College Baseball Odds, Picks, Predictions: 3 Best Bets for USC vs. Arizona & NC State vs. North Carolina
Zachary BonDurant/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Garret Guillemette.
- Friday's college baseball slate is a loaded one as the season nears its end.
- We see betting value in three Friday games: North Carolina vs. NC State, Missouri, vs. Ole Miss and Arizona vs. USC.
- Check out all three of Doug Ziefel's top betting picks below.
The clock is ticking on the regular season, and this weekend is jam-packed with crucial conference matchups.
First, we’re going to stop on Tobacco Road for a game between two in-state ACC rivals. Then, we’ll dive into a high-octane SEC matchup before rounding out the night on a live West Coast dog.
North Carolina vs. North Carolina State
Time: 6:30 p.m. ET
TV: ACC Network Extra
One of the oldest rivalries is set to commence Friday, as this will be the 309th meeting between these two storied programs.
The deciding factor in this series will be how well the Tar Heels contain the Wolfpack lineup. At least for this opener, they won’t be able to.
NC State’s offense has been incredible this season, as the Pack are hitting .297 as a team, led by the legendary freshman Tommy “Tanks” White.
However, while White may get all the shine, LuJames Groover III and Noah Soles can’t be forgotten about, as they are hitting .369 and .345, respectively.
Max Carlson will take the mound against the NC State in this one. Carlson enters with a 4.04 ERA, which is respectable when you consider the gauntlet of ACC lineups he has faced.
Though, when you analyze the UNC staff against this lineup, the bullpen will play a significant factor because Carlson averages around just four innings per start. Overall, the Tar Heels staff has fallen off slightly, as it’ll enter with a staff ERA of 4.36 to go along with a .248 OBA.
Opposing Carlson for NC State will be Logan Whittaker. Whittaker has emerged as the Pack’s Friday night starter, and he’ll enter with a 3.57 ERA and a .219 OBA.
He’ll get a UNC lineup that has lacked pop at times this season, and while the Heels average around six runs a game, that may not be enough against NC State — if they can even get there.
The last and potentially most significant factor is the home-field advantage. This rivalry is as big as it gets, and each game is already sold out. The Wolfpack are a high-energy team that will feed off the home fans and pull out an exciting series-opening win.
Pick: NC State ML -130
Missouri vs. Ole Miss
Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
TV: SEC Network+
Ole Miss has had a roller coaster of a season, to say the least. It started the year as a consensus preseason top-10 team, but the Rebels have fallen from that ranking because of their pitching.
Pitching is the focus for this matchup, and I don’t expect much success from either starter in this one.
On the bump for the Rebels will be Dylan DeLucia. He enters with a 4.14 ERA, .253 OBA and leads the staff with nine homers allowed.
Opposing him for Mizzou is lefty Tony Neubeck. Neubeck will be making his seventh start of the season, and he’s been hit pretty hard to this point. His 5.48 ERA and staff-leading 11 homers allowed do not instill much confidence in keeping Ole Miss off the board.
Speaking of the Rebels’ bats, they’ve done a great deal of damage this season. They enter averaging 7.5 runs per game while hitting .276 and slugging .496 as a team.
The Tigers are not far behind, as we saw just how explosive their bats could be when they hung 19 runs on Mississippi State last weekend.
I’m expecting fireworks in this one.
Pick: Over 11.5
Arizona vs. USC
Time: 10 p.m. ET
TV: Pac-12 Arizona
The Wildcats may have an impressive 32-15 record, but there’s a reason why they’ve fallen out of the top 25. Arizona can’t seem to put it together game after game.
One game, their bats are hot, but the next, they’ll be outscored by a far inferior team.
While that’s also a reflection of the pitching staff, it’s baffling that a team hitting .292 can just disappear game to game.
The Wildcats need to bring the offense in this one, as the Trojans have been sneaky good this season. They’re hitting .279 and average nearly seven runs per game. So, don’t let their 22-20 record fool you.
Arizona may have a slight edge on the mound, but I’m not so confident it can slug it out on the road. Back the Trojans to steal Game 1.
Pick: USC +120