Drake vs. Miami 2023 March Madness First-Round Betting Preview: Bulldogs Aren’t Dead Yet

profile image of Jason.Lake

NCAAB Pick: Drake vs. Miami Under 146.5 (-108) at Heritage Sports (visit our Heritage Sports Review)

Heritage Sports logo
Drake vs. Miami Under 146.5 (-108)
Visit Site

Promises made, promises kept. We mentioned yesterday that the Drake Bulldogs were the only underdogs worth putting in your “12 vs. 5” slots for this year’s March Madness bracket. But are the No. 12 Bulldogs worth putting in Friday’s college basketball picks as 2-point puppies at Heritage Sports versus the No. 5 Miami Hurricanes? 

Yes, yes they are – but only for a small bet. There’s way more profit margin for you to scoop up by taking Under 146.5; according to our range of sources, the ‘Canes are projected to score around 73 points in this First Round matchup, with Drake close behind at 71-72 points. Even the threat of overtime shouldn’t stop you from investing up to two units of your bankroll in this bad boy (slaps roof). 

Drake Bulldogs vs. Miami Hurricanes

Friday, March 17, 2023 – 07:25 PM EDT at MVP Arena

Is Drake Dead?

That’s the question my search engine auto-completed for “Is Drake” – what a world we live in. Both the rapper and the basketball team are very much alive as I write this; not only are the Bulldogs a popular 12 vs. 5 pick, I see a lot of sharp people sticking with Drake all the way to the Sweet Sixteen for their March Madness brackets. 

They may be a relatively unknown team from the Missouri Valley Conference, which ranks No. 15 out of the 32 Division I members according to this year’s Simple Rating System numbers at Sports Reference. But the Bulldogs (24-7 SU, 13-16-1 ATS) were that conference’s best team on paper before sweeping the MVC Tournament 3-0 SU and ATS, with all three games going under. 

As usual, we turn to Ken Pomeroy’s famous blue page of advanced stats, where Drake checks in at No.  67 overall (No. 99 offense, No. 46 defense). Combine that with the No. 221-ranked Adjusted Tempo in college hoops (66.4 possessions per game), and you get a team that now has the under at 18-15 heading into the tournament. 

Is Miami Safe?

Wow, this gimmick just keeps getting darker. The city itself could probably use some help, maybe a vice squad or something. The Hurricanes, meanwhile, are definitely in danger of getting eliminated in the First Round, but they are the better team in this contest, at least according to their No. 40 ranking (No. 12 offense, No. 131 defense) on the Pomeroy charts.

Those numbers aren’t safe for our under bet, that’s for sure. And it doesn’t help that the ‘Canes move at a decent clip of 68.8 possessions per game (No. 104). But they still had the under at 16-13-1 during the regular season before splitting their two ACC Tournament games. 

Something very unsafe happened in that second game: Miami lost sophomore forward Norchad Omier (ankle) just 66 seconds into last week’s semifinal against Duke, which they eventually dropped 85-78 (over 144.5) as 2.5-point underdogs on the NCAAB odds

Will Norchad Omier Play? 

This just in: Omier was spotted putting in some work Wednesday just before the Hurricanes took off for Albany, New York, so it looks like he’ll suit up against Drake.

Omier is one of Miami’s staunchest defenders, although he’s no slouch at the other end, at least according to his Box Plus/Minus numbers:

  • Omier OBPM: plus-4.3
  • Omier DBPM: plus-1.4

Catch-all stats like this can be deceiving, of course. So can rebounds and Omier leads the Hurricanes in defensive rebound rate at 25.6%, but we’re still going to consider his apparently imminent return a positive – at least for the under.

Be sure to bet on any of these top Florida betting sites if you’re located in the area, size your bets accordingly, and may the sphere be with you. 

The Picks

NCAAB Pick: Under 146.5 (-108) at Heritage Sports

NCAAB Pick: Drake +2 (-108) at Heritage Sports

Heritage Sports logo
Drake +2 (-108)
Visit Site

*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.