NCAA Baseball Odds, Best Bets: 6 Picks for Men’s College World Series

NCAA Baseball Odds, Best Bets: 6 Picks for Men’s College World Series article feature image
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Getty Images. Design by Matt Roembke/Action Network. Pictured: North Carolina’s Vance Honeycutt (top-left), Florida’s Jac Caglianone (bottom-left), Tennessee’s Christian Moore (middle) and Florida State’s Jamie Arnold (right).

Let's dive into NCAA baseball odds and best bets, including our top picks for the 2024 Men's College World Series.


Welcome to the College World Series, better known as the ACC/SEC Invitational that will take place in the Big Ten's footprint.

Nearly 300 teams began the season in February before NCAA Regionals and Super Regionals quickly eliminated all but eight teams. Now, the ACC and SEC will send four teams each to Charles Schwab field.

The SEC has won five of the last six national titles, placing teams in nine of the 12 spots in the championship round during that span.

Florida last won the national title in 2017, while Tennessee hasn't made the championship round since 1951. Texas A&M has reached Omaha eight times with a grand total of four wins. This year also marks Kentucky's first-ever trip to Omaha after previously losing three times in Super Regionals.

The ACC has a much different record when it comes to Omaha, as Virginia is the only team to reach the championship series in the last 15 years.

North Carolina made the championship round in 2006 and 2007 but has yet to win a national title. While the Tar Heels are third all-time in appearances without a title, Florida State has the record with 23 appearances and no national title.

NC State, meanwhile, is out for blood after the 2021 season saw it get eliminated in the winners' bracket against Vanderbilt due to to COVID-19 protocols.

For those not familiar with the format of the College World Series, the 10-day event can be confusing. Teams are separated into two brackets of four teams. Those two pods will play a double-elimination tournament, similar to Regionals during the opening weekend of the postseason.

Each bracket will crown a winner, and those two teams will play a best-of-three series in the championship round.

Charles Schwab Field, formerly known as TD Ameritrade Park, is known for being a spacious pitcher's park with plenty of fly balls. The symmetrical fence has both foul poles at 335 feet, and it's 375 to left- and right-center with an ambitious 408 feet to clear the center-field fence.

While most teams playing in their home stadium have a Park Factor of 1.00, 15% of the team's calculated base runs are integrated into the projected totals. Charles Schwab Field has a Park Factor of 0.85, making it a pitching and on-base paradise for some teams.

This article will focus on the projected starters for every Game 1, along with prices of a side and total. Odds on Bracket 1 and Bracket 2 will be present in the market, a great tool to jump in on a team's future or hedge a current ticket in the portfolio.

Without further ado, grab your rain gear and Jell-O Shots because Omaha will be in full force until a national champion is crowned.

Men's College World Series Odds

Tennessee Volunteers+290
Texas A&M Aggies+350
Kentucky Wildcats+450
North Carolina Tar Heels+650
Florida State Seminoles+800
NC State Wolfpack+900
Virginia Cavaliers+1000
Florida Gators+1300


Virginia vs. North Carolina Odds

Friday, June 14
2 p.m. ET
ESPN
Virginia Odds
Run LineTotalMoneyline
+1.5
-150
12
-115o / -115u
+110
North Carolina Odds
Run LineTotalMoneyline
-1.5
+120
12
-115o / -115u
-140
Odds via DraftKings . Get up-to-the-minute NCAAF odds here.

North Carolina steamrolled its ACC schedule, wrapping up the regular-season title before entering its final conference series with Duke. However, the Tar Heels did lose a couple of series on the schedule, including an early April trip to Charlottesville.

Jason DeCaro, who's projected to start the opening game for North Carolina,  previously threw against this Virginia lineup on April 5. The results were unkind for the freshman, as the Cavaliers put up five earned runs in six innings.

Virginia projected starter Evan Blanco also started in the same April contest, lasting into the seventh inning with seven strikeouts and the victory.

The sophomore has been a solid innings-eater for the Virginia staff, throwing at least six innings over his past four starts. Blanco's seven innings to open the Super Regional against Kansas State paid dividends, keeping top bullpen option Chase Hungate fresh for the closing victory over the Wildcats.

Seven-straight retired by Evan Blanco, now up to 7 Ks!

📺 ESPN2 | #GoHoospic.twitter.com/OzkXbDeK6U

— Virginia Baseball (@UVABaseball) June 8, 2024

The North Carolina bullpen has the advantage in this head-to-head matchup, as the Heels' staff ERA is more than a full run lower than Virginia's. Matthew Matthijs and Dalton Pence have been lights-out for UNC all season, and both will be ready to take the mound in the event DeCaro stumbles in the opener.

Our projection for this game is nearly a coin-flip, with Blanco and the Hoos at -112 against DeCaro and the Heels.

This game will have the highest total of any opener on Friday or Saturday with a projection of 13.

North Carolina is the early favorite in the betting market despite losing to Blanco earlier this season. No matter if the Tar Heels send DeCaro or Shea Sprague to the mound, Virginia should be lined closer to a pick'em.

