College Baseball Odds & Picks: 3 Friday Night Bets, Including Tennessee vs. Vanderbilt, Notre Dame vs. Florida State
Wesley Hitt/Getty Images. Pictured: Connor Noland.
I hate to acknowledge it, but we’ve been rolling of late. Much of it has been due to the start of conference play.
While these teams may be very competitive overall, there are a few programs that are beginning to separate themselves from the rest of the pack, and until the market properly recognizes them, it will only be to our advantage.
So, let’s keep the train rolling as, once again, aces are wild on a Friday night.
Tennessee vs. Vanderbilt, 7 p.m. ET
As I mentioned in the open, Friday night is all about aces, and you’ll be hard-pressed to find two better than the ones in this matchup. Chase Burns will lead the No. 1 ranked Volunteers into this matchup, and he has been electric this season. He holds a microscopic 0.80 ERA. He has also been tough to hit this season as he has held opponents to just a .138 batting average against him. But forget hits; making contact has been hard enough as Burns has racked up 45 strikeouts over 33 innings of work.
However, his counterpart in this one has had quite the season himself. Chris McElvain will enter this start for the Vandy Boys with a 1.95 ERA. Also, like Burns, McElvain possesses tremendous stuff that has overwhelmed hitters this year and has held the opposition to a .197 batting average against him and has punched out 43 batters in 32 innings.
While the bats can not be overlooked in this matchup as each of these teams has been elite offensively, more often than not, good pitching will beat good hitting, and with these two dueling, runs will be hard to come by.
Pick: Under 11.5
Mississippi State vs. Arkansas, 7 p.m. ET
We’ll go from the number one team in the country to the number two team in the country as the Arkansas Razorbacks are set to host the defending National Champions in this matchup.
A championship hangover may be a nice way of putting how things have gone for the Bulldogs. They sit at 16-10 and have lost series to Long Beach State, Tulane, and Georgia. Adding an injury to the insult of a rough start does not make things easier, as they lost their ace Landon Sims for the season.
As it was their staff that led to glory last season, the men on the mound have been a part of the Bulldogs’ decline so far. Mississippi State will enter this matchup with a 4.82 staff ERA. While their bats have picked it up of late, they will not be able to outgun their opposition in every game, which is very unlikely against the Razorbacks’ ace in this one.
Connor Noland has been the key to Arkansas’ success. However, he has also shown that he can perform his best when the lights are bright. He put together a masterful performance against the Indiana Hoosiers in the Red Rock Classic earlier this season.
Overall, Noland has been a tough puzzle for opposing hitters to solve as he enters with a .262 opponent batting average and a total of 47 strikeouts in 34 innings.
Arkansas is the clearly superior team here and should be priced higher considering that they have their ace on the mound at home. Therefore, I will take the value and back them here.
Arkansas ML -160
Notre Dame vs. Florida State, 7 p.m. ET
The ACC has burst onto the scene this season as it currently has seven of the Top 25 teams in the country, and we get a treat as two of the best they have to offer will meet here.
The Fighting Irish pitching staff was the talk of the town early on in the year as their starting trio was absolutely dominant, but they have come back down to earth and will now get a stark road test.
Florida State enters this one off of a loss to instate rival Florida; however, a return to conference play may be just what they need. The Seminoles have taken series from Georgia Tech, NC State and Duke to open up the conference schedule. I highlighted the Irish’s arms, but Florida State has their man who can match them going here.
Parker Messick has been downright nasty this season as he’ll enter this start with a 2.84 ERA and .178 opponent batting average, but his numbers get even better. Messick has struck out 65 batters over 38 innings.
Now in the box, the Seminoles will have to face John Bertrand, who has been outstanding in his own right this season, but he is far less overpowering and will give up his fair share of baserunners.
I’m backing Florida State here as they should be able to muster enough offense for their ace and pull off the “upset” here.
Pick: Florida St. ML +105