Illinois vs. Drexel Picks & Best Bets — March Madness 2021

Posted By PlayPicks Staff on March 16, 2021 - Last Updated on March 17, 2021

The top-seeded Illinois Fighting Illini (23-6) and the No. 16 Drexel Dragons (12-7) will meet on Friday to compete for a spot in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Illinois is favored by points in the opening round matchup, which starts at 1:15 PM ET on TBS. Here are the insights you need when filling out your bracket for this 1-16 matchup.

The betting insights and predictions in this article reflect betting data from DraftKings as of March 15, 2021, 4:10 PM ET. See table below for current betting odds and CLICK HERE to bet at DraftKings Sportsbook.

Best Betting Odds

Computer Picks

Pick ATS: Drexel Dragons (+22)

The model favors the Fighting Illini by 18.3 points, a much smaller margin than the 22-point spread set by DraftKings. Take the Dragons to cover.

Pick OU: Over (144.5)

The model’s predicted total (144.5 points) and the DraftKings set total (144.5 points) are the same for this contest.

Prediction: Illinois 81, Drexel 63

Predictions are calculated by a data-driven algorithm (raw power score) that ranks head-to-head matchup results within a closed network of games. Prediction confidence is determined by the delta between each team’s raw power score.

Examining the Over/Under

  • The Fighting Illini’s average implied point total this season is 4.9 fewer points than their implied total in Friday’s game (78.1 implied points on average compared to 83 implied points in this game).
  • Illinois has scored more than its implied point total for this matchup (83) 10 times this season.
  • The average implied point total on the season for the Dragons (70.9) is 9.9 more points than the team’s implied total in this matchup (61).
  • This season, Drexel has scored more than this game’s implied total of 61 points 17 times.

Implied totals are projected point totals for each team based on totals and spreads set by sportsbooks.

Illinois and Drexel Records ATS

ATS Record ATS Record Against 22+ Point Spread Over/Under Record (O-U-P)
Fighting Illini 17-9-1 2-0 15-12
Dragons 11-5 0-0 9-8

Against The Spread (ATS) records are only reflective of games that had odds on them.

Betting Tips – Shooting Stats

  • The Fighting Illini make 49.9% of their shots from the field this season, which is 5.7 percentage points higher than the Dragons have allowed to their opponents (44.2%).
  • Illinois has a 22-3 straight-up record and a 16-6-1 record against the spread in games it shoots better than 44.2% from the field.
  • Drexel is 9-4 against the spread and 11-5 overall when its opponents shoot higher than 49.9% from the field.
  • The Dragons have shot at a 47.7% clip from the field this season, 6.6 percentage points higher than the 41.1% shooting opponents of the Fighting Illini have averaged.
  • This season, Drexel has an 11-5 record overall and a 10-3 record against the spread in games the team collectively shoots over 41.1% from the field.
  • Illinois is 16-7-1 against the spread and 22-4 overall in games it allows opponents to shoot higher than 47.7% from the field.
  • The Fighting Illini are making 37.7% of their three-point shots this season, 5.6% higher than the 32.1% the Dragons allow opponents to shoot from deep.
  • Illinois has collected a 12-7-1 record against the spread and a 17-4 straight-up record in games this season when the team knocks down more than 32.1% of its three-point shots.
  • Drexel has put together an 8-4 straight-up record and gone 7-3 against the spread in games when its opponents shoot above 37.7% from beyond the arc.
  • The Dragons are knocking down 37.2% of their shots from deep, which is 4.5 percentage points higher than the 32.7% the Fighting Illini’s are averaging on the season.
  • Drexel has a 9-2 ATS record and has gone 10-2 straight-up when hitting more than 32.7% of its three-point attempts.
  • Illinois is 16-1 overall and 12-4 ATS in games it shoots over 37.2% from deep.
  • Drexel has gone 9-1 against the spread and 11-1 overall this season in games it has out-shot its opponents from the three-point line. When Illinois makes fewer threes than its opponents, it is 7-4 ATS and 8-3 straight up.

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