Miami vs Drake Odds, Picks: Back the 12-Seeded Bulldogs?
Getty Images. Design by Matt Roembke/Action Network. Pictured from left: Miami Hurricane Isaiah Wong and Drake Bulldog Tucker DeVries.
Miami vs Drake Odds
-110o / -110u
-110o / -110u
Drake and Miami square off on Friday night in a 5 vs. 12 matchup. The Hurricanes shared the regular-season ACC title en route to an at-large bid, while Drake took home the Missouri Valley Tournament Championship for an automatic bid.
The Bulldogs are one of the hottest teams in basketball and are 13-1 in their last 14. This is an extremely experienced group led by head coach Darian DeVries.
As for Miami, Jim Larranaga needs no introduction. The Hurricanes look to make another deep tournament run after making the Elite Eight as a 10-seed. They fell to the eventual champs, Kansas.
Here’s how to bet the famed 5 vs. 12 matchup, where upsets normally run rampant. Miami enters as slight favorites.
Miami turned on the jets at the end of the season and if it weren’t for a blip against Florida State on its home floor, it would’ve had sole possession of the ACC regular-season title.
But this is a down year for the conference, and Miami enters the tournament limping.
Norchad Omier, the Canes’ breakout sophomore big, is questionable with an ankle injury. His absence would be a major one for the frontcourt.
This is a well-rounded offense, with four players averaging 13 or more points per game. The Hurricanes love to push transition and attack inside. Despite its success from the perimeter, Miami rarely attacks from 3. Rather it spreads the floor and use ball screens or the pick-and-roll to create inside.
Miami ranks 21st in 2-point offense and 17th in FT%. It rarely turns the ball over and, just like Drake, it ranks inside the top 30 in experience.
Isaiah Wong returns as the leading scorer and is having a career year from the perimeter (37.8%).
The issue with this Hurricanes team is its defense. Even with Omier, the Hurricanes struggle in the pick-and-roll. They’re 335th, per ShotQuality, and also rank in that 330-350 range in catch-and-shoot 3s, mid-range jumpers and off-screen movement.
If Omier were to miss the Round of 64 matchup, their interior presence would take a major beating. Miami is already 261st in 2-point defense and it’s 318th in bench minutes. It doesn’t have much — especially at the five — to cycle through.
The Cinderella darlings of this year could very well be the Drake Bulldogs. This is a well-rounded, seasoned group that ranks inside the top 30 in both Division I experience and minutes continuity.
This is a squad built for March. Drake has a veteran senior point guard in Roman Penn and a senior big that has NCAA Tournament experience in Darnell Brodie.
Tack on star forward Tucker DeVries, and this is a mid-major that shouldn’t be taken lightly. DeVries leads the team in points (19.0 PPG) and can stretch the floor to the tune of a 37.8% clip from 3. He’s a matchup nightmare in isolation for opponents.
Drake is top-50 in 3-point shooting and doesn’t turn the ball over. The Bulldogs shoot free throws efficiently and are a methodical offense that works heavily out of the half-court.
The same is true about the defense. Rather than crashing the offensive glass, Drake focuses on setting up on the other end, limiting transition opportunities. It’s the third-best defensive rebounding team in the nation and ranks inside the top 50 in defensive efficiency.
Smaller, athletic bigs can often give Drake problems around the rim. It struggles in that area — 263rd, per ShotQuality — but is sound just about everywhere else. The Bulldogs’ defense ranks in the top 50 out of the half-court, off-screen and on cuts.
This isn’t a tall team — 302nd in average height — but Darian DeVries has an extremely experienced and sound squad on both ends of the floor. Given its veteran leadership, Drake shouldn’t have the tournament jitters, nor start to scramble if it falls behind early.
Miami vs Drake Betting Pick
This has become a pretty trendy pick, but I expect Drake’s experience and ability to exploit Miami inside to be the difference-maker here.
Even if Omier plays — he’ll attempt to, but could very well miss Friday night’s game — he won’t be 100%. The Hurricanes have a lack of depth — especially in the frontcourt — and losing a matchup nightmare like Omier would be catastrophic.
Darian DeVries is one of the best mid-major coaches out there, and Drake has become a constant threat in the Missouri Valley. Given their experience behind Penn, Brodie and Garrett Sturtz, this is as well-rounded a double-digit seed as you’ll see.
And I didn’t even mention Tucker DeVries in that group, as the sophomore is the key to the offense and has been a machine down the stretch in MVC play.
In what has been a weak ACC, I expect Miami to be exposed on Friday night. It loves to run in transition, but as I mentioned, Drake doesn’t crash the glass. Instead, it gets back on defense and forces opponents out of the half-court.
Wong will get his, but I’m not so sure he can will Miami to the Round of 32. Regardless of Omier’s status, I like the Bulldogs to pull off the upset and possibly even make a Sweet 16 run against the winner of Indiana-Kent State.
And if you’re still hesitant on the Bulldogs, here’s a trend.
Since 2015, ACC teams seeded 1-6 are 26-3, but only 8-21 ATS! 📉
#4 Virginia (-5.5) , #5 Miami (-2), and #5 Duke (-6.5) all fit the criteria.
Get more info like this for every single first round matchup in my March Madness Manifesto.📖
The sheet will be updated every round.
— Matt Proto (@Proto_Profit) March 15, 2023
Pick: Drake +2.5 (Play to PK)
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