Miami Hurricanes vs USC Trojans Predictions, Odds, Picks

  • The Miami Hurricanes lost in the semifinals of the ACC Tournament.
  • The USC Trojans lost in the semifinals of the Pac-12 Tournament.
  • USC slipped in the rankings with a few late-season losses.

Miami Hurricanes vs USC Trojans Odds

Odds taken from DraftKings Sportsbook

Team Spread Total
Miami Hurricanes +2
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O 139.5
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USC Trojans -2
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U 139.5
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Miami vs USC

Miami Hurricanes vs USC Trojans Predictions and Picks

The Miami Hurricanes will face the USC Trojans in an improbable basketball matchup. Miami had one of their stronger regular seasons but suffered a few losses to some unranked teams in the ACC, while the Trojans were once a top-ten team in the nation.

USC started the season 13-0 before falling to Stanford 75-69 for their first loss. They played well against Pac-12 opponents but lost to Arizona twice.

The Miami Hurricanes have no problem scoring the ball. They average 74.8 points per game and have four players averaging over ten points a game.

Guard Kameron McGusty is the leading scorer on this Hurricanes squad. McGusty scores 17.6 points a game on 48% shooting. He also does a little bit of everything else and averages 4.8 rebounds, 2.5 assists, and 1.7 steals. McGusty is a sparkplug and brings a lot of offensive firepower.

After McGusty is guard Isaiah Wong. The 6’3” sophomore scores 15.2 points per game on 45.4% shooting. He specializes in scoring and is crucial to this Miami team.

I cannot talk about the Hurricanes without talking about point guard Charlie Moore. Moore averages 12.6 points, 2.5 rebounds, 4.5 assists, and 2.0 steals. He shoots well across the floor and keeps the offense flowing.

Miami’s big flaw is their defense; they struggle mightily on the defensive end and give up 71 points per game. They need to step up their defensive intensity in March Madness.

The USC Trojans have shown great potential throughout the season. They slipped in the rankings with some conference losses but had no issue beating unranked teams. They only lost three games to unranked opponents this season.

Forward Isaiah Mobley leads the Trojans. Mobley may be 6’10”, but he is pretty versatile. He can score from anywhere, rebound, and pass. He is joined by the backcourt duo of Boogie Ellis and Drew Peterson. Ellis and Peterson combine for 24.1 points, 9.5 rebounds, and 5.8 assists per game. They also are both on the court for over 30 minutes a game.

USC has a significantly better defense than Miami and similar scoring ability, so I am picking them to win this game.

Pick:

USC beats Miami 70-66. USC covers, Under 139.5 points.

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Head-to-Head: Miami Hurricanes vs USC Trojans

Miami Hurricanes Head-to-Head USC Trojans
Jim Larranaga Head Coach Andy Enfield
23-10 (14-6, 4th in ACC) Standing 26-7 (14-6, 3rd in PAC-12)
Leader (Per Game)
Kameron McGusty (17.6) PPG Isaiah Mobley (14.3)
Jordan Miller (6.1) RPG Isaiah Mobley (8.5)
Charlie Moore (4.5) APG Drew Peterson (3.3)
Charlie Moore (2.0) SPG Boogie Ellis (0.8)
Sam Waardenburg (1.2) BPG Isaiah Mobley (0.9)
Jordan Miller (.559) FG% Chevez Goodwin (.570)
Sam Waardenburg (.429) 3P% Reese Dixon-Waters (.438)

Why Might the Miami Hurricanes Win?

The Hurricanes are the underdogs in this First Round matchup, but they can win if they protect the rim and hit outside shots.

The Hurricanes are a guard-heavy team and a lot smaller than the Trojans. Even though they have a size disadvantage, they need to act like they are bigger and protect the rim.

The Hurricanes shoot well from deep, but the outside shot will be more necessary in this game than other games. Since they are smaller, they will not be able to score at the rim easily, so they have to hit outside shots.

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Why Might the USC Trojans Win?

The Trojans have a tough First Round matchup in the Hurricanes. They have to attack the hoop and hit free throws to win this game.

The Trojans are the bigger team and have three forwards in their starting lineup. They have to take advantage of their size and attack the rim. They can get a lot of easy points near the hoop.

USC only hits 66.6% of their free throws. That will not be good enough in this game. I expect this game to be close, so every point matters, including the ones you get at the free-throw line. The Trojans have to focus and hit their shots at the line.

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Hurricanes Key Player: (G) Charlie Moore

It looks like Charlie Moore has found his place on the Hurricanes team. The 5’11” senior is thriving as Miami’s starting point guard after stops at Berkeley, Kansas, and DePaul.

Miami depends on Moore a lot. He plays 32.3 minutes per game and averages 12.6 points, 2.5 rebounds, 4.5 assists, and 2.0 steals. He wreaks havoc on defense and makes life difficult for the opposing guard.

I expect Moore to have a good game offensively, but he needs to shut down the player he is guarding. Miami struggles with defense, so he needs to set the tone.

Trojans Key Player: (F) Isaiah Mobley

Forward Isaiah Mobley has stepped up since his younger brother, Evan, left USC for the NBA. He built off a solid sophomore season and is having an excellent junior season.

Mobley’s shooting averages decreased from last season, but his scoring went from 9.9 to 14.3 points per game. His passing also improved and went from 1.6 to 3.2 assists per game. I only say this to illustrate that he has gotten better and is the leader of this USC team.

He needs to play well on both ends of the floor against Miami. Since he is 6’10”, he might be the Trojans’ last line of defense. He needs to protect the rim like he never has before.

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How to Watch Miami Hurricanes vs USC Trojans

Miami Hurricanes vs USC Trojans Information
What Miami Hurricanes vs USC Trojans
Where Bon Secours Wellness Arena, Greenville, South Carolina
When Friday, March 18, 3:10 PM EST
How to Watch truTV

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Max Heering

Expert on Sports Betting Industry

Max Heering graduated from the University of Kansas Sport Management program in May 2020. Max follows and writes about the NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, MLS, college football, and college basketball. In his free time, you can catch Max draining threes on the basketball court. Email: [email protected]