UNI will try to play spoiler when favored Drake comes to Cedar Falls tonight. Sportsbooks think the hosting Panthers will be in the 5-point underdog neighborhood for the game.
The 7 p.m. game will be streaming on ESPN+. Iowa sports betting fans can keep taps of the live odds at PlayIA.com.
Drake vs. UNI odds
The Bulldogs remain one of the best Cinderella stories of the college basketball season. They salvaged their at-large March Madness hopes with a testy 51-50 overtime win Sunday over No. 22 Loyola Chicago.
Both Drake and UNI can reach the field of 68 by winning Arch Madness. The Bulldogs would like to keep their at-large credentials intact when they arrive for the 10-team Missouri Valley Conference tournament. St. Louis hosts the March 4-7 games.
Second half rally rewards underdog bettors
Drake (20-2, 11-2 in the MVC) rallied from 10 points down Sunday to capture its first top 25 win since 2013. The team also rebounded from a 81-54 drubbing from Loyola the day before. Bulldog coach Darian DeVries told reporters:
“It was a great, hard-fought, gritty win for us (Sunday). Two teams were giving it all they had to come up with a victory. I’m extremely proud of our guys and the way they responded from (Saturday) and were able to gut one out.”
Tremell Murphy led Drake with 17 points on 6-of-9 shooting. D.J. Wilkins added 11 and Roman Penn finished with 10 points.
Drake faced UNI one week ago, and came away with a 80-59 win in Des Moines.
UNI hopes for upset
Northern Iowa (7-14, 5-10) also earned a weekend split with a 74-60 win Sunday over Valparaiso. The Panthers shot 52.8% from the field and recorded eight 3-pointers in the win. Noah Carter and Trae Berhow each had 17 points. Nate Heise added 15 points and Austin Phyfe finished with 12.
DraftKings has Drake at +1150 on the moneyline to reach the Final Four. The sportsbook sets UNI at +5000 to win the conference tournament’s auto bid and continue that run all the way to the Final Four.