Drake Bulldogs vs USC Trojans – NCAAM March 20

Mar. 20 4:30 p.m. ET – West Region

No. 11 Drake vs. No. 6 USC (-6) O/U: 135½

Teams Spread Money Line Total Points
Drake +6 (-110) +215 O 135½ (-110)
USC -6 (-110) -265 U 135½ (-110)

The 26-4 Bulldogs take on the 22-7 Trojans on Saturday afternoon at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. Drake overcame a double-digit second-half deficit on Tuesday night against Wichita State in the First Four to squeak out a 53-52 win and advance into the round of 64. The Trojans lost by two to Colorado in the Pac-12 semifinals last week.

The winner of this game advances to take on the winner of No. 3 Kansas vs. No. 14 Eastern Washington on Monday.

Drake Bulldogs LogoThe Bulldogs’ best player for the first half of the season was forward ShanQuan Hemphill, who broke his foot on Feb. 10 and returned for the first time on Tuesday night, logging only 10 minutes and scoring just three points. Based on his limited return, it is safe to assume that he is far from 100 percent, so a large portion of the workload will fall on guard Joseph Yesufu, who scored 21 points against the Shockers in the First Four contest. Yesufu has been fantastic in the second half of the year after Drake lost starting point guard Roman Penn for the season.

USC Trojans LogoThe best player on the floor in this one will be forward Evan Mobley in the cardinal and gold for USC. Mobley is the best NBA prospect in the entire country not named Cade Cunningham. Mobley leads the Trojans with 16.8 points and 8.6 rebounds per game. The Bulldogs have no one to match up with Mobley, especially if Hemphill is still operating below 100 percent in limited minutes. The USC forward averaged 26 points and nine rebounds in the Pac-12 tournament and is ready to show the entire country how dominant he has been on the West Coast this season.

Please Note:
Drake was the most profitable team in the entire country this season for bettors while going 21-6 against the spread. As impressive as that is, it is not enough of a reason to back them against such a superior opponent. There is a reason the teams playing on Tuesday night were playing on Tuesday night. They were the worst four at-large teams in the field. The Trojans have a size and athleticism advantage, not to mention they have by far the best player on the floor in Mobley. If Mobley can play smart and stay out of foul trouble, USC should definitely be able to cruise to a double-digit win and advance to the round of 32.
The Bet
USC -6

*Odds courtesy of MyBookie

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Joe Menzer / Author

Joe is an award-winning writer and editor who has covered the NBA, NFL, NASCAR, golf, various collegiate athletics and other sports for newspapers, Turner Sports, Fox Sports and ESPN. He has been on the beat for seven Super Bowls, six Daytona 500s and numerous NBA playoff series and All-Star Games. He once was dispatched to Rome, Italy to spend time with an NBA draft choice who opted to play overseas, after which he produced an award-winning series of stories. He also is passionate about fantasy sports and breaking down games in ways that even novice gamblers can use to make their most intelligent wagering decisions.