The 2021 NCAA Tournament tips off on Thursday evening, and a matchup between the Wichita State Shockers and the Drake Bulldogs is sure to draw plenty of attention. Wichita State and Drake will meet in the First Four, with the winner advancing to face the No. 6 seed USC Trojans on Saturday. Wichita State (14-5) is an at-large team from the AAC, and the Shockers won eight straight games before falling by a single point in the conference tournament. Drake owns an impressive 25-4 record out of the Missouri Valley Conference.

Tip-off is set for 6:27 p.m. ET in West Lafayette, Ind. The latest Drake vs. Wichita State odds from William Hill Sportsbook lists the Bulldogs as 2.5-point favorites, while the over-under is set at 140.5. Before making any Wichita State vs. Drake 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 four-plus years, the proprietary computer model has generated an impressive profit of over $2,500 for $100 players on its top-rated college basketball picks against the spread. It has also returned over $500 on all top-rated college basketball picks this season. Anyone who has followed it has seen huge returns.

Now, the model has set its sights on Wichita State vs. Drake in the NCAA Tournament 2021. You can head to SportsLine to see its picks. Here are several college basketball odds and trends for Drake vs. Wichita State:

  • Drake vs. Wichita State spread: Drake -2.5
  • Drake vs. Wichita State over-under: 140.5 points
  • Drake vs. Wichita State money line: Drake -145, Wichita State +125
  • DRAKE: The Bulldogs are 6-3-1 against the spread in the last 10 games
  • WSU: The Shockers are 3-7 against the spread in the last 10 games

Why Drake can cover 

While Drake has its own strengths to focus on in this matchup, the Bulldogs are playing a Wichita State team with some defined weaknesses. The Shockers are a very poor shooting team overall, with a 47.6 percent effective field goal percentage and a 2-point shooting mark (44.7 percent) that places Wichita State outside the top 300 nationally. Wichita State is also a poor free throw shooting team, converting fewer than 70 percent of its chances at the charity stripe. 

On the other end, the Shockers struggle to create turnovers, forcing a giveaway on only 18.1 percent of defensive possessions. Wichita State's greatest vulnerability may be the defensive glass, however, as the Shockers are one of the worst defensive rebounding teams in the country, pulling down only 66.6 percent of available rebounds after forcing a missed shot. Given that Drake is a top-tier offensive team with impressive shooting and offensive rebounding marks, the matchup is a strong one for the Bulldogs.

Why Wichita State can cover

Wichita State is one of the better stories in college basketball this season, performing at a high level in unexpected fashion. The Shockers are an above-average offensive club from an efficiency standpoint, and that includes a top-30 national mark in turnover rate, committing a giveaway on only 15.9 percent of possessions. Wichita State is very effective at getting to the free throw line, and is a solid 3-point shooting team, converting 34.5 percent of its long-range attempts. Defensively, the Shockers rank in the top 50 nationally in shooting efficiency allowed. 

That is crucial against an efficient Drake offense, and Wichita State is also above-average at protecting the rim, generating a block rate of 9.2 percent. Finally, the Shockers will have a big edge in preventing free throw attempts, as Wichita State is above-average in free throw avoidance defensively and Drake is outside the top 300 nationally in free throw creation rate.

How to make Drake vs. Wichita State picks

The model is leaning over on the total, projecting the teams to combine for 144 points. It also says one side of the spread hits in almost 70 percent of simulations. You can only see the pick at SportsLine.

So who wins Drake vs. Wichita State? And which side of the spread hits almost 70 percent of the time? Visit SportsLine right now to see which side of the spread you need to jump on, all from the computer model that has crushed its college basketball picks.