NCAA Basketball Picks: William & Mary -1 over Drexel

LT Profits Sports Group

Wednesday, January 8, 2014 5:00 AM UTC

Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2014 5:00 AM UTC

Three-point shooting could make all the difference when the sharp-shooting William & Mary Tribe host the defensive minded Drexel Dragons on Wednesday.

The ability of three-point shooters to shoot over a stiff defense should make the difference Wednesday night when the Drexel Dragons (8-5, 3-3 away) pay a visit to the William & Mary Tribe (8-5, 4-2 home) at Kaplan Arena in Williamsburg, VA at 7:00 ET.

The point spread at Pinnacle Sports has William & Mary as a tiny home favorite for this contest with the current line at -1 with odds of -113.

Drexel was a favorite of the sharps early in the season because the Dragons play very good defense, which has always been a trademark of Coach Bruiser Flint. The Dragons are currently 37th in the country in defensive efficiency, but their offense has been excruciating to watch most of the time while ranking 207th in efficiency and a distressing 297th in effective field goal percentage, and that is a key reason why Drexel has lost three out of four since a 7-2 start.

The Dragons are in trouble when they face teams that are able to solve their defense, and William & Mary is a club that could just shoot over it with its good three-point shooting, especially playing here at home where their perimeter shooters have been especially comfortable. Although these teams have identical 8-5 record, the Tribe are the team trending in the right direction having won four of their last five games.

Last season, William & Mary finished 31st in the country in three-point shooting at 37.5 percent, and while the Tribe are 49th in that category this season in the early going, the three-point percentage itself has actually improved to 38.0 percent! Moreover, the Dragons are at 40.6 percent from beyond the three-point arc over the last five games and they have been great in this building shooting 40.8 percent from the land of three in their six home games.

The problem for the Tribe this season has been on the defensive end where they rank only 302nd in efficiency and 278 in effective field goal percentage allowed, but Drexel does not see well equipped enough to take advantage of those weaknesses. Surprisingly, as stiff as the Drexel defense has been, the Dragons are also only 266th in defensive turnover percentage, so as long as William and Mary can solve Drexel’s man-to-man defense, it should work for good looks.

The Dragons are coming off of a 66-49 loss at Southern Miss where they shot 18-of-47 for 38.3 percent from the field, marking the fourth straight game where they failed to reach even 60 points while shooting 38.5 percent over those four contests and failing to make more than 22 total field goals in every game. That seems like a fatal flaw here if William & Mary hits its three-point buckets at its normal rate when playing here in Williamsburg.

This is the CAA conference opener for both teams after Drexel went 9-9 inside the conference last season and William & Mary went 7-11, and the Tribe seem to be in a good position at home here to get off to a better conference start this year.

We recommend backing William & Mary at home as a cheap favorite on Wednesday.


NCAA Basketball Pick: William & Mary -1 (-113)

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