December 11, 2017
There is one pick tonight.
Take Minnesota -20 spread against Drake for 3% of the bankroll.
The Minnesota Golden Gophers have been struggling as of late. They come into this contest tonight having lost two straight and three of their last four and yet the oddsmakers have still listed them as hefty favorites in this matchup with the Drake Bulldogs. Given Minnesota's recent struggles, it would be easy to want to back Drake in this situation, however, we believe this is the perfect matchup for Minnesota to end their skid and get back into the win column.
This is not as poor a Minnesota team as we have seen the last few contests. It's easy to forget that this team managed to win their first 7 games on the season, including their only true road game against a tough Providence team. They were ranked highly ranked in the AP polls and there is no doubt that their recent skid has somewhat skewed the perception of this team. This is a team that is extremely explosive on the offensive end, ranking 26th in country, scoring an average of 86 points per game, however, it has been their defense that has let them down as of late. In their recent loss to Arkansas, they allowed the Razorbacks to shoot a blistering 57.4% from the field. You can bet that coach Richard Pitino is not happy with his team's play as of late, especially on the defensive side of the ball so we expect to see a much-improved effort in this contest tonight.
The Drake Bulldogs are a team that shoots the ball extremely well, especially from three-point range, however, they have not faced a team that could give them as many problems as Minnesota will tonight. Drake is 0-3 on the road this season and despite winning their most recent matchup, had dropped three straight prior to that. A big advantage that the Gophers will have in this contest is on the boards. Minnesota average 45 boards per game at home, and Drake is one of the smaller teams in the country. They only have one player taller than 6'3" on their roster and that is going to be problematic tonight if their shots are not falling. Drake is a team that lives and dies by the three-ball. If their outside shots aren't falling, we don't believe they will be able to keep pace with the high-tempo Minnesota offense.
The Golden Gophers are going to be looking to take their frustrations out on somebody and unfortunately for Drake, it's going to be them. We expect Minnesota to jump out of the gate early and build a huge lead in the second half. As long as they don't get complacent and allow Drake to shoot uncontested from the perimeter and sneak in the backdoor, the Gophers should cruise to an easy win and cover in this contest. This one should not be close.
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