College Basketball NIT Odds & Picks for Nicholls State vs. SMU: Bet Mustangs to Win Big
Ron Jenkins/Getty Images. Pictured: Kendric Davis.
- Nicholls State and SMU go to battle in NIT action on Wednesday night.
- The Mustangs are one of the top seeds in the tournament and should cover this huge spread.
- Our staff breaks down the game and shares its top pick below.
Nicholls State vs. SMU Odds
|Nicholls State Odds|
-110o / -110u
-110o / -110u
After picking up a Southland regular-season title, Nicholls State overlooked Corpus Christi in the first round of the conference tournament and instead ended up here in the NIT.
The Colonels will get SMU, which was the third team out of the tournament and has picked up a No. 1 seed in the NIT.
The Mustangs were a good team all season, led by star point guard Kendric Davis. However, Davis couldn’t do quite enough to get his boys into the Big Dance.
SMU is a big favorite, laying over 15 in the first-round matchup. But Nicholls has proven it can keep up against high-major competition.
Can the Colonels keep up?
By Ky McKeon
Nicholls was by far the best team in the Southland this season, but despite a bye to the semifinals in the conference tournament, the Colonels fell short of the Big Dance.
If you need evidence that Nicholls can hang with higher-level competition, look no further than its non-conference performance over the past three seasons. In 2020, Nicholls took Illinois to OT, beat Pitt, lost to LSU by 10 and dropped another to URI by five.
In 2021, the Colonels lost by six at LSU. This season, NSU took down UNI on the road and gave TCU and Wisconsin all they could handle.
Head coach Austin Claunch, one of the youngest coaches in the country at just 32 years of age, has followed in his former boss’ footsteps by hitting the transfer portal hard every offseason.
Star guards Ty Gordon and Devante Carter were All-Conference caliber players in the Sun Belt and MEAC once upon a time.
Nicholls runs like crazy on offense, ranking 16th nationally in adjusted offensive possession length. The Colonels will look to get out in transition whenever possible, especially off of turnovers. In the half-court, look for NSU to attack the rim whenever possible.
Defensively, NSU needs to create havoc on the perimeter because it’s weak inside and on the defensive glass.
Coach Tim Jankovich said his program was heartbroken when it didn’t hear its name called on Selection Sunday. Despite finishing second in the AAC regular-season standings, and beating both Memphis (twice) and Houston, that wasn’t enough for the committee to include the Mustangs in the field.
SMU was one of the first four teams left out of the madness, and will now bring its 23-8 record to the NIT.
AAC Player of the Year Kendric Davis will highlight the talent in this bracket. Davis is one of the top point guards in the country, as he led the American with 19.4 points per game while hitting 37% from beyond the arc. He finished third in the conference in assists, dishing out an average of 4.5 per game.
He’s complemented in the frontcourt by brothers Marcus and Michael Weathers. The duo combined to average 24 points and 13 rebounds per game.
The Mustangs have been one of the more underrated defenses this season. The group has held opponents to 30% from 3-point territory (30th) and 45% on 2-point shot attempts (16th).
SMU will enjoy home-court advantage in the NIT before the “Final Four,” which will be held at Madison Square Garden. That’s crucial for the Mustangs, who finished this season a perfect 16-0 when playing at Moody Coliseum.
Nicholls State vs. SMU Betting Pick
All five of the Mustangs’ starters are seniors this year. While I would be worried about motivation after a team just misses the NCAA Tournament, this is the last chance for this core to play together.
Davis should go off. He’s poured his heart and soul into the Mustangs program over the last four seasons and — if he decides not to come back for a super senior season — this will be the last dance for the 2021-22 AAC Player of the Year.
While Nicholls can play with the big boys, I’m worried about how the pace of this game will affect it. Both of these teams play quick, especially Nicholls. If these squads are running up and down the floor and only one team is making shots, this could get ugly quick.
It also helps that SMU gets this game on its home floor.
The line is hovering around -15.5, and FanDuel currently has the only -15 on the board. I’m looking to bet that number.