The North Texas Mean Green will look to get back to .500 on the season when they battle the Drake Bulldogs in the seventh-place game of the 2021 ESPN Events Invitational in Orlando, Fla., on Sunday. The Mean Green (2-3), who are 5-3 at neutral sites the past two years, dropped a 69-63 decision to Miami (Fla.) on Friday. The Bulldogs (3-2), who are 3-4 on neutral courts over the past two seasons, are coming off an 80-71 loss to Alabama in the second round of the tournament. The Bulldogs and Mean Green are meeting for the first time since 1984.
The game from HP Fieldhouse is scheduled to tip off at 10:30 a.m. ET. Drake is averaging 79.8 points per game, while North Texas averages 67.2. The Bulldogs are 4.5-point favorites in the latest North Texas vs. Drake odds from Caesars Sportsbook, while the over-under for total points scored is set at 125.5. Before making any Drake vs. North Texas picks, check out the college basketball predictions from the SportsLine Projection Model.
The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every Division I college basketball game 10,000 times. Over the past five-plus years, the proprietary computer model has generated an impressive profit of almost $2,100 for $100 players on its top-rated college basketball picks against the spread. Anyone who has followed it has seen huge returns.
- North Texas vs. Drake spread: Drake -4.5
- North Texas vs. Drake over-under: 125.5 points
- NT: The Mean Green are 7-2 against the spread in their last nine games following an ATS loss
- DRK: The Bulldogs are 5-1 ATS in their last six games vs. a team with a losing straight-up record
Why Drake can cover
The Bulldogs have several options on the offensive end, with five players scoring 9.2 points or better. One of those players is senior guard Roman Penn who, in 25 minutes per game, is averaging 10.4 points, 4.4 assists, 3.6 rebounds and 1.2 steals. He is a 91.3 percent free throw shooter, and has reached double figures in four games this season. Penn scored a season-high 13 points in a 99-50 win over South Dakota on Nov. 14.
Also stepping up his play is senior guard D.J. Wilkins. In 27.2 minutes per game, Wilkins is averaging 9.6 points, two assists and 1.4 rebounds. He has been deadly from 3-point range, connecting on 45.5 percent of his shots from beyond the arc. He was red hot in the loss to Alabama, scoring 17 points, including 3-of-7 from 3-point range.
Why North Texas can cover
Junior guard Tylor Perry leads the Mean Green, and is averaging 17.8 points per game on 54.9 percent shooting from the floor, including 51.9 percent from 3-point range. He also averages 2.2 assists, two steals and 1.6 rebounds per game. Perry, who led Coffeyville Community College to the 2021 NJCAA Division I national title, scored 22 points on 8 of 10 shooting and made five 3-pointers in his Mean Green debut on Nov. 9 in a win over Oklahoma Christian. He followed that up with a 23-point effort against Kansas in the tournament opener, a 71-59 loss.
North Texas is also powered by senior forward Thomas Bell, who is averaging 14.4 points and 7.2 rebounds. He is connecting on 46.9 percent of his field goals and 78.3 percent of his free throws. Bell has scored in double figures in four of five games this season after being held to nine points against Kansas. He has also registered one double-double, scoring 14 points and grabbing 12 rebounds in the season opener against Oklahoma Christian. Bell is coming off an 18-point effort in the loss to Miami on Friday.
How to make North Texas vs. Drake picks
SportsLine's model is leaning over on the total. In fact, it says six players will score at least nine points, while the teams combine for over 15 made three-pointers. It has also generated an against-the-spread pick that cashes in well over 50 percent of simulations. You can only get the pick at SportsLine.
So who wins North Texas vs. Drake? And which side of the spread hits in well over 50 percent of simulations? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the North Texas vs. Drake spread to jump on, all from the advanced model that is up nearly $2,100 on its college basketball picks the last five years, and find out.