Drake vs. Washington State March Madness Prediction – 3/21

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Drake vs. Washington State March Madness Prediction
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March Madness Clash: Can Drake’s Offense Outgun Washington State’s Defense?

The Drake Bulldogs (10 seed) face a tough opening-round challenge as they square off against the Washington State Cougars (7 seed) in a battle of contrasting strengths.

Drake: The Scoring Machine

  • Offensive Firepower: The Bulldogs rank an impressive 9th nationally in scoring (80.5 PPG). They excel in free throw shooting and long-range accuracy.
  • Star Power: Tucker DeVries is a scoring force, averaging 21.8 PPG and capable of putting up big numbers on any night.
  • Momentum: Drake enters the tournament hot with a 5-game win streak, showcasing confidence and rhythm.

Washington State: The Defensive Wall

  • Stifling Defense: The Cougars concede a stingy 66.9 PPG and rank high in rebounding and shot-blocking.
  • Balanced Attack: Rice, Jones, and Wells lead a versatile offense that can score from various angles.
  • Underdog Mentality: Washington State thrives as the underdog with a 6-3-1 ATS record in that role.

Key Matchups and Questions

  • DeVries vs. Cougar Defense: Can DeVries break through Washington State’s tough defense, or will they successfully contain him?
  • Perimeter Shooting: Will Drake’s outside accuracy overcome Washington State’s shot-blocking presence?
  • Controlling the Tempo: Drake wants a fast-paced game; can the Cougars slow them down and force a grind-it-out affair?

Stats vs. Schedule

While Drake’s offensive stats are eye-catching, our model favors Washington State, likely due to their tougher schedule in the Pac-12. Will the step up in competition trip up Drake, or will their offensive firepower prove too much?

Betting Insights

  • Close Call: The razor-thin spread reflects the anticipated competitive nature of this game.
  • Drake’s Edge: Consider Drake’s solid ATS record as an underdog and in close-call games.
  • The Over/Under: With Drake’s high scoring potential, the 138 O/U might be tempting.

X-Factors

  • Rebounding Battle: Washington State’s edge on the boards could lead to pivotal second-chance points.
  • Bench Production: Can either team’s bench provide a spark and swing momentum?

Prediction

Drake hasn’t had as many opportunities to step up in class this year, to no fault of their own. The teams can only play the opponents put in front of them. The highest ranked team they played this year was Nevada, ranked 36 by KenPom, and on a neutral floor they beat them by 19 points. So they can play.

Washington State had far more games against teams ranked in the top 50 or 60 and they were able to beat #6 Arizona twice. We think our model has this one figured out, predicting a 9 point Washington State win. The Cougars pull away late.

WASHINGTON STATE +1.5

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