NCAA Basketball Picks & Odds: Drake vs. Northern Iowa Predictions

Brandon Hurley breaks down two picks for Wednesday's NCAAB slate
OddsChecker
Wed, February 17, 6:05 AM EST

Richmond Spiders vs. Virginia Commonwealth Rams

Richmond hops on the bus for a 15 minute commute to VCU for a big time A10 game. Richmond hasn’t played a D1 team since Jan. 26th. VCU has had their fair share of games PPD/Canceled as well. The bottom line here is that Richmond is the better team. They haven’t been able to prove it due to COVID layoffs. I wouldn’t even consider this a road game as the two schools are so close together. Richmond needs wins against quality opponents to increase their chances of making the dance.

The Spiders know they have 30 days. Senior G Jacob Gilyard will be rockin and rollin looking to get his team going in need of a big win against VCU.VCU sits atop the A10 conference standings.  I am going to back the Richmond spiders knowing they need a win against a quality opponent in VCU.

The Pick: Richmond +2 @ -107

Drake Bulldogs vs. Northern Iowa Panthers

The mid major play of the day is the 20-2 Drake Bulldogs -6 on the road against the 7-14 Northern Iowa Panthers. Drake comes into this contest off an emotional 2 game series against Loyola-Chicago. They split the series 1 and 1 with the win coming in overtime. Drake is 2-2 in their last 4 games. However, they won 18 straight before this stretch. Northern Iowa has won 2 of their last 6 games.

Drake is ranked 54th of offense and 61st on defense, per KenPom. Northern Iowa is ranked 150th on offense and 210th on defense. A key category for Drake is their shooting vs Northern Iowa’s defense. Drake ranks 70th in 3 point shooting % while Northern Iowa ranks 267th defending the 3. Drake ranks 44th in 2 point % while Northern Iowa ranks 273rd defending the 2. Drake also has one of the best defenses in the country. Drake ranks 44th in steal %. Northern Iowa turns the ball over a lot ranking 198th in turnover %. Drake also holds the rebound advantage averaging 37.7 rebounds a game vs Northern Iowa’s 35.5 a game.

Drake should dominate this game from start to finish and all the stats back up the Bulldogs in this matchup. Drake cannot afford a loss to a 7-14 team if they want to keep their at large bid projection for the NCAA Tournament alive. Look for Drake to stay focused and roll Northern Iowa on Wednesday night. Best of luck!

The pick: Drake -5.5 @ -110

NCAAB Expert Picks

Richmond +2 @ -107 (Click to bet)

Drake -5.5 @ -110 (Click to bet)

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