NCAA March Madness: Miami (FL) vs. Drake betting preview, odds and predictions


NCAA March Madness: Miami (FL) vs. Drake betting preview, odds and predictions

In the 5 vs. 12 matchup in the Midwest region of the 2023 NCAA tournament, Miami (FL) takes on Drake with a spot in the Round of 32 on the line. All tournament long, VSiN will be providing you with March Madness betting oddsin-depth team analysis and expert college basketball picks. Make us your one-stop shop for all of your betting needs. 


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How to watch Miami vs. Drake

When: Friday, 7:25 p.m. ET

Where: Albany, New York

Watch: TBS

Odds for Miami vs. Drake

Spread: Miami -2.5

Total: 147.5 

(Odds accurate as of Sunday, March 12th at 11:00 p.m. ET)

Real-time betting splits at DraftKings Sportsbook

Midwest Region No. 5 Seed Miami (FL)

Miami was the most consistent team in the ACC this season, but that conference is beginning to look more and more like a mid-major by the year. Still, Jim Larranaga’s team did its job throughout the regular season, and it did earn a nice non-conference win over the Providence Friars early in the year. With this team, everything runs through the three guards, as Isaiah Wong, Jordan Miller and Kansas State transfer Nijel Pack are all dangerous offensive players. All three are a big part of the reason Miami is one of the best offensive teams in the country, but can those guys lock in and defend? The Hurricanes’ effort on defense will determine how far they can go. They’ll also need Norchad Omier to be healthy. He injured his ankle in an ACC Tournament loss to the Duke Blue Devils.

Midwest Region No. 12 Seed Drake

At this point, it’s hard to ignore what Drake is doing. The Bulldogs have won at least 25 games in each of the last three seasons, and this will be their second NCAA Tournament appearance in three years. Drake is a top-50 defensive team in the nation, which is a good place to start when looking to pull upsets. The Bulldogs also have Tucker DeVries, head coach Darian DeVries’ son, to rely on offensively. DeVries can go for 20 in any given game and will be a dangerous player for opponents to deal with. He had 22 points in the Missouri Valley Conference Championship Game, where Drake earned a 26-point win over the top-seeded Bradley Braves.

Miami vs. Drake matchup analysis

Drake will not only be a trendy 12 over 5 pick, but they will probably be a popular pick to make it to the Sweet 16 against the Indiana/Kent State winner. The Bulldogs rolled through the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament with wins by 12, 13 and 26, with the exclamation point against Bradley to avenge a loss on the last day of the regular season.

Don’t sleep on this Miami team, though. The Hurricanes lost by 18 to Maryland back on Nov. 20, but their biggest loss since then was just seven points against Duke in the ACC Tournament. Their other losses are by 6, 2, 2, 3 and 1. The Hurricanes have an excellent offense and much more balanced attack than what you normally see from MVC teams, who are often jump shot-oriented groups.

Miami gets to the rim at a high rate and shoots 36.8% from 3. Drake shot 36.7% from 3, but their shot share on Close Twos was 7.5% lower than Miami’s per Bart Torvik. That being said, Drake was also one of the nation’s best at keeping teams from getting those high-percentage looks at the tin. But, as I said, MVC teams generally don’t get to the rim a lot. Indiana State was tops in the conference at a 38.1% shot share, which ranks 117th in the nation, one spot below Miami. The Hurricanes had a FG% of 64.8% on Close Twos, which was 26th in the country.

So, that’s the battle I’d be most interested in for this game. If Drake can make Miami a team that has to shoot a lot of jumpers, they can have success defensively. If Miami is getting to the rim, the pressure on Tucker DeVries and the Drake offense increases. Fortunately for the Cinderella hopefuls, Miami isn’t a good defensive team. The Hurricanes rank 256th in 2P% defense and 145th in 3P% defense, though the latter mark is better than the national average.

One other notable stat here is that Miami is 69th in offensive rebounding percentage and Drake is third in offensive rebounding percentage against. However, the MVC was dead last in the nation in offensive rebounding percentage as a conference, which could have fueled Drake’s performance. I guess what I’m saying is beware the trendy 12 seed.

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