College Baseball Odds & Best Bets: 47 Picks for Every NCAA Tournament Regional
Jamie Schwaberow/NCAA Photos via Getty Images. Pictured: The NCAA Baseball Trophy on the mound at Charles Schwab Field.
- College baseball's road to Omaha has officially begun.
- With all 64 NCAA Tournament teams in action, Action Network Senior Writer Collin Wilson broke down 47 bets for each Regional.
- Check out all of Wilson's best bets for the 2023 NCAA Baseball Tournament Regionals below.
Welcome to the 2023 NCAA Baseball Tournament, where all roads lead to Omaha.
Our field of 16 Regionals has been set, with the SEC receiving a record-breaking eight entries as host.
Plenty of criticism has surrounded the NCAA committee and the selection process, as RPI continues to be the polarizing topic around seeding. Both Campbell and Boston College were projected to be Regional hosts, but losses in the conference tournament sent the Camels and Eagles packing for the road on opening weekend.
There were winners and losers from Regional announcements. For example, Vanderbilt hosts three teams that won their respective conference tournaments. Just as Vanderbilt is tied to the Stillwater Regional for Supers, the Fayetteville Regional is paired with Terre Haute and could potentially send Arkansas to Omaha without facing another SEC team.
Meanwhile, the hottest team in college baseball continues to be Clemson. The Tigers must survive the host role with Tennessee coming to town before hosting the winner of the Auburn Regional.
This preview will cover all 16 Regionals with series winners, futures and select single-game plays.
With 64 teams and more than 300 pitchers to handicap, our daily Regional projections will be updated as starters are confirmed throughout the weekend. A stark difference in projection versus market price on the moneyline and totals will draw wagers, but there are also a number of historical trends to follow heading into the weekend.
Since 2017, the Regional host has gone 72-8 against the 4-seed. Those prices are sure to be heavily juiced, but the real money-maker is when top seeds fall to the losers' bracket after Game 1.
In the last five Regionals dating back to 2017, 2-seeds have beaten 4-seeds in the losers bracket in 31-of-35 contests. In the same time frame, 1-seeds have dominated 3- and 4-seeds in 16-of-18 contests. If a top two seed falls to the losers' bracket on Saturday and Sunday, look to pounce on opening lines.
With that in mind, we head to each individual Regional looking for betting value in the market.
All odds are via DraftKings as of Wednesday evening.
Game 1: Maryland (41-19) vs. Northeastern (44-14) · 1 p.m. Friday · ESPN+
Game 2: Wake Forest (47-10) vs. George Mason (34-25) · 7 p.m. Friday · ESPN+
In case you may have missed it, an overall No. 1 seed hasn't won the College World Series since 1999 and hasn't competed in Omaha since 2018. So, historical trends say the Demon Deacons may not survive through two weekends of postseason play in Winston-Salem.
Monitor the totals here, as David F. Couch Ballpark saw fewer runs per game on average than what the Deacons produced during road games.
The Northeastern staff posted top-10 national ranks in ERA and WHIP, but starters Aiven Cabral and Eric Yost are pitch-to-contact hurlers with low strikeout totals.
The Huskies are a dangerous draw with an impressive resume of wins over Duke and a sweep of Regional host Indiana State. Northeastern throttled Maryland on May 9, as Cabral projects a -210 favorite over the Terps' Jason Savacool in the opening game. Keep in mind Maryland will be missing starter Kyle McCoy this weekend.
AIVEN CABRAL WITH THE COMPLETE GAME SHUTOUT FOR NORTHEASTERN 🚨❌⚡️ pic.twitter.com/eGwCTxgBTP
— 11Point7: The College Baseball Podcast 🎙 (@11point7) April 8, 2023
Wake Forest lost a grand total of three games at home this season, one of those coming in extra innings against Boston College.
Rhett Lowder is expected to be held back for Game 2, while Seth Keener is likely to get the nod against Ben Shields of George Mason. This could get ugly for the Patriots after playing six games in four days to win the A-10 Tournament as the sixth seed. Keener projects at -490 against Shields in the Demon Deacons' first game.
