McNeese vs. Nicholls prediction ATS, player props, odds for Wednesday, March 13, Southland Tournament championship

No. 1 seed McNeese will look to punch its March Madness ticket this evening against 3-seeded Nicholls in the Southland Tournament championship. Nicholls upset 2-seed Texas A&M-Corpus Christie to secure a spot in today’s championship game. McNeese took care of business against Lamar, winning comfortably, covering the spread 76-57. This will be the third matchup of the year between these schools, with McNeese winning convincingly in the first two and covering the spread each time.

Nicholls has won seven of its last nine games, with the only two defeats coming both times to McNeese. On the season, Nicholls has a 19-11 record against the spread and comes into today’s matchup on a four-game winning streak, covering the spread in each of those wins. Its defense has been playing well, with the UNDER for total points hitting in three of its last four.

McNeese has been the team to beat in the Southland all season, only losing a single conference game and winning the regular-season championship by three games. The Cowboys are 16-12 against the spread this season. They come into today’s final on a 10-game winning streak, having covered the spread in three of their last four. McNeese can win games on either end of the floor, with two UNDERs and OVERs hitting for total points over their last four contests.

Here is the Nicholls vs. McNeese betting news, player props and a prediction for today’s Southland Conference Tournament championship. The game tips off at 5 p.m. ET on ESPN2.

McNeese vs. Nicholls live odds for Southland Conference Tournament Championship

Here are the spread, moneyline and total points live odds for Nicholls vs. McNeese for today’s Southland Conference Tournament Championship at the best online sportsbooks.

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Nicholls Colonels betting news

The Colonels came in third in the Southland but ended the season strong, beating Texas A&M-CC, the second-place team, in their last two matchups. Some early defeats in the conference hurt their chances for a better finish, but they are peaking at the right time of the season. Nicholls ranks 223rd for offensive and defensive efficiency on KenPom but is playing better than its rankings to end the season.

Nicholls has four players averaging double figures with two frontcourt players and two backcourt players providing balance on offense. Forward Diante Smith leads the team in scoring with 15.4 PPG, and his partner in the frontcourt, Jamal West Jr., is third in scoring with 13.5 PPG and leads the team in rebounding with 7.5 RPG.

The Colonels’ guard pair provides scoring but are not very efficient or good passers. Robert Brown III averages 13.8 PPG but shoots just 43.1% from the field. Fourth-leading scorer Byron Ireland averages 11.6 PPG and also shoots 43.1% from the field. To compete with McNeese tonight, the Colonels need their forwards to show up and their guards to play better than their averages.

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McNeese Cowboys betting news

The Cowboys are an excellent basketball team and could be a Cinderella candidate in the NCAA Tournament. On KenPom, they rank 73rd for adjusted offensive efficiency and 59th for adjusted defensive efficiency — very strong rankings for a low-major team coming from a weaker conference. The next-closest team in the KenPom rankings from their conference is over 100 spots behind for adjusted efficiency margin.

McNeese has a lethal guard/forward combo with its top two scorers, Shahada Wells and Christian Shumate. Wells, a 6-foot senior guard, leads the team in scoring and assists with 17.5 PPG and 4.7 APG. Shumate, a 6-foot-6 junior forward, is second in scoring and leads the team in rebounding with 12.0 PPG and 9.6 RPG.

The offense runs through those two, and they’re surrounded with strong shooters. Guards DJ Richards Jr. and Javohn Garcia both average over 11.0 PPG and shoot above 44% from three. Last but not least, center Antavion Collum averages 8.8 PPG and 4.7 RPG. He can stretch the floor, shooting 39.8% from three on decent volume, averaging over one made three a night.

The Cowboys have dominated the Colonels twice — barring a collapse, they will win today and earn an NCAA Tournament bid, their first since 2002. It is hard to beat any opponent three times in a season; the Cowboys need to bring their A-game and expect today’s matchup to be a closer margin than the first two meetings.

McNeese vs. Nicholls player props at DraftKings Sportsbook

Here are some of the top player prop markets for Nicholls vs. McNeese from DraftKings Sportsbook for today’s Southland Conference Tournament championship.

Byron Ireland prop bets

  • 9.5 points OVER (-140) / UNDER (+110)
  • 2.5 rebounds OVER (-175) / UNDER (+135)
  • 2.5 assists OVER (+100) / UNDER (-130)
  • 0.5 threes OVER (-200) / UNDER (+154)

Christian Shumate prop bets

  • 11.5 points OVER (-105) / UNDER (-125)
  • 8.5 rebounds OVER (-120) / UNDER (-110)

Diante Smith prop bets

  • 14.5 points OVER (-120) / UNDER (-110)
  • 5.5 rebounds OVER (+114) / UNDER (-145)
  • 2.5 threes OVER (+145) / UNDER (-190)

Jamal West Jr. prop bets

  • 9.5 points OVER (+110) / UNDER (-140)
  • 6.5 rebounds OVER (+120) / UNDER (-150)

Javohn Garcia prop bets

  • 11.5 points OVER (-140) / UNDER (+110)
  • 3.5 rebounds OVER (-110) / UNDER (-120)
  • 1.5 threes OVER (+175) / UNDER (-230)

Rob Brown III prop bets

  • 13.5 points OVER (-115) / UNDER (-115)
  • 2.5 rebounds OVER (-160) / UNDER (+124)
  • 2.5 threes OVER (-110) / UNDER (-120)

Shahada Wells prop bets

  • 13.5 points OVER (-135) / UNDER (+105)
  • 3.5 rebounds OVER (-130) / UNDER (+100)
  • 4.5 assists OVER (-120) / UNDER (-110)
  • 1.5 threes OVER (+130) / UNDER (-166)

McNeese vs. Nicholls prediction: Cowboys win, but Colonels keep it close

McNeese won the first matchup against Nicholls by 27 and the second by 21. Nicholls is playing its best basketball of the season, and while the Cowboys are going to be tough to beat, the Colonels should play their best in the championship environment, covering a considerably high point spread.

Pick: Nicholls

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