Drexel at Illinois: 3/19/21 College Basketball Picks and Prediction
Photo by Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
Illinois Fighting Illini (23-6) vs Drexel Dragons (10-6)
Game Info: Friday, March 19, 2021 at 1:15 pm (Indiana Farmers Coliseum)
Betting Odds: Illinois Fighting Illini -21.5 -- Over/Under: 144.5 Click Here for the Latest Odds
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The Drexel Dragons and Illinois Fighting Illini will square off at Indiana Farmers Coliseum in the 1st round of the NCAA Tournament in the Midwest Region.
The 16-seed Drexel Dragons finished their regular season with an overall record of 12-7 while finishing conference play with a 4-5 record. Drexel earned the 6-seed in the CAA Tournament and was able to secure the automatic bid after defeating the 8-seed Elon Phoenix, 63-56, in the CAA Championship game. Drexel was outstanding from beyond the are against Elon and was able to pull away in the 2nd half after taking a 54-44 lead with 6:34 left in regulation. Drexel shot 43.8% from the field and 58.8% from beyond the arc while Elon shot 41.0% from the field and 21.1% from beyond the arc. Drexel lost the turnover battle by a 14-5 margin, however, did outrebound Elon by a 39-26 margin in the victory. Leading the way for the Dragons was Mate Okros who had 14 points, 1 assist, & 1 steal in 29 minutes from off the bench.
On the season, Drexel is averaging 71.5 ppg on 47.7% shooting from the field. The Dragons are averaging 7.3 three-pointers per game on 37.2% from beyond the arc. Offensively, Drexel has been led by Camren Wynter (16.8 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 5.3 apg), James Butler (12.9 ppg, 9.2 rpg, 1.7 apg), T.J. Bickerstaff (10.6 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 1.4 apg), & Zach Walton (10.6 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 1.5 apg).
Defensively, Drexel is holding their opponents to an average of 66.8 ppg on 44.1% shooting from the field. The Dragons has a rebound margin of 4.7 and a turnover margin of -2.1.
The 1-seed Illinois Fighting Illini finished their regular season with an overall record of 23-6 while finishing conference play with a 16-4 record. Illinois earned the 2-seed in the Big Ten Championship and was able to earn one of the top-seeds in the NCAA Championship after defeating the 5-seed Ohio State Buckeyes, 91-88 (OT), in the Big Ten Championship game. Illinois allowed Ohio State to fight back from a 75-69 deficit late in regulation to force OT, however, the Fighting Illini was solid on the offensive end in OT and was able to pull away after taking an 86-81 lead with :34 seconds left in OT. Illinois shot 45.3% from the field and 42.9% from beyond the arc while Ohio State shot 44.6% from the field and 32.0% from beyond the arc. Leading the way for the Fighting Illini was Ayo Dosunmu who had 16 points, 9 rebounds, & 4 assists.
On the season, Illinois is averaging 81.4 ppg on 49.9% shooting from the field. The Fighting Illini are averaging 6.8 three-pointers per game on 37.6% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, Illinois has been led by Ayo Dosunmu (20.7 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 5.3 apg, 1.1 spg), Kofi Cockburn (17.6 ppg, 9.6 rpg, 1.2 bpg), Trent Frazier (10.4 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 2.7 apg, 1.3 spg), & Andre Curbelo (9.1 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 4.0 apg).
Defensively, Illinois is allowing their opponents to average 69.2 ppg on 41.2% shooting from the field. The Fighting Illini has a rebound margin of 10.1 and a turnover margin of -1.6.
The Dragons are 3-0-1 ATS in their last 4 games overall and 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games as an underdog. The Fighting Illini are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games overall and 12-3-1 ATS in their last 16 games vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
This is monster line, especially as Drexel has been decent on the defense end this season, however, at the same time there is just no way the Dragons will be able to keep an Illinois offense that ranks 15th in scoring offense & 6th in FG% in check. Illinois was able to defeat Michigan by a 23-point margin on the road late in February and as I think Ayo Dosunmu and the Fighting Illini will dominate on both ends of the court against the Dragons, I see a 25-30 point victory for Illinois. Take Illinois to cover. Good Luck!