To wrap this Regional, Lowder, Wake Forest's ace, projects -250 or better against any pitcher on the staff of Northeastern. With Wake Forest projected as a 74%-85% winner in three straight games, the true odds on the Deacons fall at -260.
Look for Northeastern to steal the first game from Maryland before attempting to hang with Wake Forest. The price point for winning the series is -260 on Wake Forest and any number +800 or better on Northeastern.
- Series: Wake Forest -260 or Better
- Game 2: Northeastern +105 vs. Maryland (Play to -150)
Game 1: UConn (43-15) vs. Texas Tech (39-21) · Noon ET Friday · ESPNU
Game 2: Florida (44-14) vs. Florida A&M (29-28) · 5:30 p.m. ET Friday · ESPN+
The SEC Tournament Championship game was all hands on deck for Florida, which allowed 10 earned runs in the first three innings.
The loss did nothing to stop Florida from pulling the No. 2 national seed and drawing two of the worst defensive teams in Texas Tech and Florida A&M. UConn was sensational in making the Super Regionals just a year ago, taking the opening win at Stanford before losing two straight.
Florida is expected to throw Brandon Sproat, potentially saving Hurston Waldrep and Jac Caglianone for the Huskies on Saturday.
Sproat has thrown two complete games this season while eclipsing 100 strikeouts in 84 innings. The best two-way player, Caglianone, has plenty of Shohei Ohtani in his game, jacking the second-most home runs in Division I while making 15 pitching starts for the Gators.
Sproat is projected -195 against Hunter Viets of Florida A&M with a whopping total of 15.
Pitcher gets tossed for celebrating a strikeout, so Jac Caglianone mashes a grand slam the very next inning and absolutely does not celebrate.
— Lucas Dolengowski (@LDolengowski) April 16, 2023
The Texas Tech showdown with UConn is projected a near dead heat at -105 for the Red Raiders' Mason Molina versus the Huskies' Garrett Coe. The total in this game projects at 13.7, boosted by an above-average Park Factors number powered by the Gators' total runs in Condron Park.
If there's hesitation with one of these teams when it comes to record on the road, the Red Raiders won only six games away from Lubbock compared to 18 for UConn.
In lieu of playing UConn +115 in the opening game, the Regional price of +500 does have value, but it would need a hedge against Florida in the winners' bracket.
Florida owns one of the best strikeout-to-walk ratios in Division I, but expect a pesky UConn team to give the Gators a small sweat.
- Series: UConn +500 (Hedge Head-to-Head With Florida)
- Game 1: UConn +115 vs. Texas Tech
- Game 2: Florida vs. Florida A&M Over 14 or Better
Game 1: Arkansas (41-16) vs. Santa Clara (35-18) · 3 p.m. ET Friday · ESPN+
Game 2: TCU (37-22) vs. Arizona (33-24) · 9 p.m. ET Friday ·ESPNU
I'm a frequent in-person consumer of Razorback baseball in Baum-Walker Stadium, and most are shocked to hear that the venue is a pitcher's park.
Arkansas is full of offensive firepower year in and year out but continues to play in higher-scoring ball games on the road. Baum-Walker not only has winds that generally move in from the Razorbacks' left-field bullpen, but it also has some of the deepest dimensions in left- and right-center field.
Arkansas consistently comes in lower than average in Park Factors, and facing Santa Clara's ace in the opener is a great opportunity for an under.
The biggest question for the Hogs is what head coach Dave Van Horn will do with southpaw aces Hunter Hollan and Hagen Smith. The ascension of freshman Gage Wood as closer has also moved Brady Tygart into a starting role.
Will Van Horn look to get five innings from Tygart in the Santa Clara game and hold Smith and Hollan for TCU similar to the LSU victory in the SEC Tournament? Van Horn made it clear in his presser that Arkansas took the early game to get in the clubhouse and get even more rest for the staff.
The under is the play in Game 1.
