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Should You Risk Betting On Underdog Baylor Over USC?

The #5 Baylor Lady Bears and #1 USC Trojans are set to square off this Saturday in a Sweet 16 round matchup that feels like a perfect coaching minds duel between Baylor’s Nicki Collen and USC’s Lindsay Gottlieb, both with professional WNBA and NBA experience respectively. With the game’s tip off slated for 5:30 p.m. EST this coming Saturday and ESPN broadcasting the action nationally from the MVP Arena in Albany, New York.

As anticipation builds for this Sweet 16 showdown, fans are eagerly waiting to see if Baylor’s momentum and defensive prowess can overcome USC’s top-seeded talent. So who will move on to the Elite Eight on Saturday?

Baylor takes on USC in a hugely anticipated Women’s March Madness Sweet 16 showdown.
Baylor takes on USC in a hugely anticipated Women’s March Madness Sweet 16 showdown.

 

Is Betting on the Bears Worth the Risk Against USC? (h2)

Baylor’s suffocating defense, led by shot-blocking phenom NaLyssa Smith will have their work cut out for itself trying to stop USC’s lightning-fast transition game and size advantage, with prodigious JuJu Watkins leading the Trojans’ charge along side the team’s frontcourt of Rayah Marshall and Kaitlyn Daivs.

If Watkins can control the tempo and USC’s length disrupts Baylor’s offense, making it difficult for the Bears to score on the paint, thus keeping the ball in front and having to attack from the perimeter, the No. 1 seed should emerge victorious. But don’t count out the Bears, who will look to push the pace and keep the Trojans’ defense in constant rotation, all while bidding for the upset.

 

Baylor vs USC Women’s Sweet 16 Betting Lines


 

Is Watkins A Good Bet To Lead USC To A Win vs Baylor?

The Trojans are back in the Sweet 16 for the first time since 1994, thanks in large part to Watkins’ incredible scoring prowess. As the nation’s second-leading scorer, averaging 26.9 points per game, Watkins has been the driving force behind USC’s success.

But don’t let Watkins’ star power fool you – the Trojans are a well-rounded team with plenty of other weapons. Grad student McKenzie Forbes, for example, has been playing her best basketball as of late, scoring at least 17 points in her last four outings.

In their previous game against Kansas, USC found themselves in a tense situation, with their lead dwindling to just one point after a 9-0 run by the Jayhawks. But Watkins stepped up when it mattered most, draining a clutch 3-pointer followed by two free throws to restore the cushion. Her assist to Kayla Padilla early in the fourth quarter helped push the lead back to 10, sealing USC’s spot in the Sweet 16.

As the Trojans prepare to face Baylor, they’ll need Watkins and the rest of the team to continue their impressive play. With a balanced attack and a star player like Watkins leading the charge, USC has the potential to make a deep run in this year’s tournament.

 

The Lady Bears Might Be Underdogs, But They Have That Fight In Them

The Bears have been on a tear, soundly defeating a feisty Vanderbilt team 80-63 in the first round and edging out a shorthanded Virginia Tech squad 75-72 in the second round. Jada Walker’s clutch performance, scoring Baylor’s final 10 points in the 4th quarter against the Hokies, has given the Bears a boost of confidence heading into their clash with the Trojans.

While USC boasts the best player on the floor in Watkins, the Bears are closer to the Trojans than their seeding suggests. USC ranks 10th in the NET, while Baylor is hot on their heels at 18th. The Trojans have shown some defensive vulnerabilities this season, ranking 71st in defensive rating and 101st in scoring defense. If Walker can exploit USC’s defense like she did against Virginia Tech, Baylor could have a chance to win this game in a high-scoring affair.

One key to victory for the Bears will be limiting USC’s three-point shooting. The Trojans shoot an impressive 36.0 percent from deep, the 24th best mark in college basketball. However, Baylor’s stellar 3-point defense, holding opponents to just 26.2% from behind the arc (7th best in the country), could be the equalizer. If the Lady Bears can apply pressure to USC’s shooters, they might just have a fighting chance to pull off the upset.

 

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