Washington State vs. USC prediction: Go with the underdog



It will be difficult for Washington State to match or exceed the defensive effort it had against Arizona State earlier in the week in holding the Sun Devils to 29 points, but the Cougars will look to get a big win over a ranked USC bunch on Saturday.

Washington State is 29th in the country in points scored on a per possession basis. Drawing fouls is a big part of the Cougars’ offense as they rank second among Division I teams in made free throws on a per possession basis.

USC has also been strong on offense, ranking 23rd in points scored on a per possession basis, but must face a Washington State bunch that is 10th in the country in 2-point field goal shooting defense. Their offense gets 63.3 percent of its points on 2-point field goals — which ranks sixth nationally.

Both teams have been solid on the glass. Washington State is 24th in the country in rebound rate and USC is 25th, but the Cougars have the upper hand at getting second chances, getting an offensive rebound on 37.6 percent of their missed shots.

USC is 353rd in the country in free-throw shooting percentage at 57.4 percent, so Washington State will protect its home court and move to 2-0 in Pac-12 play.

The play: Washington State +1.5


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