A spot in the 2024 NCAA Tournament will be on the line when the McNeese Cowboys take on the Nicholls State Colonels on Wednesday at the 2024 Southland Tournament final. McNeese is 29-3 on the season and won the conference with a dominant 17-1 run while Nicholls is 20-13 and finished third in the league at 13-5 in the Southland. The in-state rivals are both in their first season under new head coaches, with McNeese turning to former LSU head coach Will Wade while Nicholls State hired 29-year-old alum Tevon Saddler for his first head coaching job.

Tipoff is scheduled for 5 p.m. ET at The Legacy Center in Lake Charles, La., where McNeese State plays its home games. The Cowboys are 16.5-point favorites in the Nicholls vs. McNeese odds via SportsLine consensus and the over/under is 136 points. Before entering any McNeese vs. Nicholls picks, you'll want to see the NCAA Basketball predictions from the model at SportsLine.  

The model simulates every Division I college basketball game 10,000 times. It enters 2024 conference championship week on a 145-104 roll on all top-rated college basketball picks dating back to last season, returning more than $1,700 for $100 players. It also has a strong 28-18 (+820) record on top-rated spread picks this season. Anyone following has seen huge returns.

The model has set its sights on Nicholls vs. McNeese. You can head to SportsLine to see its picks. Here are several college basketball betting lines for the game:

  • McNeese vs. Nicholls spread: McNeese -16.5
  • McNeese vs. Nicholls over/under: 136 points
  • McNeese vs. Nicholls money line: McNeese -2190, Nicholls +1108
  • McNeese vs. Nicholls picks: See picks here

What you need to know about McNeese

McNeese will be seeking its first NCAA Tournament appearance in 22 years after taking an enormous risk on Wade, who was fired by LSU for recruiting violations and given a show-cause penalty that included a 10-game suspension to start the season. McNeese went 8-2 with wins at VCU and UAB while Wade was out and then went 20-1 after his return, with an upset win at Michigan as 10.5-point underdogs in December.

TCU transfer Shahada Wells has been the biggest difference-maker in Wade's first season. He's averaging 17.5 points, 4.7 assists, 4.5 rebounds and 3.0 steals per game and he's coming off a dominant performance against Lamar in the tournament semifinals. Wells had 27 points, five assists and four steals in a 76-57 win. See who to back at SportsLine.

What you need to know about Nicholls

Nicholls will look to end a 26-year NCAA Tournament drought of its own on Wednesday and its head coach, Tevon Saddler, is also in his first season with the program. The 29-year-old played at Nicholls, was the program's director of basketball operations, assisted at McNeese State and then was director of player personnel at Maryland before taking the job at his alma mater.

Saddler's Colonels earned a marquee win at LSU early in the season and then fought through a tough non-conference schedule before putting together a strong run during conference play. Nicholls State bested Texas A&M-Commerce and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi in overtime last night to make the finals. Diante Smith had 22 points in the victory and averaged 15.4 points, 6.0 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 2.0 steals per game this season. See who to back at SportsLine.

How to make McNeese vs. Nicholls picks

The model has simulated McNeese vs. Nicholls 10,000 times and the results are in. The model is leaning Over and it's also generated a point-spread pick that is hitting in well over 60% of simulations. You can only see the pick at SportsLine.

So who wins Nicholls vs. McNeese, and which side of the spread hits well over 60% of the time? Visit SportsLine now to find out which side of the spread you need to jump on, all from the model that is on a 28-18 roll on its top-ranked college basketball picks this season, and find out.