Drake vs. Missouri State Odds & Pick: Back the Bulldogs to Remain Undefeated
Michael Allio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Roman Penn.
- Drake looks to maintain its unbeaten record (including against the spread) as it takes on Missouri State.
- The Bulldogs' season was brought to a halt due to COVID-19, something the Bears have also had to deal with this season.
- BJ Cunningham explains why he is backing Drake to continue its incredible run.
Drake vs. Missouri State Odds
America’s college basketball gambling darling looks to remain perfect overall and against the spread (ATS) on Tuesday when the Drake Bulldogs take on Missouri State.
That’s right folks: Drake is a perfect 11-0 ATS to start the season.
However, like everything over the last 10 months, their season has been delayed for over three weeks due to COVID-19. The Bulldogs now enter the hardest part of their schedule, having not played very good competition to date. Missouri State will be the highest ranked team (per KenPom).
Missouri State is quietly having an outstanding season, 9-1 out of the gates. The Bears have also had their season delayed by COVID-19 — the last time they faced a Division I opponent was Jan. 10.
Much like Drake, Missouri State hasn’t faced stiff competition this season either — the Bulldogs will be its highest-ranked opponent of the season.
Will Missouri State be up to the task and be able to put an end to Drake’s perfect season?
When Drake has the ball
Before the Bulldogs went on a lengthy pause, they were shooting the absolute lights out. Drake is the No. 1 team in the country in 3-point percentage at 43.5%. They also rank third in effective field goal percentage, so to say the Bulldogs are red hot would be an understatement.
Even though Drake is shooting a high percentage from 3-point land, most of its shots are coming inside the arc. Over 68% of Drake’s field goal attempts come from 2-point range, and 43.4% of those shots are coming at the rim, per Hoop-Math.
The reason the Bulldogs are going to the basket at such a high rate is because they’re making 66.2% of their shots at the rim.
Drake also crashes the offensive glass at an extremely high rate, ranking 12th in offensive rebound percentage. It’s clear why defending this Drake team has been a nightmare this season.
Missouri State is likely going to struggle to defend Drake on Tuesday for a couple of reasons.
Firstly, the Bears allow the fifth-highest field percentage on shots at the rim at 70.6%, per Hoop-Math. They do only allow 44.3% from 2-point range but as mentioned above, the Bulldogs go to the rim at a very high rate.
Secondly, they struggle defending the perimeter. The Bears are allowing 34.1% from deep, which is going to be a problem facing the best 3-point shooting team in the country.
When Missouri State has the ball
The Bears have the third-best offense in the Missouri Valley, averaging 1.09 points per possession during conference play. The reason for that is their efficiency inside the arc.
Missouri State loves to go to the basket as often as possible with the best field goal percentage in college basketball rim attempts at 80.5%, per Hoop-Math. The Bears are also shooting 63.6% from 2-point range, which is the second-best percentage in college basketball. They also get to the free throw line at an extremely high 40.5% rate and shoot 73% from the charity stripe.
Drake’s defense has been solid this season, allowing only 0.87 points per possession. The Bulldogs truly excel in almost every defensive category, especially defending the rim, where they only allow 51.4%, per Hoop-Math. They also defend the perimeter incredibly well, allowing opponents to shoot 29.7% from beyond the arc.
Drake will need to force Missouri State way from the basket and into a lot of outside shots if it’s going to maintain its unblemished record.
Betting Analysis & Pick
Even though they’ve been off for over weeks, this Drake team is incredibly difficult to defend. Missouri State struggles defending at the rim and the perimeter, so I think the Bulldogs are going to have their way on offense.
I have Drake projected as a -4.53 favorite on the road, so I think there is a little bit of value on the Bulldogs at -3.5 (FanDuel).
Pick: Drake -3.5 or better