Hunter Hollan 6 Ks thru 5 shutout 👀👀 pic.twitter.com/NCIQ5YCpmg
— 11Point7: The College Baseball Podcast 🎙 (@11point7) March 24, 2023
The TCU pitching numbers are not great after starter Kole Klecker, as a trio of starters have an average ERA of 6.5. Even Klecker has an astronomical FIP compared to his 3.3 ERA.
The Horned Frogs will likely turn to Ben Abeldt to get out of the sticky situations that are sure to come against an Arizona team that finished 10th in slugging. Klecker projects as a -115 favorite over Arizona's Cam Walty, with a total projected at 13.5.
Expect Van Horn to use his starters in combination with an experienced postseason staff that includes Will McEntire to gear up for Saturday’s winners' bracket game.
Arkansas projects at -110 to win the Fayetteville Regional with Tygart starting Friday, but that number grows with Hollan and Smith throwing Friday or Saturday.
- Series: Arkansas +110 or Better
- Game 1: Arkansas vs. Santa Clara Under 11.5 or Better
- Game 2: Arizona +110 or Better
Game 1: Clemson (43-17) vs. Lipscomb (36-24) · 1 p.m. ET Friday · ESPN+
Game 2: Tennessee (38-19) vs. Charlotte (34-26) · 6 p.m. ET Friday ·ESPNU
Before the headliner of Volunteers vs. Tigers in the winners' bracket can happen, Tennessee pitcher Andrew Lindsey will face his old team in Charlotte. A 20-game starter for the 49ers a year ago, Lindsey has maintained his numbers in 18 starts for the Volunteers in 2023.
Charlotte will counter with its prime innings eater in Wyatt Hudepohl, who racked up 118 strikeouts in 97 innings thrown this season.
Tennessee projects -210 in Game 2 against Charlotte, as the 49ers will not have the bullpen or offensive firepower required to complete the upset.
— College Baseball Hub (@CollegeBSBHub) March 11, 2023
For the mega showdown to happen on Saturday, Clemson must first get by the ASUN Tournament winners in Lipscomb. The Bisons have pop in their sticks, but the streakiness plays a part in their slugging and on-base percentage.
Michael Dunkelberger is expected to get the start against one of Clemson's freshman pitchers outside of Austin Gordon and Caden Grice. Joe Allen started the ACC Tournament in a similar fashion for the Tigers and projects -190 in the opener with a total of 11.2.
Totals will be projected lower than oddsmakers' offerings, as Clemson rang up 10% fewer runs in Doug Kingsmore Stadium than in conference road games.
The matchup everyone came to see is Clemson vs. Tennessee, as the Tigers have lost just one game since April 18. Volunteers pitchers Chase Dollander and Drew Beam project as -120 to -150 favorites over all of Clemson's top rotation options.
There's an edge in the series price for Tennessee with options for hedge on Sunday.
- Game 1: Lipscomb-Clemson Under 12 or Better
- Game 2: Tennessee -220 or Better
- Series: Tennessee +125
Baton Rouge Regional
Game 1: LSU (43-15) vs. Tulane (19-40) · 3 p.m. ET Friday · ESPNU
Game 2: Oregon St. (39-18) vs. Sam Houston (38-23) · 8 p.m. ET Friday ·ESPN+
Alex Box Stadium ranks as one of the highest Park Factors of any Regional, as LSU games are expected to be high-scoring.
That will certainly be the case against in-state foe Tulane. With numerous pitching ranks outside the top 200, expect the opening game to have plenty of runs. With a potential blowout coming, LSU may elect to reserve ace Paul Skenes for Saturday.
If Ty Floyd or Javen Coleman get the nod for the Tigers, look for an over up to 16.5 for Game 1.
— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) May 26, 2023
Thanks to lower team ERA and FIP, the Oregon State and Sam Houston opener projects a few runs lower. Coltin Atkinson will get the nod for Sam Houston, while the Beavers will send Trent Sellers or Jacob Kmatz to the mound.
