2017 NIT Championship Picks: Will the Yellow Jackets Sting the Frogs?

Georgia Tech player Ben Lammers

Swinging Johnson

Wednesday, March 29, 2017 5:25 PM GMT

The stage is set and two rather unlikely finalists are left standing in a tournament that saw the tops seeds get wiped out early. Let’s take a look at the NIT odds and cash a winner in this championship tilt on Thursday night.

   Georgia Tech vs. TCU

Thursday, March 30th at 8:00 PM ET 

 

The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets enter this championship showdown with the TCU Horned Frogs as 3½ point neutral site favorites according to the opening number set by the oddsmakers. It’s not surprising after they have ripped through the tourney as the No. 4 seed in their region, delivering ATS covers for all those who have backed them in their college basketball picks.

The Jackets set the stage for their postseason run with a 75-63 win over Indiana right before the tournament began. They then dispatched Belmont 71-57 in the opening round as four-point home chalk. Georgia Tech hit the road in the second round to take on the Rebels of Ole Miss and scored the upset with a 74-66 win as 5½ point road dogs. In their last round, the Jackets dominated CS Bakersfield as 3½ point neutral site favorites en route to a 76-61 thrashing.

TCU also won their last game prior to their NIT appearance. Their 66-59 over Fresno made them winners but did not cover the nine-point point spread. However, their three victories in the tournament saw them win a 94-92 shootout over Iowa as two-point road dogs followed by an 86-68 demolition of Richmond as eight-point home chalk in the second round. In their last game, they had no issues with UCF as they rolled to a 68-53 victory as a 2 ½ point neutral site favorite.

In this head-to-head matchup, we have to side with the Yellow Jackets. Georgia Tech has reeled off 10 ATS covers in 12 of their last opportunities. They are sixth in defensive efficiency and have a monster in the middle with 6’10” junior center Ben Lammers.  Freshman guard Josh Okogie may be the team’s point leader, averaging 16.2 PPG, but Lammers is a destroyer on the glass averaging 9.3 boards 3.4 blocks and 14.4 points per game. Though TCU’s Kenrich Williams is a beast on the boards as well, I like the fact that Georgia Tech has senior forward Quinton Stephens helping out down low as well.

In my estimation, the Yellow Jackets have too much punch down low and a superior defense that will set the table for what began as an unlikely NIT championship trophy to bring back to the Thrillerdome. Georgia Tech should cover the relatively short impost here and cash for all those backing the Ramblin’ Wreck on Thursday night.

 

Free NCAAB Pick: Georgia Tech +3½  Best Line Offered: at BetOnline

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