Drake vs Miami
Drake +122 over Miami

Posted at Thursday at 12:30 PM EST odds are subject to change.

Pinnacle +122 BET365  +120 Sportsinteraction +120 888Sport +120

Midwest Region - 1st Round - MVP Arena, Albany, NY

Streaming: TNT

Drake +122 over Miami

Friday - 1:40 PM. Miami looks like the worst of the five seeds. The Efficiency Rating puts Miami just 42nd, nearly 20 spots behind the next-worst five seed. KenPom has the 'Canes 40th, and BartTorvik sees them as the nation's 38th-best team. KenPom has Miami behind two teams that didn't make the tournament (Rutgers and Oklahoma State).

What Miami is elite at is offense, ranking 12th by adjusted offense. They're not very good on D, though, slotting in 107th in adjusted defense. While a 15-5 ACC record is impressive, the ACC was not as good as it usually is. Ranking this game as the most likely to end in a 12/5 upset is more about Miami than it is about Drake.

With that said, Drake is a solid team. The Bulldogs have gone 14-1 over the previous 15 games and ended the year playing their best ball in a 26-point beatdown of Bradley in the Missouri Valley Conference title game. Drake has five wins over teams that ranked inside the BartTorvik top 100 at the time of their matchup, and with a BartTorvik rating of 42nd in defense and 68th in offense, they're a well-rounded group -- one that is more than capable of making a run in this year's dance.

Drake can flat-out stroke it, too, nailing 37.3% of their threes this season, the 32nd-best clip, and in Tucker DeVries -- a guy who averages 19.0 points per game and shot 38.7% from deep -- the Bulldogs have a star who can take over games. The Hurricanes are fully on upset alert in the first round because Drake is the more well-rounded of the two teams. While Miami possesses a lethal adjusted offense (11th), they're not nearly as good defensively (136th). On the other hand, Drake is 68th in adjusted offense and 42nd in adjusted defense.

Any way you slice it, it looks like Miami will be in a dogfight if they want to advance, and that makes Drake one of the most appealing first-round underdogs to back in your brackets or wafers. The status of the Hurricanes' Norchad Omier (ankle) is uncertain, too, and his potential absence would be a big blow. In or out, we still prefer Drake.


Our Pick

Drake +122 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.44)