Any chance to extend games to closer Ryan Brown is always the goal for Oregon State. The Beavers bring one of the best defensive squads in Division I year in and year out, allowing a high on-base percentage and top-25 pitching to advance.
The Beavers would need all of that in a potential Saturday showdown with Skenes, a soon-to-be MLB pitcher.
The true projection for LSU to take the Regional in Alex Box Stadium is -180, as that wager — along with single-game overs — gives the SEC one of its best chances to win another championship.
- Series: LSU -180 or Better
- Game 1: Over 16 or Better
Game 1: Oregon (37-20) vs. Xavier (37-23) · 1 p.m. ET Friday · ESPN+
Game 2: Vanderbilt (41-18) vs. Eastern Illinois (38-19) · 8 p.m. ET Friday · SEC Network
If Clemson is the hottest team in the nation, Vanderbilt is certainly the second-most flammable. A massive eight-run eighth inning during a May 19 game against Arkansas sparked the Commodores' through a run to the SEC Tournament Championship.
Head coach Tim Corbin has another squad with multiple dimensions, from a top-10 pitching staff and a top-15 defensive lineup to the electric Enrique Bradfield Jr. on the base paths.
— Vanderbilt Baseball (@VandyBoys) May 20, 2023
Corbin may elect to piece together Game 1 with Sam Hliboki and bullpen arms because of recent injuries to the staff. If this is a bullpen opener for Vanderbilt, the run line on Eastern Illinois is worth a look, as the inflated market expects the Commodore aces to take the mound.
Logan Mercado is expected to take opening duties for Oregon, but he hasn't lasted longer than 4.1 innings in any of his last four starts. Grayson Grinsell has received a few starts and has the most appearances of any pitcher on the Ducks' staff, as the freshman may show up in multiple games during any stretch.
Xavier does have the better pitching staff by the numbers, and it's projected to send Brant Alazaus to the mound in the opener. The Musketeers are projected -120 as favorites over Oregon to kick off Friday.
If Xavier were to advance, Ethan Bosacker would take the mound against one of Vanderbilt's aces in Devin Futrell, putting the true odds for Vanderbilt to win the regional at -160.
- Series: Vanderbilt -160 or Better
- Game 1: Xavier +125
- Game 2: Eastern Illinois Run Line (with Sam Hliboki for Vanderbilt)
Game 1: Virginia (45-12) vs. Army (38-16) · Noon ET Friday · ESPN+
Game 2: East Carolina (45-17) vs. Oklahoma (31-26) · 7 p.m. ET Friday · ESPN2
There are plenty of storylines in Charlottesville, from Virginia getting a Super Regional slot to the history behind Oklahoma and East Carolina.
The Sooners entered last year's Regionals as a 2-seed, first taking down Florida before Super Regional host Virginia Tech.
Oklahoma didn’t stop there, making it all the way to the College World Series Championship Series that ended with a loss to Ole Miss. Southpaw starter Braden Carmichael was a large part of that effort, and now he's back in the Charlottesville Regional.
What a 💎 of a pitching performance last night from Braden Carmichael. (@b_car4).
• 0 runs
• 5 strikeouts
• 4 hits
• 0 walks
• Complete game shutout.
His final pitching performance at Mitchell Park was one of his best. pic.twitter.com/VAefwBvIyF
— The REF (@KREFsports) May 20, 2023
Is this the year for East Carolina? This will be the 33rd postseason appearance for a Pirates program that has also competed in seven Super Regionals. East Carolina has never made a trip to Omaha, but head coach Cliff Godwin brings another solid squad to the tournament.
No matter if Carter Spivey or Zach Root gets the start for the Pirates, the Sooners project as a -175 favorite in the opening game.
Despite the lack of pop in the sticks, Virginia earned hosting duties with 19 wins in ACC play. A quick exit from the conference tournament allows head coach Brian O’Connor to reset a staff that includes seniors Brian Edgington and Nick Parker. The Cavaliers project closer to -200 in the opener against Army’s Matthew Ronnebaum.
