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Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 13:45 PM

Drake vs. USC Predictions, Odds, Preview


Mar. 20, 2021
Thom Cunningham
NCAA BK Expert
VegasInsider.com

Drake vs. USC Predictions

Although Drake is riding high after a comeback win over USC, the Trojans are a far superior team. Drake is also not fully healthy, something they need to be in order to compete with a high-octane USC team on both ends of the court.

The injury to Roman Penn is huge here, and although ShanQuan Hemphill is probable he is still not 100%. Both teams have covered the spread very well this season, but USC is the best team Drake has faced all season and not at full capacity. Of the two, USC has more conviction in the spread.

The combined O/U for both schools favors the point total going OVER at 32-25, so feel free to lean in that direction.

  • Score Prediction: USC 75 Drake 64
  • Best Bets - Side: USC -6
  • Best Bets - Total: OVER 138.5

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Drake vs. USC Betting Odds

  • Spread: USC -6
  • Total: 138.5
  • Money-Line:

Odds to Win NCAA Tournament

Odds to Win West Region

Odds Subject to Change

First Round Predictions

Saturday's Early Action - Mar. 20
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Handicapping Drake vs. USC

Drake came from behind to cover their 22nd game over their last 28 this season, but USC is the best opponent they will have faced of those 28 games. USC is 16-13 on the ATS this season, leading a power-five conference a majority of the year. They also have a few NBA prospects, beginning with Evan Mobley.

While USC has their best players, Drake is missing one of theirs. They still feature a few players who average a double-digit point total, while the Trojans have failed to cover the spread in three straight and five of their last six games. Still, the Trojans did see a stretch mid-season in which they covered the spread in six straight and seven of eight. Needless to say, regression was inevitable.

Drake has covered the spread in three of its last four games when playing on a neutral court after the Wichita State win, while USC has failed to cover the spread in three of its last four on a neutral court. All the stats point towards Drake covering, but as stated earlier, they're not the same team.

If the stats are worrisome to consider a USC spread cover, then it means Drake will have to score points to keep pace with the Trojans offense. The OVER is a fine bet to consider if thats the case.

  • Region: West
  • Matchup: 6 vs. 11
  • Venue: Bankers Life Fieldhouse
  • Location: Indianapolis, Indiana
  • Date: Mar. 20, 2021
  • TV-Time: TNT - 4:30 p.m. (ET)

Handicapping Resources: March Madness Central | NCAA Consensus Picks

Betting Stats & Analysis - Drake Bulldogs

Straight Up - SU, Against the Spread - ATS, Over-Under (O/U)

Drake was able to beat Wichita State in a low scoring game, something they're not always used to. They have the seventh-most efficient offense in the nation, while also connection on 22.9 two-pointers per game which ranks fourth nationally. They hit 49.4% of all field-goal attempts which ranks 28th nationally.

If the offense can be this efficient then the OVER should hit, as Drake also hits 37% of its three-pointers which ranks 46th. The question becomes whether or not they can achieve these stats against a great defense, after one day of rest, without their two best players at full health?

Seed: 11
Conference: MVC
Bid: At-large

  • SU: 26-4
  • ATS: 22-6
  • O/U: 17-11
  • Current Form (Last 5): 3-2 SU, 3-2 ATS, 3-2 O/U
  • Notable Wins: Loyola-Chicago, Wichita State
  • PS/G: 77.4 (47th)
  • PA/G: 64.7 (44th)
  • Off Rtg: 114.9 (7th)
  • Def Rtg: 96 (72nd)

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Betting Stats & Analysis - USC Trojans

USC enters the tournament with some of the longest players, dominating many big man stats this season. They average 5.3 blocks per game (7th in nation), 39.5 rebounds per game (23rd in nation) and 12.2 offensive rebounds per game (35h in nation). Second chance points will be tough to come by for Drake, another reason to lean USC covering.

USC only allows 65 points per game which ranks 49th nationally, so first shot opportunities won't be any easier for Drake as trying to snag offensive rebounds off missed shots. Everything points towards USC covering in this game, but the ability Drake has to score points teases the OVER should their shooters catch fire without their star players.

Seed: 6
Conference: Pac-12
Bid: At-large

  • SU: 22-7
  • ATS: 16-13
  • O/U: 15-14
  • Current Form (Last 5): 3-2 SU, 1-4 ATS, 2-3 O/U
  • Notable Wins: BYU, Arizona, Oregon State, Stanford (x2), UCLA (x2), Oregon
  • PS/G: 74.8 (90th)
  • PA/G: 65.1 (49th)
  • Off Rtg: 108.8 (52nd)
  • Def Rtg: 94.7 (54th)

First Round Predictions

Saturday's Late Action - Mar. 20
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7
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8
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9
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6
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Key Players to Watch

Joseph Yesufu took over for Drake in the comeback win. He has stepped up in the absence of Penn, but now faces a tough task in the tall Trojans. He now averages over 12 points per game, as Tremell Murphy has also stepped up.

Mobley and Eaddy are the easy names to watch for USC, but Drew Peterson is the x-factor for a possible Trojan tournament run. Peterson went through a stretch of scoring six points or less in seven of 10 games. Since then, he has scored 10 points or more in four of five games and has given USC another scoring option as of lately.

  • DRKE - Joseph Yesufu (12.4 PPG)
  • DRKE - Tremell Murphy (10.3 PPG, 5.2 RPG)
  • USC - Evan Mobley (16.8 PPG, 8.6 RPG)
  • USC - Tahj Eaddy (13.7 PPG)

March Madness Records & Trends

Drake Bulldogs

  • All-Time Record: 6-4
  • Last Appearance: 2008
  • Deepest Run: Final Four (1969)

--Drake has won at least one game in a NCAA Tournament in three of its last four NCAA Tournament appearances.
-- Drake has seen two overtime periods over its last three NCAA Tournament games.
-- Drake has covered the spread in 21 of its last 27 games.
-- Drake has gone OVER the point total in seven of its last nine games.

USC Trojans

  • All-Time Record: 14-20
  • Last Appearance: 2017
  • Deepest Run: Elite 8 (2001) - also 1954 Final Four

-- USC has lost its first game in four of its last seven NCAA Tournament appearances.
-- USC has lost three of its last five NCAA Tournament games when facing a double-digit seeded school.
-- USC has failed to reach the Sweet 16 in six of its last seven NCAA Tournament appearances.
-- USC has failed to cover the spread in three of its last four games when playing on a neutral court.
-- USC has failed to cover the spread in six of its last eight games.

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