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Miami vs Drake Prediction, Picks & Odds | NCAA Tournament

Written by: Grant Mitchell
Published March 13, 2023
12 min read

The #5 Miami Hurricanes will look to breeze their way to another deep NCAA Tournament run but must first get past the fierce #12 Drake Bulldogs.  

5/12 upsets are one of the most common amongst fans around the country despite five seeds performing well historically. Will this be an instance of the underdog getting its way, or will the favorite reign supreme again?

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Miami vs Drake Prediction for the 2023 NCAA Tournament

#5 Miami Team Preview

Miami is a strange team to analyze heading into March Madness. It went 25-7 and looked great more times than not, but although it won 9 of its last 11, it also lost two of its last four. One of those losses came against a 9-23 Florida State Team, and the other was an 85-78 loss to Duke in the ACC semifinal.

The Florida State loss was most likely an aberration, and if anything, good to get out of the way before do-or-die time in the NCAA Tournament. Miami also went 3-1 against ranked squads, all from the ACC, and reached the Elite Eight in March Madness 2022.

Perhaps the most impressive part of this Miami team is that it can win in a variety of manners. It can get streaky hot from the outside, penetrate the lane, force turnovers, or control the clock with excellent half-court sets. There are slight concerns about cold-shooting streaks, but they are fairly resilient and can usually shrug those off.

#5 Miami Key Players & Key Stats

Top-rated transfer Nijel Pack (13.2 points per game) has made an impact from the moment he stepped in South Beach—however, three players rank above him in scoring, led by Isaiah Wong (16.2 ppg). Lots of Miami’s points come from isolation and sheer individual talent, but with four starters averaging a combined 58.3 points, that has not come back to bite them. 

Jordan Miller is an elite defender and is also second on the scoring list with 15.3 points. Norchad Omier leads them with 9.7 rebounds, while Miller is also second in this category with 6.2. Unfortunately for Miami, Omier was withdrawn two minutes into the Duke game with a sprained ankle and was unable to put any weight on his foot.

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#12 Drake Team Preview

Drake is a strong team despite being often hidden from the national spotlight. It most recently made the NCAA Tournament in 2021 and won its game in the First Four against #11 Wichita State before falling to #6 USC in the Round of 64. This time, it has been dropped right into the Round of 64 and will not have the early gut-wrencher of playing a game to get into the bracket.

Drake finished the year at a very respectable 27-7. It also won 13 of its last 14 games and picked up a 77-51 win over the Bradley Bears in the Mountain Valley Conference to avenge its lone loss during the 14-game stretch, a 73-61 result to the same Bradley team on February 26.

The Bulldogs only played one game against a ranked opponent and came out victorious, beating the then-#15 Mississippi State Bulldogs and the nation’s eighth-best defense 58-52. Sardaar Calhoun provided 17 points off the bench to help power the victory, as did a combined 34 points from Roman Penn and Tucker DeVries.

#12 Drake Key Players & Key Stats

DeVries is the clear-cut number-one option on the Bulldogs and delivered more times than not. The 6-foot-7 sophomore guard averaged 19 points and 5.6 rebounds while shooting 45.7% from the field and 38.7% from the three-point line. 

Penn is the orchestrator of the offense and averaged a well-balanced 12.6 points, 5.4 assists, and 4.6 rebounds. 6-foot-10 Darnell Brodie cleaned up 7.3 rebounds per game and is an old-school big man rather than a three-point floater like many are in the modern game.  

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Odds, Previews, Picks, Best Bets for #5 Miami vs. #12 Drake 

Oddsmakers have set the line for the #5 Miami vs. #12 Drake matchup at Miami -2.5. That’s pretty close for teams from totally different worlds in terms of program and conference prestige. 

Miami will benefit from many people’s brackets from having just made a deep run in the tournament last season. However, it is important to note that three of the five starters from last year’s team are no longer with the program, which has its ups and downs. The replacements have certainly played their part and have the talent to string together a similar run.

As talented as Miami is across the board, it is nothing special as an overall defense. It was 223rd in opponents' points per game and middle of the road in three-point defense, which leaves room for DeVries and the Bulldogs’ offense to make noise.

It would be nice to have seen Drake against more ranked opponents, especially one with more offensive talent than that of Mississippi State. Regardless, there is also a concern for Miami since it just lost to a 9-23 Seminoles team.

This game could be a lot closer than many are predicting. The best pick for #5 Miami vs. #12 Drake would normally be on the Hurricanes to win, but in light of Normier’s injury and DeVries’ opportunity to star, the best bet is on Drake +2.5.

All betting lines and injury reports are current as of Sunday night, March 12.

#5 Miami vs. #12 Drake How to Watch

Location: MVP Arena in Albany, NY

Game Time & Date: Friday, March 17 at 7:25 p.m. ET

TV Network: TBS

Streaming: YouTube TV, Hulu, FuboTV, etc.

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AUTHOR

Grant Mitchell

480 Articles

Grant is a sports and sports betting journalist who prides himself on delivering breaking news and insightful analyses of the industry. Grant graduated from Virginia Tech in 2021 and is feverishly pursuing his ambitions in the sports betting field.

In his free time, Grant can be found passionately watching sports, doing a workout, or searching for adventure with his friends.

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