What a pair of games! Sunday was some of the best action from The Basketball Tournament so far. After two amazing games, we are on to the championship and one team will walk away with $1 million in prize money and the other will walk away empty-handed. In one corner stands the perpetual second-place finishers Golden Eagles squad. Opposing them is the upstart and often-overlooked Sideline Cancer Squad. After a whole tournament of ups and downs will you be able to cash one last time on TBT daily odds and picks?
#22 Sideline Cancer – Daily Odds (+2.5)
Sideline Cancer has proved the doubters wrong at every turn. They have destroyed our TBT daily odds and picks column the past two days. Their defense is stifling and they hit big shots when they need them. When you combine their fierce mentality and never-say-die approach you have a dangerous and deadly opponent. They disrupted highly-touted Boeheim’s Army and held them to a measly 48 points. One day later they took on 7.5 point favorite and four-time champion Overseas Elite and shocked them 67-65 on a miracle three-pointer. At a certain point, you have to believe in the miracle underdogs.
It all starts with a seemingly undersized scorer Marcus Keene who is averaging 20.0 points per game so far in TBT. At 5’9” many have doubted, myself included, Keene’s ability to control a game. He has thrown that back in every doubter’s face each game. When you add Remy Abell, 15.0 PPG, and Maurice Creek, 14.5 PPG, to Keene they have a deadly trio of guards who can keep them in any game. Big man Eric Thompson provides big-time rebounding ability, 12.8 boards per game, and is a strong fourth-option inside.
That stifling defense of Sideline Cancer has been the difference, especially on shots from beyond the arc. Overseas Elite had shot 58% and 45% from three-point range in their previous two games until Sideline Cancer held them to 27% from beyond the arc. They also held Boeheim’s Army to an anemic 15%, Challenge ALS to 34%, and Team Hines to 32%. With the ability to absolutely derail teams from beyond the arc, Sideline Cancer can dictate the pace and how a game will be played.
#4 Golden Eagles (Marquette Alumni) – Daily Odds (-2.5)
Every year it seems like the Golden Eagles make a deep run in TBT, and every year they fall short. In 2016 and 2017 they were eliminated in the quarterfinals. 2018 they went out in the semifinals. Last year they lost in the championship game to Carmen’s Crew. This is a veteran squad that has been challenged and powered through each round so far in 2020. They have had no issue scoring, averaging 79.3 points per game, thanks to a solid 34.4% from three. They have taken down challenging opponents each round and survived a fierce challenge from Red Scare (Dayton) 79-70 in the semifinals.
LET’S GOOOOOOOOO pic.twitter.com/vFF1HjTavj
— GOLDEN EAGLES (@GoldenEaglesTBT) July 12, 2020
Led by the steady production of forward Jamil Wilson, 17.3 PPG and 7.0 RPG, the Golden Eagles have outscored their opponents by an average of eight points. Factor in the production of guard tandem Dwight Buycks, 12.3 ppg and 3.7 APG, and Darius Johnson-Odom, 17.3 PPG, you have a balanced offense. The Golden Eagles want to spread the floor with smaller players and use a combination of attacking the rim and shooting from deep to produce offensively.
Traditionally Marquette has employed “undersized” and guard-heavy lineups and the Golden Eagles of TBT are no exception. With nine wing players, guards and small forwards, on their roster and only one big, centers and power forwards, they spread the floor excellently without sacrificing on the boards. They do not have the stifling defense of Sideline Cancer, but they are no slouches holding their three opponents to an average of 71.0 points.
The Pick: Sideline Cancer (+2.5)
This is one of the toughest TBT daily odds and picks to make so far. There have only been four one-score games thus far in TBT. Sideline Cancer has played in two of those games. We also are getting a rematch of a hotly contested 2019 second-round game that saw the Golden Eagles take down Sideline Cancer 88-80. Last year Dwight Buycks and Jamil Wilson dominated Sideline Cancer with 34 and 22 points respectively. The Golden Eagles effectively contained Marcus Keene as well, holding him to 7 points.
— Marquette Overload (@MUOverload) July 13, 2020
2020 is a new year though and Sideline Cancer has been playing a team possessed. If you are betting in-game, keep in mind that in the fourth quarter Sideline Cancer has outscored opponents 84-50. On the other side of the coin, the Golden Eagles have been outscored 58-51 and only outscored their opponents in a single fourth quarter so far. In case you think Golden Eagles will be okay in the fourth, Sideline Cancer ran Overseas out of the gym 20-11 in the fourth quarter of their semifinal matchup. Oh also, Sideline Cancer outscored Golden Eagles 27-17 in the fourth quarter. The scrappy 22nd seed has proven opponents and experts wrong at every turn, do not bet against them. Unless this line falls to a pick ‘em, roll with Sideline Cancer.
Over/Under Opens at 152.5
So far in TBT, the games have been split pretty evenly when it comes to an over/under of 152.5. Over the course of 21 games, 42.9% have been over that number. However, only two games played by the finalists, 28.5% have had a combined score of more than 152.5. This game will most likely be a low-scoring, but exciting affair. Both teams are capable of playing stifling defense so ride with the under as long as it stays above 142.5.