points per game. You have to be extremely accurate to average that many points and the Zags are. As a team they shoot over 55 percent from the field, also No. 1 in the country.

Defensively they’ve been nearly as good. Gonzaga enters this game ranked No. 7 in defensive efficiency, according to KenPom, allowing only 88.6 points per 100 possessions. Creighton shot just 41 percent and was 5 of 23 from three-point range falling well short of its season scoring average. The last six opponents failed to reach their scoring average despite Gonzaga playing at a frenetic pace that allowed them to average nearly 87 points. “We think we’re just as good and can go toe-to-toe with any defensive team out there,” Corey Kispert said.

Bet USC vs. Gonzaga at BookMaker.eu

At some point in the Tournament the Zags will be tested. This is likely the first of perhaps a few as they continue their quest for a perfect season. I don’t see Gonzaga losing because they have depth and play well on both ends of the floor. The Trojans have nothing to lose and they should make this interesting if Evan Mobley has a big game to complement what his teammates have done. I’ll take SC and the points but I like the Zags moving on.

NCAA Tournament Prediction: Gonzaga 80, USC 73

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- Phil Simon, Gambling911.com

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