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How and what to watch for No. 21 UCLA vs. USC

Whoever wins will have control atop the PAC-12 standings

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UCLA Bruins forward Cody Riley during the second half against the Oregon State Beavers at Pauley Pavilion.  Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

It’s a fight for supremacy in the PAC-12 on Saturday night as the No. 21 UCLA Bruins (13-3) head across town to take on the 14-3 USC Trojans.

Both of these teams are extremely evenly matched. The Bruins have won eight of their last 10 games, averaging nearly 76 points per game while only giving up 67 on defense this season. UCLA has multiple guys who are able to contribute, with five players averaging double figures. Chris Smith and Jaime Jaquez Jr lead the way, each averaging 12.6 points per game. There’s not one player who tends to take over games, so the Trojans will have to play sound defense overall in order to stop down multiple threats in blue and gold.

For the most part USC has a pretty good defense, giving up an average of just 64 points per game to opponents. KenPom has them ranked as the second-best defensive unit in the conference, the best overall team in the PAC-12 and the 17th-best in the nation. The Trojans are led offensively by Evan Mobley, who averages over 16 points per contest. They also have two other players averaging double-digit point totals and as a unit, they score just over 76 points per game, so virtually even with their crosstown rival.

KenPom gives the Trojans a 65% chance to win this matchup over UCLA, which they have ranked as the 31st best team in the nation.

Game Time/TV Channel/Streaming

You can watch UCLA vs. USC on Saturday, February 6th at 10:00 p.m. ET on ESPN, or you can stream it via the ESPN app with a cable or streaming service login. If you don’t have a cable login to access the ESPN app, you can get a free trial from YouTube TV, Hulu with Live TV, AT&T TV Now, FuboTV, or Sling TV to stream it.

Point Spread, Totals, Odds, Trends

Point spread: USC -3.5
Point Total: 135.5
Money line: UCLA +140, USC -175

  • UCLA is 9-7 ATS this season, while USC is 10-7.
  • The over is 10-6 in UCLA games, and 9-8 in USC games.

The Best Bet

In the battle for LA, we’ll go with the home team. USC is being hurt by the soft Pac-12 schedule and a neutral floor loss to UConn earlier this season, but they’re the better team right now. And a Q1 win at home gets them in the rankings on Monday.

Pick: USC -175 ML

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