That gives plenty of value on the run line to a hot and hungry Cavaliers team that has the better offensive numbers.


+1.5


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Florida State vs. Tennessee Odds

Friday, June 14
7 p.m. ET
ESPN
Florida State Odds
Run LineTotalMoneyline
+1.5
-135
10.5
-115o / -115u
+140
Tennessee Odds
Run LineTotalMoneyline
-1.5
+105
10.5
-110o / -110u
-180
Odds via DraftKings . Get up-to-the-minute NCAAF odds here.

There's potential for the No. 1 overall seed to find trouble early.

Tennessee has started weekends with the pitching combination of Chris Stamos and AJ Causey. Head coach Tony Vitello elected to move Causey from a starter to the first option out of the bullpen on the second weekend of April against LSU.

Stamos, a transfer from California, took the role as a starter despite averaging only 1.6 innings per outing. The results have been mixed for Stamos, recording just five outs over two appearances this postseason.

Despite the issues with Stamos as a starter, Causey has been fantastic as the first option out of the bullpen.

AJ, King of the ⚔️

📺 https://t.co/LiObBW23PA (SECN)#GBO // #OTH // #BeatNKUpic.twitter.com/0L5iXH3P69

— Tennessee Baseball (@Vol_Baseball) June 1, 2024

The potential to get behind on the scoreboard with Stamos on the mound will impede the probability of beating Florida State ace Jamie Arnold.

The sophomore southpaw has redefined electric, tossing 155 strikeouts in 100 2/3 innings pitched thanks to a devastating slider. The owner of an immaculate inning in the Regionals, Arnold was touched up by a UConn lineup that had previous success against left-handed pitchers.

Arnold projects as a favorite of -130 against the starting combination of Stamos and Causey. If Carson Dorsey is the starter for the Seminoles, the Volunteers would project -140 over Florida State.

With Arnold receiving 80 cents of value over Dorsey, the question remains if Tennessee's power-hitting lineup can smash left-handed pitching.

Evansville saw the tape of LSU's Nate Ackenhausen and Vanderbilt's JD Thompson, two southpaws who shut down the Tennessee offense late in the season.

The Purple Aces sent three consecutive left-handers to the mound in the Super Regionals against the Volunteers. Kenton Deverman, Donovan Schultz and Kevin Reed were blasted for a combined 16 earned runs over 7 1/3 innings. Closer Jakob Meyer, also a left-handed pitcher, was touched up for three earned runs in the series finale as well.

The weather will be of no help in this game, as the forecast calls for winds blowing in directly from left field. The projected total with Arnold on the mound is 12.1, while Dorsey expects to fetch 13.3 in the market.

Considering Tennessee allows early runs with Stamos on the mound and smashes left-handed pitching, take a look at the over.


Over 10.5




Bracket 1 Analysis & Pick

Despite the heavy ACC influence and a geographical footprint for all four teams, there's minimal history of these teams facing each other outside of a Virginia and North Carolina regular-season series.

The Cavaliers saw Florida State in the ACC Tournament, as Arnold took the victory over Virginia starter Joe Savino.

Both Tennessee and Virginia made the College World Series a season ago, but they both made an early exit with a combined 1-4 record.

Fielding percentage, on-base percentage and bullpen metrics are the most crucial stats in spacious Charles Schwab Field.

The Seminoles and Volunteers have the leg up defensively, while the Cavaliers have issues with the pitching staff outside of Blanco. There are additional issues for Virginia, which has posted the lowest wRC+ mark of any of the four teams over the past 15 games.

The Tar Heels have cooled since regular-season play, winning by the smallest of margins. Cardiac Carolina has won its past three games by a combined margin of four runs.

DeCaro has been hittable of late, and the freshman is expected to take the mound once again for UNC's first game of the College World Series.

The second and third starters for each staff are closely aligned in most matchups.

Tennessee's Drew Beam is the best of the group, and he's expected to be held back for the Volunteers' second game. Third starter Zander Sechrist would be favored over any second or third starting pitcher in this pod.

Tennessee is the only team in the bracket with a pitching staff deep enough to survive a stint in the losers' bracket.

Experience in Omaha matters, and Tennessee is seeking revenge after taking two losses to eventual national champion LSU a season ago.

Look for the Seminoles and Volunteers to find each other in the bracket finals. Then, a Tennessee ticket can be hedged with Arnold's second start for Florida State.


+130 to Win Bracket 1



NC State vs. Kentucky Odds

Saturday, June 15
2 p.m. ET
ESPN
NC State Odds
Run LineTotalMoneyline
+1.5
-150
9.5
-115o / -115u
+114
Kentucky Odds
Run LineTotalMoneyline
-1.5
+120
9.5
-115o / -115u
-145
Odds via DraftKings . Get up-to-the-minute NCAAF odds here.

Kentucky's pitching continues to grind opposing offenses into zero production. Oregon State, one of the best hitting teams in the nation, was limited to three total hits over 18 innings in the Lexington Super Regional.