Lamar transfer Braxton Douthit is expected to get a start for the Sooners, possibly Saturday if not Friday. Projections will have Oklahoma as an underdog against Virginia because of Douthit and James Hitt’s numbers in ERA and FIP. At some point, the Cavaliers must go through Carmichael.
East Carolina is going to be the public darling in the futures market to advance, but the number on the Pirates and Virginia is oversold. This is a spot to back a longshot with a roster that's loaded with Omaha experience.
- Series: Oklahoma +375 or Better
- Game 1: Virginia-Army Under 14 or Better
- Game 2: Oklahoma +105
Game 1: Stanford (38-16) vs. San Jose St. (31-25) · 5 p.m. ET Friday · ESPN+
Game 2: Texas A&M (36-25) vs. Cal State. Fullerton (31-22) · 10 p.m. ET Friday · ESPN2
Texas A&M made a run to the SEC Tournament Championship game, only to fall to a red-hot Vanderbilt team.
The SEC will be tested at the Sunken Diamond when three teams from the state of California look to stop the powerful conference.
Regional host Stanford will turn to Brandt Pancer to work Friday against San Jose State, saving Quinn Mathews for a possible matchup with the Aggies on Saturday.
Cal State Fullerton finished 20-10 in Big West play, led by a strong fielding percentage and a staff ERA in the top 100. The Titans possess high rankings in strikeout-to-walk ratio and doubles per game, but getting the ball past the treelined outfield fence may be an issue.
Texas A&M is expected to throw Nathan Dettmer with a projection of -120 against Fullerton's Tyler Stultz.
The Aggies went 12-15 against the RPI Top 25, while Stanford boasts some of the best offensive numbers in Division I.
Mathews projects -160 or higher against most of the Texas A&M staff. The Aggies boast two pitchers who serve in the stopper closer role in Will Johnston and Evan Aschenbeck, while the Cardinal have a lights-out closer in Ryan Bruno.
Stanford is expected to be favorites in the winners' bracket over Texas A&M with Mathews on the mound, making a Regional price at plus-money not only attractive but an easy hedge against the Aggies.
CARDINAL MAKING A COMEBACK‼️
— Pac-12 Network (@Pac12Network) May 14, 2023
- Series: Stanford +150
- Game 1: Stanford vs. San Jose State Over 15 or Better
- Game 2: Cal State Fullerton +135 or Better
Coral Gables Regional
Game 1: Texas (38-20) vs. Louisiana (40-22) · 2 p.m. ET Friday · Longhorn Network
Game 2: Miami (40-19) vs. Maine (32-19) · 7 p.m. ET Friday · ESPN+
The Maine Black Bears finished top-50 in on-base percentage and homers per nine en route to an America East title. Now, they'll head to Alex Rodriguez Park, where Miami lit up the scoreboard in ACC play.
The Hurricanes just missed out on a Super Regional seed, as the winner of this Regional will be paired up with the Stanford Regional winner. Texas and Louisiana round out a field that is by far the best from a defensive fielding perspective.
The M💣nth 💣f M💣rales!
📺: ACCNX pic.twitter.com/b8ISAqqVtv
— Miami Hurricanes Baseball (@CanesBaseball) May 19, 2023
Colin Fitzgerald will get the nod for Maine in the opener, bringing a sub-4.5 ERA but an eye-popping FIP nearly two runs higher. Miami will counter with Gage Ziehl for a projection at -190 and a total of 13.8 runs.
Texas has the option to throw Lucas Gordon or Lebarron Johnson Jr. against usual opening starter Jackson Nezuh for the Ragin’ Cajuns. Nezuh doesn't have numbers that project well for a matchup against the Longhorns offense, as the Florida State transfer supports a 6.14 ERA.
No matter who Texas throws in the first game, the Longhorns are playable to -200 in the opener.
If the winners' bracket consists of Texas and Miami, there's an expectation that the Horns will be favored over Alejandro Rosario or Ronaldo Gallo.
The true series price for Texas is +140, giving value to the current market number of +170 as of this writing.
