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Pick on the Spread for USC-Arizona State on January 20

VSiN’s Greg Peterson goes over the best betting options for Saturday’s college basketball matchup between the USC Trojans and Arizona State Sun Devils

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NCAA Basketball: Hall of Fame Series-Phoenix-Northwestern at Arizona State Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Everyone in the Pac-12 is chasing the Oregon Ducks for the top spot in the conference standings, including the Arizona State Sun Devils, who enter Saturday’s home game with the USC Trojans just one game back of the Ducks.

USC Trojans vs. Arizona State Sun Devils (-2, 146.5)

While the offense has struggled this season for Arizona State, ranking 300th in the country in points scored on a per possession basis, it has been better in conference play, averaging 9.4 points per 100 possessions more in conference play than in non-conference games.

A big reason for the offensive improvement is what the team is not doing, which is turning the ball over as the Sun Devils are 53rd in the nation in turnovers committed per possession.

On the other side, USC is turning the ball over on 20.4% of possessions in games played away from home, which ranks 314th in the country and the offense overall is averaging 11 points fewer per 100 possessions on games played away from home than at home.

With the way USC has played defense, it has led to disastrous road results with USC 160th in points allowed on a per possession basis while Arizona State ranks 70th in points allowed on a per possession basis at home.

Much of the reason for the defensive discrepancy is the perimeter defense with Arizona State 96th in the country in opponent 3-point shooting percentage while USC is 301st in opponent 3-point shooting percentage.

The Sun Devils have been a different team at home than away from home this season, posting a 7-1 straight up record and have allowed 74 points or fewer in every game they’ve played in the state of Arizona.

With USC posting a 1-6 record in games played either on the road or in a neutral court setting since the start of December, with the lone win coming against Alabama State and the losses all being by at least eight points, Arizona State will hold serve in the Pac-12 standings and get a win on Saturday.

The Play: Arizona State -2