College Basketball Best Bets: USC at No. 11 Gonzaga

Breaking down the college basketball matchup between USC and No. 11 Gonzaga

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College Basketball Best Bets: USC at No. 11 Gonzaga

College basketball is underway, and we here at BetQL couldn't be happier to have things rolling right along toward another exciting March Madness. We'll have you covered every step of the way, with best bets on all the biggest games, until someone is cutting down the nets. That includes this exciting matchup between the USC Trojans and No. 11 Gonzaga Bulldogs in a key matchup. Let's get right into it.

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College Basketball Best Bets: USC at No. 11 Gonzaga

College basketball is underway, and we here at BetQL couldn't be happier to have things rolling right along toward another exciting March Madness. We'll have you covered every step of the way, with best bets on all the biggest games, until someone is cutting down the nets. That includes this exciting matchup between the USC Trojans and No. 11 Gonzaga Bulldogs in a key matchup. Let's get right into it.

USC at Gonzaga: Live Odds

USC Trojans Outlook

The Trojans have started their season with a 5-2 record through their first seven games, which is a bit of a disappointment considering the prestige this program garners. A close, 2-point loss to Oklahoma a few games ago knocked them out of the rankings, and they will be looking to get back in with what would be a massive win over No. 11 Gonzaga. That is going to be much easier said than done, however.

USC has a lot of talent on offense, and while they still would match up well against most teams in the country, you have to feel a bit confused as to why they haven't been better. The Trojans rank just 39th on KenPom in adjusted offensive efficiency and are scoring 79.3 points per game. It's not like they have played a ton of stiff competition either, and haven't played a ranked team all season to this point. One could argue that Gonzaga will be the first serious team they have faced, and with two losses already, that doesn't bode well for them. Guard Boogie Ellis is a star, scoring 21.5 points per game and shooting 47.7% from the floor, but outside of him, Isaiah Collier, and Kobe Johnson, there isn't much here.

Defensively, USC has been much more capable, ranking 26th on the KenPom charts on this side of the ball. Their length has allowed them to be quite good inside, and they are generating 5.9 blocks per game. The Trojans are allowing 68.7 points per game. They haven't allowed any of their last five opponents to score more than 78 points, and that was in a blowout win against Eastern Washington.

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Gonzaga Bulldogs Outlook

The Bulldogs aren't as good as they have been in previous seasons, let's be clear about that. They don't have a Chet Holmgren or Jalen Suggs to rely on, but that isn't to say they aren't still a very good basketball team. They are 5-1 through their first six games of the year and ranked 11th in the country. On the KenPom rankings chart, they are ranked above that, sitting at 10th. Their one loss this season came at the hands of Purdue 73-63, which isn't shocking considering the Boilermakers are the No. 1 team in the nation.

Over the years, Mark Few's offense has always been dominant, and that has continued this season. They are 16th in adjusted offensive efficiency according to KenPom, and they are scoring 83 points per game on average. That's quite impressive, and they are led by forward Anton Watson, who is averaging 15.7 points per game and shooting a ridiculous 65.1% from the floor. Unlike USC, the Bulldogs are incredibly deep, with five players averaging double-digit points. I'd say that is Gonzaga's biggest strength this season.

The Bulldogs have also found similar success on defense, which hasn't been their calling card in previous years. KenPom has them rated 17th in adjusted defensive efficiency, one spot below their offense. As mentioned before, this team's biggest strength is their depth and balance, and it shows in these numbers. Gonzaga has shown a tenacity with their ball pressure as well, managing 7.2 steals per game.

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USC at Gonzaga Best Bet

My Pick: Gonzaga -3.5 (-110, DraftKings)

Simply put, Gonzaga is just the much better team from what I have seen so far. Their biggest advantage will be their balance and depth, which is so much better than USC's, as the Trojans rely on just a couple of guys to do a lot of the work. I think the Trojans will have some trouble scoring outside of Ellis in this one.

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