Trey Pooser will take the mound for the Wildcats against an NC State offense that averages 7.7 runs per game. Kentucky is projected at -170 with a total of 12.5 in the opener against the Wolfpack's Sam Highfill.

Pooser will also be backed by one of the best college baseball defenses in Division I.

Perfect timing ⏱️#RoadToOmaha x 🎥 ESPNU / @UKBaseballpic.twitter.com/R8uTqCDD6f

— NCAA Baseball (@NCAABaseball) June 9, 2024

NC State's season has been full of surprises. Analytically, the Wolfpack are a team that should not be here.

Despite ranking outside the top 50 in nearly every important statistical category, the Pack won season series against Virginia and North Carolina.

Head coach Elliott Avent's squad made quick work of a Raleigh Regional that hosted South Carolina and showed no offensive issues in the Athens Super Regional, putting up 18 runs in the opener against Georgia.

The key for NC State has been its on-base percentage over the past 15 games, ranking 12th out of all teams in Division I.

Kentucky's pitching staff comes down a notch when the starters leave, generating a nearly identical team xFIP as NC State. The Wildcats have struggled to generate offense as much as NC State through the season.

On the other side, Highfill has been excellent of late, holding an explosive Georgia lineup to a single earned run in six innings. The fifth-year senior has also posted a quality start in recent games against Bryant and Virginia.

The weather conditions are suited for a low-scoring game, as double-digit winds are expected with gusts blowing in from right field at 25 mph.


+1.5 · Under 9.5




Florida vs. Texas A&M Odds

Saturday, June 15
7 p.m. ET
ESPN
Florida Odds
Run LineTotalMoneyline
+1.5
-135
11
-115o / -115u
+124
Texas A&M Odds
Run LineTotalMoneyline
-1.5
+105
11
-115o / -115u
-160
Odds via DraftKings . Get up-to-the-minute NCAAF odds here.

Two seasons ago, an SEC team was the selection committee's last pick to make the postseason. Entering the Hattiesburg Regional with a near .500 record, 3-seed Ole Miss moved on to win the national title.

Fast forward to the present, and the Florida Gators are well on their way to replicating the Rebels' 2022 success.

The Gators have been in reload mode after taking a championship series loss in Omaha a season ago.

The pitching staff entered the season with plenty of underclassmen bringing no experience. Because of the staff's struggles, Florida will never have a mathematical advantage in projections against any opponent.

However, the staff has generated top-35 ranks in xFIP and SIERA over the past 15 games. Another piece of good news comes from mid-March, when the Gators took a series from A&M in Gainesville.

Texas A&M staff ace Ryan Prager is expected to get the start for the Aggies, but dark skies await the sophomore.

Prager pitched in Gainesville earlier this season against this lineup, allowing six earned over 2 1/3 innings pitched.  Those are similar numbers to Prager's opening game in the College Station Super Regional, as Oregon posted six earned runs in the 1 2/3 innings against the Aggies' ace.

Throw in the recent injury situation that includes a season-ending injury to future first-round MLB Draft pick Braden Montgomery, and the Aggies may have troubles with the pitching staff and lineup.

This game projects to have the worst weather of all openers, with wind gusts reaching 30 mph blowing in from center field. As of writing, that wind direction flips the other way early Sunday morning, indicating that overs are the play when the losers' bracket begins.

Any total on this game will depend on the wind direction, so I'll enter plays in the Action App when things become clearer.


+160 or Better


Bracket 2 Analysis & Pick

Texas A&M is dealing with injuries at the most critical time of the season.

Montgomery, the power-hitting outfielder, had surgery and will not be active. The pitching staff also took a blow, as southpaw starter Shane Sdao is out after an early injury in the closing game against the Ducks a weekend ago.

Losing a second starter and three-hole hitter this late in the season will be detrimental to the Aggies' campaign in Omaha.

Florida and Kentucky would be a coin-flip affair, as the Wildcats took a recent series that included two extra-inning games.

The Gators' recent surge in pitching while maintaining top-10 national rankings in fielding percentage and home runs per game will be factors in determining Bracket 2.

The underdog in this pod is the ACC entry, as NC State continues to cruise with subpar analytics.

With a view of second and third starters, Florida will have the mathematical advantage when sending Jac Caglianone to the mound.

The "Shohei Ohtani of College Baseball" was crucial in a Super Regional-clinching game against Clemson, throwing 5 2/3 innings for the Gators while blasting a home run in his first at-bat against Tigers ace Aidan Knaak.

Caglianone is the ultimate X-factor on this side of the bracket after clearing the wall twice in last year's run to the championship series.

From the mound, Caglianone would be favored over NC State's Dominic Fritton and Logan Whitaker. The Gators' two-way star also projects as a coin-flip against Dominic Niman and Mason Moore of Kentucky.

With the longest odds to make the championship series, there's plenty of room to ride a Gators ticket through Bracket 2.


+550 to Win Bracket 2


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