Las Vegas Sun

February 27, 2017

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Sports Betting:

Vegas Play of the Day: California at USC

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ASSOCIATED PRESS

Southern California’s Julian Jacobs dribbles against Oregon during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game, Saturday, March 5, 2016, in Los Angeles. Oregon won 76-66.

We’ve entered the third season of the annual South Point-lined Play of the Day competition, effective July 1.

Starting bankrolls have reset to $10,000, with the maximum bet being to win $1,000 and the minimum wager $300. Ray Brewer won the 2015-2016 season, after Taylor Bern prevailed in 2014-2015. Bern stepped away in the middle of the 2016-2017 season with a 16-12 record and $13,317 bankroll, with Mike Grimala taking his place.

USC minus-1.5 vs. California, $660 to win $600:

USC and California face off in a late Pac 12 tipoff tonight, and the betting public has the game all wrong. The 15-1 Trojans opened up as 3-point home favorites, but the line has been bet down to 1.5.

USC has looked vulnerable in its past two games, turning the ball over 17 times in its loss to UCLA and a season-high 18 times in a win over Stanford, but I think it’s an overreaction to think they are less than 2 points better than the Golden Bears.

While USC has struggled holding onto the ball, California isn’t a team that can take advantage. The Golden Bears are dead-last in the Pac 12 and 315th in the nation, with only 4.87 steals per game. They also don’t play at a fast pace, ranking 249th in scoring, so the Trojans won’t have a reason to force things.

California has only played one road game this season, an 81-71 loss to UCLA, and faces a USC squad that is 11-0 at home. California also has played one of the easiest schedules in the country, and gone 0-3 against top-25 opponents. The Golden Bears’ best win was against a mediocre Princeton team in Hawaii.

I’ll take the battle-tested Trojans against a struggling California team that isn’t used to playing on the road.

Current Standings: Keefer (34-23-2, $11,961), Brewer (21-17-1, $10,645), Grimala (2-2, $10,000), Granger (5-9, $6,510)

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