Illinois vs. Drexel Odds, Early Analysis For NCAA Tournament First Round

Illinois vs. Drexel Odds, Early Analysis For NCAA Tournament First Round article feature image
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James Black/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Illinois Fighting Illini guard Ayo Dosunmu (11).

  • Illinois is a big favorite over Drexel in the first round of the 2021 NCAA Tournament.
  • The Illini won the Big Ten Tournament and earned a No. 1 seed. They would've had an advantageous matchup against any No. 16 seed, but should dominate Drexel down low especially.
  • Get a quick breakdown on each team and our instant analysis.

#1 Illinois vs. #16 Drexel Odds

Drexel Odds +22.5
Illinois Odds -22.5
Moneyline +1800 / -10000
Over/Under 145
Time Friday, 1:15 p.m. ET
TV TBS
Odds as of Sunday and via DraftKings

How Illinois & Drexel Match Up

Illinois
vs.
Drexel
79
Tempo
340
14
eFG%
35
149
TO%
205
34
OR%
118
25
FTR
253
31
DeFG%
149
315
DTO%
307
10
DR%
41
140
DFTR
65
All stats via KenPom.

Instant Analysis for Drexel-Illinois

Drexel has been waiting a long time to play in the NCAA Tournament again. Well, welcome to the Big Dance, Dragons. Here’s a Kofi Cockburn for you to deal with.

Cockburn was going to have his way against whichever 16-seed drew the Illini, but Drexel should be particularly enticing for him. The Dragons start 6-foot-8 James Butler at center and have been hurt in the paint all season long. The Dragons allowed 55.3% of their opponents’ points from inside the arc, among the top 40 in the nation in that stat. Drexel’s entire team has just 45 blocked shots all season.

Illinois will feed Cockburn early and often. If he’s healthy and not in foul trouble, he’ll feast. — Shane McNichol

What To Know About Illinois

The Illini were set to make their return to the NCAA Tournament last season before COVID-19 put a halt to the sports world, but they’re going to be a serious factor in 2021. Illinois gets almost 40 points per game from its two stars in guard Ayo Dosunmu and center Kofi Cockburn.

Dosunmu is averaging 20-plus points, as well as six rebounds and five assists while shooting nearly 50% from the floor, while Cockburn is shooting 66%. The Illini are more than just that duo, though, as highlighted by beating then-No. 2 Michigan by 23 points without Dosunmu earlier in March.

Illinois is top-10 in KenPom’s adjusted offensive and defense efficiency measures and should be considered a top contender to be the last team to cut down the nets this season. It’s a team peaking at the right time as their freshmen and transfer complementary pieces have continued to get better as the season progressed.

This is a clear cut top-5 team in the nation and is almost unstoppable when Adam Miller and Trent Frazier are making outside shots. They will be extremely difficult to take out, especially with the closing ability of Ayo. — Matt Trebby

What To Know About Drexel

Drexel really benefited from a league that was absolutely obliterated by COVID-19 at the end of the regular season.

The Dragons were extremely fortunate from 3-point range since the start of February, shooting over 50% from beyond the arc. The offense does have a plethora of shooters that paced a Drexel team that finished in the top 40 in both 3-point and free-throw shooting.

Camren Wynter is the go-to scorer, but it’s a very balanced attack. On defense, the Dragons will press at times but grade out below-average across the board on that end of the floor.

It’s hard to envision Drexel pulling off an upset. — Stuckey

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