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Sweet 16 Betting Preview: Oregon Ducks vs USC Trojans

Sunday will feature a Pac-12 showdown in the West region as the No. 7 Oregon Ducks (21-6) take on the No. 6 USC Trojans (24-7). This game will take place at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, with tipoff scheduled for 9:45 P.M. Eastern.

Oregon has technically only played one game to this point. After their first round opponent, VCU, had to forfeit due to COVID-19 issues, Oregon moved on to the second round, where they beat No. 2 Iowa 95-80. The Ducks are firing on all cylinders offensively, as they have scored 80 or more in five of their last six contests.

USC has also been playing well as of late. In their first round, they beat No. 11 Drake 72-56. They followed up that win with an impressive 85-51 win over No. 3 Kansas last Monday. The Trojans will look to beat Oregon for the second time this season, as USC defeated the Ducks 72-58 back on February 22nd.

USC comes in as the slight favorite in this one. They are -130 to win while Oregon’s moneyline sits at +110. The spread features the Ducks +2, and the over/under for total points is 138.

By The Numbers

Offensively, both of these teams have been solid this season. Oregon ranks 63rd in the nation averaging 75.1 points per game. USC comes in just a few spots later at 66th, averaging 75 points.

USC holds the advantage on the defensive side. They rank 31st overall in scoring defense, allowing just 64.4 points per game to opponents. The Ducks rank 93rd, allowing 67.9 points per game.

Oregon Hopes To Get Payback On Pac-12 Rivals

Oregon has certainly not forgotten about the 14-point loss that they suffered at USC’s hands back in February. On Sunday, they will look for their revenge.

Leading the way this season for Oregon is senior guard Chris Duarte. This season, he is averaging 17 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 2.5 assists. In their loss to USC, Duarte only scored 11 points. If Oregon hopes to win, he will have to play better than that.

Not to be outdone, forward Eugene Omoruyi has been averaging 16.7 points per game. He is also chipping in 5.3 rebounds, 2.3 assists, and 1.5 steals.

Aside from these two, the Ducks still have three others that have averaged double digits. LJ Figueroa (12.6 points, 6.2 rebounds, 1.6 steals), Will Richardson (11.7 points, 3.5 rebounds, 3.9 assists), and Eric Williams Jr. (10.3 points, six rebounds) have all played well.

One weakness is the Ducks’ lack of depth. Aside from these five, their next highest scorer is only averaging 4.5 points.

USC Fighting For Elite Eight

The Trojans have seemed like a team on a mission early on in this tournament. After handling Drake, they easily took down Kansas. While Kansas wasn’t as good this season as they usually are, it still looks like USC is ready to fight for a spot in the Elite Eight, as well as some Pac-12 bragging rights.

Leading the way for the Trojans is Pac-12 Conference Player of the Year, Evan Mobley. Mobley has averaged 16.5 points, 8.8 rebounds, 2.3 assists, and an amazing three blocks per game on the year. Likely to be a first-round NBA selection after the year, Mobley wants to end his time with USC on a high note.

It is a family affair at USC as his brother, Isaiah Mobley, is also on the team. Isaiah has averaged 9.5 points, 7.3 rebounds, and one block per game.

The Trojans’ other leading scorers include guards Tahj Eaddy (13.5 points, three rebounds, 2.8 assists) and Drew Peterson (9.8 points, five rebounds, 2.8 assists). In the first matchup with Oregon, it was Eaddy, not Mobley, who led the team in scoring with 24 points.

Taking Oregon And The Points

This is a game where you shouldn’t fall into the trap of simply looking at how the first matchup went. Both of these teams are playing better basketball today than they were at that point, and this could be one of the better matchups of the Sweet 16 when it is all said and done.

Honestly, I could envision scenarios in which both sides win. USC has the best player on the floor in Evan Mobley, but Duarte will have a chip on his shoulder after losing out on the Pac-12 Player of the Year.

With this being such a toss-up between the two, I am inclined to take the points and run with them. In this case, that means taking Oregon +2.

Betting Pick: Oregon Ducks +2.

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