Illinois vs. Drexel Betting Predictions NCAA Basketball

Illinios vs Drexel NCAA Tournament
Illinois vs. Drexel Betting Predictions NCAA Basketball

16th seeded Drexel is ending its 25 year tournament drought Friday, but they’ll have their hands full against the No. 1 seed Fighting Illini. This game is a great opportunity to get a good look at a top-seeded Illinois team that I think will make a deep run in this tournament. I expect the Fighting Illini to win big.

Illinois vs. Drexel Betting Odds

Illinois enters this game having won 14 of their last 15 and is 23-6 overall. They finished the season 8-3 against ranked opponents and beat Ohio State 91-88 in overtime Sunday to capture the Big Ten tournament title.

Guard Ayo Dosunmu leads the team in scoring (20.7 ppg) and assists (5.3), while formidable 7’ center Kofi Cockburn is averaging 17.6 ppg on 65.5% shooting and a team high 9.6 rebounds. Guards Adam Miller and Trent Frazier help round out the Illinois offense, both are shooting above 30% from 3.

Drexel will be making their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 1996. They had four of their February games canceled due to COVID-19 protocols, but managed to win four of their last six to close out the season. The Dragons beat Elon University 63-56 on 3/9 to capture the Colonial Athletic Association tournament title.

Guard Camren Wynter leads the team in scoring (16.8 ppg) (5.3 assists), while forward James Butler is shooting 58% from the field on 9.2 rebounds per game. Guard Zach Walton and Forward Mate Okros are both dependable from 3, each shooting 39.2% from long-range on 79 attempts.

The Dragon’s defense is vulnerable in the paint; their opponents scored 58.3% of their points against them from inside the arc. This will be a problem when they encounter Kofi Cockburn, who seems due for at least a few of his trademark thunderous dunks in this game. I expect the Illini to attack inside early and often.

Drexel will also have to watch out for Cockburn when trying to score. The Illinois center has 36 blocks this season, which is just nine lower than Drexel’s entire team block total of 45. I expect Drexel to shoot from the outside as much as possible.

The March Madness New Jersey betting sites have Illinois isted at -22.5 (888Sport). No surprise there. With the Illini as such heavy favorites, there’s not much to be made with a money line bet. I think looking for parlays and props will get you the most value from this game.

I’m looking at some player specific bets, such as Illinois’ Ayo Dosunmu getting over 19.5 at -104 odds (FanDuel) or a Game Parlay with Illinois and Over 144.5 at -108 odds (Sugar House). I’m also looking at some good Game Props, including Illinois to win by 21-25 at +310 (BetMGM). No matter what you choose , you can bet that Illinois will put up big points.

Illinois Drexel
888Sport
-10000 +1800
Sugar House
-10000 +1800
FanDuel
-3000 +1300

My Prediction

Illinois -22.5
Illinois has too many offensive weapons and will unleash Kofi Cockburn on an inexperienced and vulnerable Drexel squad. The Illini win and begin their march to the Final Four.

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Conor Allen lives in the San Francisco Bay Area where he roots passionately for the 49ers, Warriors and the UC Berkeley Golden Bear football team. After previously spending several years in the Boston area he is also not ashamed to root for the Patriots. Conor currently writes about college basketball for UsaLegalBetting and blogs about a variety of sports, including the NFL at https://herecomestheblitz8.blogspot.com. He enjoys performing improv comedy and trail running in his spare time.

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