Two Colonial Athletic Association rivals face off against one another on Wednesday when the Drexel Dragons (13-11, 7-5 CAA) visit Newark, Delaware and the Bob Carpenter Center to play against the Delaware Blue Hens (12-13, 4-8 CAA). Drexel lost to Monmouth 69-67 on Saturday for their third loss in four games. Delaware lost to the Charleston Cougars 84-67 on Saturday for their fourth loss in five games.
The Dragons are fifth in the conference while the Blue Hens are falling out of the race at ninth in the AAC. L.J. Owens is questionable with a wrist injury for Delaware and is the only player on the injury report for either team.
Defense is key to Drexel’s successDrexel is within a few games of first place in the Colonial Athletic Conference thanks to excellent defense as the Dragons are holding opponents to an average of 63.2 points (25th) per game. Opponents are shooting 43% (125th) overall and 34.2% (199th) from 3-point territory. Drexel’s offense has struggled at times as the Dragons are scoring an average of only 66 points (291st) per game, while shooting 42.7% (253rd) overall and 32.3% (263rd) from three point land. Amari Williams is the leading scorer for Drexel with an average of 14.1 points per game and is shooting 53.6% overall, but 25% from three-point land.
Coletrane Washington is the second leading scorer with an average of 9.9 points per game while shooting just 38.5% overall and 32.3% from three point land. Three of the next four scorers for Drexel are shooting 40.6% or less. Justin Moore is the leader in assists with an average of 2.8 dishes per contest. On the boards, Drexel averages 35 rebounds per game led by Williams with an average of 8.8 boards per game. He also is the leader in steals with an average of 1.4 per game and the best rim protector with an average of 2.3 blocked shots per game.
Delaware is strugglingThe Blue Hens have lost two straight to Charleston and Monmouth. They've also lost four of their last five games. Delaware is allowing an average of 71.5 points (207th) per game, while holding opponents to a field goal shooting percentage of 44.8% (222nd) and a three-point shooting percentage of 36.4% (307th). Delaware struggles on offense, averaging 69.5 points (205th) per game, while shooting 44% overall (191st) and 31.7% (294th) from three-point land. Jameer Nelson Jr is the leading scorer for Delaware with an average of 19.6 points per game, while shooting just 43.5% overall and 29.7% from behind the line.
No rookie in the nation connects at a higher rate on triples than @CavanReilly2 🤯 pic.twitter.com/Ou2RoFHATS— Delaware Men’s Basketball (@DelawareMBB) February 7, 2023
Jyare Davis is the second best in scoring with an average of 16.9 points per game while shooting 48.4% overall and 28.2% from behind the line. Each of the next two high scorers for Delaware are shooting 41.5% or higher. Nelson Jr is the leader in assists with an average of 3.6 dishes per contest. On the boards, Delaware averages 33 rebounds per game led by Christian Ray with an average of 8.8 boards per contest. Gianmarco Arletti is also the leader in blocked shots with an average of 0.9 swats per game, while Nelson Jr is the leader in steals with an average of 2.5 per game.
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Full-Game Side Bet
These teams are similar in terms of KenPom’s adjusted efficiency margin, but there is still a difference as Drexel is 205th in collegiate basketball with a -2.57 rating while Delaware is 227th in the sport with a -4.57 rating so far. There is a large difference between these teams fouling the opponent as the Dragons are 13th in the nation with just 14.2 total team fouls per game while the Blue Hens are currently 166th in the sport with 16.8 total team fouls per game, which allows Drexel to keep their key rotational players on the floor. Go with the Drexel Dragons to cover the spread as the better program in this matchup.
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Full-Game Total Pick
Both programs are giving up a lot of points as of late with Drexel allowing 70.4 points in their previous five games while Delaware is giving up 77.3 points in their last three games entering this matchup. These teams are also struggling in their adjusted defensive ratings this season as the Blue Hens are 229th in the country with a 107.7 rating while the Dragons are 162nd in college basketball with a 104.6 rating so far. All in all, take the over in this game as well as it seems like the best option here.