College basketball best bets for Wednesday, 3/13: USC keeps on rolling against Washington

USC Trojans basketball
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Caleb Wilfinger


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Deputy Editor for Pickswise with years of experience handicapping and giving out winning picks. Lover of all US sports and Southampton FC. For Caleb Wilfinger media enquiries, please email
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The college basketball regular season is finally complete and conference championship week is here! We’ve got plenty of madness in store this week, as we’ll have nonstop action and marquee games for 5 more days before the reveal of the NCAA Tournament bracket on Selection Sunday.

While the college hoops market is as sharp as it has ever been, there are still a few good value bets of which to take advantage. Let’s take a look at my best bets for Wednesday’s action, but make sure you also check out our college basketball picks for the biggest games of the day.

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USC Trojans -3 over Washington Huskies (-110)

Odds available at DraftKings Sportsbook at time of publishing. Playable to USC -4 

I was pretty bullish on this USC team heading into the season. After all, it was hard not to be given their talent, experience and potential in what was expected to be a pretty weak Pac-12 conference. And while the Trojans were massive underachievers for the majority of the campaign, there are pretty clear reasons to be optimistic about their outlook in this tournament, starting with Wednesday’s game against Washington.

USC’s struggles were in large part due to inconsistency within its rotation, as the Trojans dealt with a rash of injuries throughout the season, particularly in the first half of conference play. It impacted key players too, as lead guard Boogie Ellis battled a hamstring injury for months and Isaiah Collier — one of the best freshmen in the country — missed over a month with a hand contusion. Both players (in addition to a few others on the roster) have since returned and the Trojans are starting to realize their potential at the right time as a result. BartTorvik has USC as a top-20 team over the last month, posting a 5-2 record behind a top-15 defensive unit during that span. Not only do the Trojans have an elite backcourt that is finally fully healthy, but the likes of DJ Rodman and Joshua Morgan in the frontcourt are playing with confidence too.

USC just defeated Arizona in its last outing and it wouldn’t surprise me one bit if the Trojans made a run this week in Las Vegas. But before we can think about a potential bid-stealer, we first have to analyze this opening-round matchup. The Trojans just knocked off Washington in Seattle on March 2 behind terrific games from Collier, Ellis and Rodman. I expect a similar result on Wednesday, especially given that the Huskies defense is trending in the wrong direction in recent weeks. On the other side of the ball, the Huskies are a fine halfcourt offense, but they’re also 303rd in offensive rebounding rate and 305th in free throw rate, so second chance points and/or free points at the charity stripe won’t come easy for Washington in this one. Let’s lay the points with USC. Fight on!

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