College Basketball: Men’s Championship East Region
First Four USC vs. PROV
#11 USC Trojans (24-9) at #11 Providence Friars (20-12)
March 15, 2017- 9:10 PM ET (TruTV) University of Dayton Arena, Dayton, OH
In what is expected to be another exciting contest in the second game of the First Four play-in on Wednesday night in Dayton, U.S. sportsbooks are primed and ready for a battle of No. 11 seeds in the USC Trojans squaring off against the Providence Friars in a pivotal contest that has the betting lines from our best sportsbooks;
Over/Under: 5Dimes 141.0
After running the table through their first 14 games to go undefeated, the Trojans quickly realized once in Pac-12 play it wasn’t going to be so easy as they stumbled losing four of their final six games to go 24-9. USC suffered a bad defeat at Arizona State but thanks to wins over SMU and UCLA, the Men of Troy have found themselves back in the NCAA Tournament against a Providence team they faced and lost to in last year’s tourney.
It was a missed free throw with 11 seconds left that set up the game winner for the Friars in last year’s meeting. No doubt a heartbreaking defeat, the Trojans will be licking their chops at the chance for revenge.
USC is paced by four players averaging double-digits in scoring, including Bennie Boatwright and his 14.6 points per game. The Trojans return four starters from last season’s squad and have to feel good heading into this “win-or-go-home” matchup where they were battle-tested in the Pac-12 Conference against the likes of UCLA, Oregon and Arizona?
However, the Friars out of the just-as-tough Big East Conference that features last year’s defending champion in Villanova is also a team that was stretched to their limit. The Big East has seven of their 10 teams in the Big Dance making Providence (20-12) a force to be reckoned with.
Feeling they should of been higher ranked, thus avoiding a play-in game, the Friars will have a bit a chip on their shoulder once the ball is tipped with the winner of this matchup playing the No. 6 seed SMU Mustangs on Friday in Tulsa.
Prediction/Pick: With the losses of Kris Dunn and Ben Bentil to the NBA, the Friars have lost some firepower heading in but will no doubt be ready to give the Trojans all they can handle. For betting purposes from our best sportsbetting sites, MyBookie is favoring USC (-2.5) points over PROV with an over/under of 141.0 total game points scored from 5Dimes. Keeping my confidence in the favorites from Los Angeles, I will favor the Trojans MINUS the points (-2.5) over Providence for the win as my betting pick.