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NCAA Tournament Odds & Preview — Providence Friars vs. USC Trojans

The Providence Friars have themselves a 1-2 punch that rivals anything in college basketball. And they will try to put those guys to work on Thursday night as they try to tackle the challenge of the USC Trojans in an East Regional game that is slated for a 9:50 PM ET start in Raleigh, NC. And you know what?

The Providence Friars have themselves a 1-2 punch that rivals anything in college basketball. And they will try to put those guys to work on Thursday night as they try to tackle the challenge of the USC Trojans in an East Regional game that is slated for a 9:50 PM ET start in Raleigh, NC. And you know what? BetAnySports customers, who can take advantage of reduced juice wagering before the game, can also play against the NCAA Tournament odds in real time after the opening tipoff, as they explore what Live Betting Extra has to offer.

This is a game matching the #8 and #9 seeds, so obviously it is expected to be pretty closely contested. USC (8) was 21-12 straight-up on the season and 18-15 against the basketball pointspread. And this was clearly the best season yet out west for Andy Enfield, who led Florida Gulf Coast into the Sweet 16 three years ago. Providence (9) is 23-10 straight-up and 18-14-1 ATS.

The Friars boast some great headliners, First of all, they have one of the top inside players in Ben Bentil, who averaged 21.2 points and 7.8 rebounds, and in the backcourt they have one of the nation’s outstanding point guards in Kris Dunn, who averages 6.4 assists to go along with 16 points and 5.5 rebounds. Needless to say, the reputation of both of these players has preceded them.

In the NCAA Tournament odds that have been posted at BetAnySports, the Friars have been installed as the slight favorites:

Providence Friars  -2

USC Trojans  +2

Over 149.5 points  -110

Under 149.5 points  -110

Sure, Providence has other good players aside from Bentil and Dunn, but they can profess to have a lot of balance or depth on their squad. That is something Enfield does indeed have with his Trojans, who have the ability to throw a few big men out there to exert force under the boards, or play “small ball” with opponents, with talented guards who can shoot the three-ball. One of those is Katin Reinhardt, a UNLV transfer who was 38% accurate from beyond the arc. All told, there are five players averaging in double digits for Enfield, with yet another at 9.8 ppg. So that is very good balance.

Dunn, who has been Big East player of the year TWICE,  indeed presents a defensive challenge for the Trojans, who had a few lapses in that regard this season, and USC does have a couple of people they can throw at him in guards Jordan McLaughlin and Julian Jacobs. But BetAnySports patrons should be mindful that Providence is ready, willing and able to take advantage of any shaky ballhandling the Trojans might exhibit, as they force fifteen turnovers a game.

What should worry USC backers is the fact that they are carrying no real “head of steam” coming into this tournament, as they have lost seven of their last ten and have dropped six of their last eight to the number. They also allowed Utah to hit 61% in the Pac-12 tournament game that eliminated them. Providence recovered fro a string in which it had gone 1-5 SU and 0-6 ATS to finish up with four wins in their last five games, covering all five.

BetAnySports customers can take advantage of reduced juice wagering in the NCAA tournament, all the way to the conclusion of March Madness! And you can make your deposits using your Visa card, person-to-person transfers or the virtual currency of Bitcoin…… Good luck! 

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