- The USC Trojans vie for a fifth straight win as they take on the slumping Saint Joseph’s Hawks as heavy favorites
- The Trojans remain undefeated so far this season, while the Hawks look to rebound from back-to-back SU and ATS losses
- Read on for all the odds and trends ahead of Thursday night’s Wooden Legacy matchup at Anaheim Convention Center
The USC Trojans will be looking to extend their season-opening win streak to five games when they take on the Saint Joseph’s Hawks on Thanksgiving Day in semi-final action at the Wooden Legacy as lofty 18-point favorites. Tip off is scheduled for 9:30pm ET on Thursday night at Anaheim Convention Center.
USC Trojans vs Saint Joseph’s Hawks Odds
|USC Trojans||-18 (-110)||Ov 147.5 (-110)||-2200|
|Saint Joseph’s Hawks||+18 (-110)||Un 147.5 (-110)||+1100|
*Odds at DraftKings as of November 25, 2021.
Trojans vs Hawks Betting Trends
Thursday night’s matchup marks the first meeting between these two teams since December 1949, when the Trojans tallied a 79-65 win. USC has enjoyed a hot start to the season, posting four straight outright wins, capped by Monday’s 98-71 rout of Dixie State. That marks somewhat of a turnaround after the team covered in just two of their final eight regular season contests in 2020/2021. The Trojans have also gone undefeated straight up in 30 outings while favored by at least 15 points over the past decade, and have seen a shaky 1-5 ATS run as heavy chalk snapped by their recent wins over Cal State-Northridge and Dixie State.
The Trojans improve to 4-0! ✌️
— Pac-12 Network (@Pac12Network) November 23, 2021
The Hawks currently a two-game losing streak, but SU and ATS, with each of those defeats coming while pegged as slim 1-point home underdogs. Overall, the squad has now covered just once in five outings since recording a rare four-game SU win streak last March, and has seen the OVER prevail in each of their past three contests. That run featured a 76-73 upset win over Richmond on March 1 that marked their first outright victory in their past 12 as double-digit underdogs, while going 4-7-1 ATS over that stretch.
USC Trojans Outlook
The Trojans continued their slow climb up the AP Top 25 this week, climbing one spot to No. 24. The improvement was well justified in the wake of their two recent victories. In addition to Monday’s rout of Dixie State, the squad faced little resistance in a 78-61 road victory over Florida Gulf Coast early last week, and have now claimed victory by an average margin of 22 points over their past two outings.
(25) USC 78, Florida Gulf Coast 61 in Andy Enfield’s return to Dunk City.
What a run that was (unless you’re a Georgetown fan). @stoolbenchmob
— Jake Marsh (@PMTsportsbiz) November 17, 2021
Despite their fast start, the Trojans have remained stalled at the sportsbooks, dipping to a +750 bet to win the Pac-12 crown in the college basketball conference odds after opening their schedule at +575.
— USC Men's Basketball (@USC_Hoops) November 23, 2021
The Trojans must beware of slow starts after spotting early leads to opponents in their recent wins over Florida Gulf Coast and Temple. However this team has turned in high-powered second-half performances in their past two outings, averaging 47 points after recess in those contests. The duo of Boogie Ellis and Chevez Goodwin have led the charge for USC. Ellis has enjoyed a successful Trojans debut, averaging a team-high 17.0 points per game. Goodwin has contributed 14.8 points per game, and recorded his first double-double of the season in Monday’s win over the Trailblazers.
St. Joseph’s Hawks Outlook
The Hawks stormed out of the gate this season, opening their schedule with wins over Maryland-Eastern Shore and Mount St. Mary’s, but have struggled to contain opposing shooters in subsequent losses to Drexel and Monmouth. Saint Joseph’s surrendered an average of 82.5 points per game in those contests, further sinking them in the Kenpom ratings, where they now sit a distant 261st in adjusted defence.
Recap: Saint Joseph's Jordan Hall scored a career-high 24 points and added a team-high 10 rebounds and five assists, but Monmouth held off the Hawks for an 87-75 victory at Hagan Arena on Saturday afternoon.
— SJU Hawks MBB (@SJUHawks_MBB) November 20, 2021
Giving up big point totals is nothing new for the Hawks, who surrendered 80 or more points on 14 occasions while racking up a dismal 5-15 overall SU record last season. That puts added pressure on two players that have provided a glimmer of hope for this team in the early going.
Player I’m glad stayed true to his team, but maybe should’ve transferred: Taylor Funk.
Funk shooting 52% from 3 this year for a 74.4% true shooting %. Really good player on a really bad team.
— AntlanticTeen (@AntlanticTeen) November 25, 2021
Jordan Hall has set himself up for a breakthrough sophomore campaign in the early going. Hall averaged 22 points per game in the Hawks’ two recent defeats, and contributed his first double-double of the season in last weekend’s loss to Monmouth. Senior big man Taylor Funk has been consistent while posting a team-leading 18.5 points per game to go along with an average of 6.0 rebounds.
The Pick: Trojans -18 (-110); OVER 147.5 (-110)