Wednesday college basketball odds: USC at No. 18 New Mexico

Struggling Southern Cal must visit one of college basketball’s toughest places to play in the nation as the Trojans visit the Pit and a very good New Mexico team ranked No. 18 in the country. Check our current lines

USC (3-4) enters off a Monday 63-51 loss to Nebraska. The Cornhuskers (6-1), off to their best start since 2008-09, led by as many as 20 points in the most lopsided game in the four-game series with the Trojans. The Huskers, who came into the game shooting just 29.8 percent on 3s, made a season-high 11 of 17. J.T. Terrell scored 14 points, Byron Wesley had 12 and Jio Fontan 11 for the Trojans (3-4). Nebraska had beaten USC each of the past three years by a total of eight points.

New Mexico (8-0) beat Indiana State 77-68 in overtime in its last game. Kendall Williams scored a season-high 24 points to lead the Lobos. Hugh Greenwood scored eight of his 14 points in overtime, and Chad Adams added 12 points and 10 rebounds. New Mexico squandered a 19-point lead in the second half, but then outscored the Sycamores 13-4 in the extra period. New Mexico won despite shooting 20 percent from the field in the second half.

New Mexico returns eight lettermen and three starters from last year’s 2012-13 season in which the Lobos went 28-7 and advanced to the NCAA Tournament’s third round. The Lobos won their third regular season championship in the last four years, and then won the conference tournament defeating San Diego State 68-59 in Las Vegas at the Thomas & Mack Center.

The three starters that UNM return are Greenwood, Williams, and Tony Snell. Williams was a Second Team All-Mountain West pick last season, and Snell was both Honorable Mention All-Mountain West and Mountain West All-Tournament.UNM does return a fourth starter in Alex Kirk, who started 19 games as a freshman in 2010-11 before sitting out the 2011-12 season with a back injury that he eventually had surgery for.

UNM returns 66.1% of the scoring (1,683 points out of 2,545), 56.4% of the rebounding (744 of 1,320), and 84.1% of the assists from last year (482 of 573). UNM returns five of its top six scorers, but missing is leading scorer and rebounder Drew Gordon from a year ago.

The Lobos have now been ranked 16 weeks in the decade, moving into a tie for 37th on the list of most weeks ranked this decade. New Mexico is 8-0, tying for the eighth-best start in school history. New Mexico has wins this season over Connecticut, George Mason, and Davidson, along with a win over Mercer, which turned around and defeated Florida State in Tallahassee. UNM also has the only win over UIC. New Mexico is ranked third in the RPI, with the No. 16 strength of schedule according to Realtimerpi.com.

Last year, the Lobos beat USC 44-41 in L.A.

WagerWeb.com trends: Trojans are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 non-conference games. Trojans are 1-6 ATS in their last 7 games following a ATS loss. Trojans are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 road games. Trojans are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 road games vs. a team with a winning home record. Lobos are 2-6 ATS in their last 8 non-conference games. Lobos are 2-6 ATS in their last 8 games overall. Lobos are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 home games.

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