Free NCAA Hoops Pick: Dragons vs. Fighting Illini CBB Odds
Looking for Drexel Dragons vs. Illinois Fighting Illini NCAA basketball free picks & CBB odds? CBB betting sees the Dragons taking on the Fighting Illini on Friday, March 19th, 2021 at Indiana Farmers Coliseum in Indianapolis, Indiana. Cappers Picks provides complimentary expert handicapping picks on all college basketball matchups all season long so stay tuned for more FREE daily basketball predictions like this Dragons Fighting Illini matchup.
2021 NCAA Basketball Handicapping
(12-7) Drexel Dragons vs. Illinois Fighting Illini (23-6)
Date: Friday, March 19th
Time: 1:15 PM ET
Venue: Indiana Farmers Coliseum, Indianapolis, Indiana
CBB Moneyline Odds: OFF
CBB Betting Odds: Illinois -22.5
CBB Betting Total: 144.5
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Nobody is expecting 16 seed Drexel to upset the 1 seed Illinois on Friday, but it would be a remarkable way to wind down the year for the Dragons if they can keep things close.
Illinois as -22.5 favorites is the second largest total of Friday’s NCAA opener behind the Baylor/Hartford game. The Illini had a tendency to play to their opponents during the regular season, but does that hold true in the tourney?
Drexel flip-flopped wins and losses their last eight games of the regular season, but got hot in the Colonial Athletic Association tournament, winning three in a row and clinching the automatic berth.
That was a nice tournament run for Drexel, who finished just 6th in the CAA during the regular season. Will Zach Spiker’s team fall guilty to “happy to be here” or do they take the “nothing to lose” approach?
One big problem Drexel is going to have on Friday is containing Illinois’ 7′, 285 pound Kofi Cockburn. It’s a problem every team has had this year, but the Dragons go small and have starting forwards that are 6’8 and 6’9.
The Dragons need a big game from Camren Wynter, who put up 17.6 ppg on the year. He’s more of a consistent scorer than an explosive one though, going for 20+ just once in the last 12 games.
Illinois Fighting Illini
The journey begins for the Illini, who have big plans for this March. One of the many advantages that Illinois has in their first round matchup is that they’ve been in Indianapolis for the week with the Big Ten tournament being held here as well.
About that Big 10 tournament – Illinois took home the crown in the toughest conference in the league, plowing through #8 Iowa and #7 Ohio State to do so. Counting their opening round win over Rutgers, the Illini just beat three tournament teams.
Illinois is hot at the right time of the year, winning 14 of their last 15 against some very tough competition. Their top-heavy talent is some of the best in the nation, but depth is an asset too.
In order to cover a -22.5 point spread, you need quality backups that will continue to push the lead. That’s what Illinois has in Big Ten 6th man of the year Andre Curbelo, former starter Giorgi Bezhanishvili, and lights out perimeter shooter Da’Monte Williams.
CBB Betting Trends:
- Dragons are 5-2 ATS last 7 as an underdog
- Over is 5-1 in Dragons last 6 overall
- Fighting Illini are 6-1 ATS last 7 overall
- Under is 18-7-1 in Fighting Illini last 26 tournament games
Free Drexel Dragons vs. Illinois Fighting Illini NCAAB Prediction:
Illinois doesn’t gain anything by beating Drexel by 40, but they may not be able to help it. Illinois’ starters can get a huge lead (they have a player of the year candidate in Ayo Dosunmu) and their backups can keep it.
4* Free CBB Betting Pick: Under 143.5
Drexel will have no answer for Cockburn, and although they’ve made the tournament they were 6th in their own conference during the season.
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