21 Mar

2024 NCAA Tournament picks, March Madness bets by top model

The No. 12 seed McNeese Cowboys play against the No. 5 seed Gonzaga Bulldogs in a Midwest Region battle in the first round of the 2024 NCAA Tournament on Thursday. The Cowboys have been rolling lately, logging 11 straight wins. On March 13, the Cowboys defeated Nicholls 92-76. Meanwhile, Gonzaga lost 69-60 to Saint Mary’s in the WCC Championship Game in its last outing.

Tipoff from the Delta Center in Salt Lake City is set for 7:25 p.m. ET. The Bulldogs are 6.5-point favorites in the latest McNeese State vs. Gonzaga odds from SportsLine consensus, while the over/under for total points scored is 149.5. Before making any Gonzaga vs. McNeese State picks, be sure to see the college basketball predictions and betting advice from SportsLine’s proven model.

The model simulates every Division I college basketball game 10,000 times. It enters the 2024 NCAA tournament on a 148-106 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 29-19 (+810) record on top-rated spread picks this season. Anyone following has seen huge returns.

Now, the model has set its sights on McNeese State vs. Gonzaga. You can head to SportsLine now to see the picks. Here are several college basketball odds and trends for Gonzaga vs. McNeese State:

Gonzaga vs. McNeese State spread: Bulldogs -6.5
Gonzaga vs. McNeese State over/under: 149.5 points
Gonzaga vs. McNeese State money line: Bulldogs -293, Cowboys +233
MCNS: 16-13 ATS this season
GONZ: 15-16 ATS this season
Gonzaga vs. McNeese State picks: See picks at SportsLine
Why Gonzaga can cover
Junior forward Graham Ike is a powerful scoring threat in the frontcourt who is also a reliable rebounder. He leads the team in scoring (16.5) and rebounds (7.2). The Colorado native has scored 20-plus points in seven of his last nine games. On March 2, he finished with 24 points and 10 boards.

Junior forward Nolan Hickman is a steady playmaker. Hickman does a great job controlling the pace while scoring off the dribble consistently. The Washington native averages 13.9 points, 2.3 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game. On March 11 versus San Francisco, Hickman totaled 20 points, four rebounds and six assists. See which team to pick at SportsLine.

Why McNeese State can cover
Senior guard Shahada Wells is one of the most productive performers on this squad. Wells has tremendous speed with the ball to get into the lane but can knock down perimeter jumpers. The Texas native logs 17.8 points, 4.5 rebounds and 4.8 assists per game. In his previous outing, Wells notched 27 points, four rebounds and six assists.

Junior forward Christian Shumate is a powerful two-way force in the paint. Shumate uses his strength to create space from opposing players and owns a soft touch around the rim. The Illinois native averages 11.9 points and 9.5 rebounds and makes 55% of his shot attempts. In the March 13 win over Nicholls, Shumate amassed 11 points, six rebounds and four blocks. See which team to pick at SportsLine.

How to make McNeese State vs. Gonzaga picks
The model is leaning Over on the total, projecting 156 combined points. It also says one side of the spread hits nearly 70% of the time. You can only see the pick at SportsLine.

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