Miami basketball early underdog for NCAA tournament versus USC

Jan 8, 2022; Durham, North Carolina, USA; Mandatory Credit: Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY
Jan 8, 2022; Durham, North Carolina, USA; Mandatory Credit: Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY /

The Miami basketball team has opened as a 1.5 point underdog in their NCAA Tournament game on Friday afternoon according to WynnBet. Miami and USC will tip-off at 3:10 PM at the Bon Secours Wellness Arena in Greenville, South Carolina. The Hurricanes have a +105 moneyline with USC -125.

The over/under is set at 140 points. The lines will be interesting to watch this week to see which team the betting public favors and if the total points will move. Miami and USC is basically a tossup which should be expected with Miami the 10 seed and USC the seven. This would be a dream football matchup.

Miami and USC share a lot of similarities. Both schools are in major metropolitan areas with multiple national championships in football and sporadic success in basketball. Miami and Los Angeles are also major tourist destinations. Friday will be the third time Miami has played USC in basketball.

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The game for Miami will come down to how well the Hurricanes handle the size by USC. USC is a similar matchup to playing Duke. The Trojans are athletic and big. USC has five players in their rotation 6’8 or taller. Sam Waardenburg and Anthony Walker are the only players in the Miami rotation 6’8 or taller.

Junior Isaiah Mobley leads USC at 6’10 with 14.3 points per game, 8.5 rebounds and 3.2 assists. Mobley has become the leader for USC after his brother Evan left for the NBA following the USC run to the Regional Final last season. Drew Peterson is a 6’8 guard who averages 12.3 PPG, 6.2 RPG and 3.3 APG.

Guard Boogie Eliis and forwards 6’9 Chevez Goodwin and Max Agbonkpolo at 6’8 provide a challenging matchup for an undersized Miami lineup except for Waardenburg. Miami has played primarily an eight-man rotation. Walker will be critical off the Miami bench against USC. Walker had four double-figure ACC games.

The 140 point total is extremely low. Miami


74.8 PPG this season, USC 72.6. The Hurricanes allow 71.0 and USC 65.9. Have confidence in betting the over. Miami could have an advantage in the crowd being so much closer to home. That could help the Miami basketball team.

The Miami basketball team has been at its most successful this season spreading opponents out and turning them over. The Hurricanes were 11th nationally forcing 4.2 turnovers per game more than their opponents. USC finished 302nd nationally with a minus-two turnover margin per game. That will be a key to watch.

Next. Miami begins ACC as MW 10 seed versus number seven USC. dark

Miami point guard Charlie Moore tied for 38th nationally averaging 1.2 steals per game. Expect the game to come down to the USC size versus the Miami perimeter play. Kameron McGusty and especially Isaiah Wong who has struggled at times this season need to score for Miami to win.