- Game 1: Texas -175
- Game 2: Miami vs. Maine Over 13.5 or Better
- Series: Texas +170
Game 1: Duke (35-21) vs. UNCW (34-21) · 1 p.m. ET Friday · ESPN+
Game 2: Coastal Carolina (39-19) vs. Rider (35-19) · 7 p.m. ET Friday · ESPN+
Duke was in cruise control through the middle stretch of the ACC schedule, winning road series against Clemson and Boston College. With nonconference wins over Campbell and East Carolina, the Blue Devils were on fire before losing the final two series of the season.
Two one-run losses in the ACC Tournament knocked Duke back to a 2-seed, forcing it to pack suitcases for Conway and Regional host Coastal Carolina.
Starter Alex Gow is expected to get the start against Jacob Shafer of UNC Wilmington, projecting the Blue Devils at -210 for the opener. If closer James Tallon is not used against UNCW, expect a heavy dose of the freshman in the winners' bracket against Coastal Carolina.
James Tallon slams the door in the eighth!
— Duke Baseball (@DukeBASE) May 19, 2023
The Chanticleers are expected to roll through Rider, but the price point will depend on who head coach Gary Gilmore selects as a starter. Liam Doyle has made five starts this season, as the freshman has an ERA and FIP lower than the staff average.
No matter how you slice the starting pitchers for Duke and Coastal Carolina, the Blue Devils bring the much better staff and bullpen numbers from a FIP, ERA and xFIP perspective. Duke has the better bullpen and the edge in starters, along with a superior defensive percentage.
The big question is if Coastal Carolina can continue to blast balls out of the park. The Chanticleers scored 12% more runs at Springs Brooks Stadium than on the road in conference play, suggesting there will be runs put up against the Blue Devils' staff.
The Regional is truly a toss-up between the top two seeds. If you're sitting on futures for either, as I'm sitting on a Coastal 100-1, taking the other team to win the Regional is a great hedge.
Keep in mind the Charlottesville Regional is paired up with Conway, so this group of eight teams has a higher percentage of sending an underdog to Omaha.
- Game 1: Duke -185 or Better
- Game 2: Rider Run Line
- Series: Duke +150 or Better · Coastal Carolina 60-1 to Win CWS
Game 1: DBU (45-14) vs. Washington (34-18) · 1 p.m. ET Friday · ESPN+
Game 2: Oklahoma St. (41-18) vs. Oral Roberts (46-11) · 7 p.m. ET Friday · ESPN+
The NCAA did Oklahoma State a solid by naming O’Brate Stadium as Regional host but quickly took it all back by giving the Pokes a 4-seed that has beaten them twice.
Oral Roberts won both in Stillwater and Tulsa this season, taking a game against a regular starter in Carson Benge. Oral Roberts' Jakob Hall will look to continue an 18-game win streak for the Golden Eagles. Juaron Watts-Brown is slated to go for the Pokes on Friday in a game in which the Golden Eagles project as favorites.
Dallas Baptist enjoyed its first season in Conference USA, racing to the conference tournament finals only to lose to Charlotte. Ryan Johnson is the expected starter in the opener, as Washington has a similar ERA and FIP.
With Stu Flesland projected to get the start for the Huskies, the Patriots should be favorites at -125.
One item of note is the number of runs scored in last year's Stillwater Regional. Two of the three games on Saturday saw the winners' and losers' brackets produce an incredible 76 runs in a single day. Only one game played in the entire Regional fell short of 15 runs. Whether it was poor pitching from all parties involved or the winds whipping through Stillwater, every game in this Regional should have a play on the over.
- Series: Dallas Baptist +225
- Game 1: Dallas Baptist vs. Washington Over
- Game 2: Oral Roberts +120 or Better
Game 1: Kentucky (36-18) vs. Ball State (36-21) · Noon ET Friday · SEC Network
Game 2: West Virginia (39-18) vs. Indiana (41-18) · 7 p.m. ET Friday · ESPN+
A quick exit from the SEC Tournament has allowed Kentucky to reset the rotation in preparation for hosting a Regional.
Darren Williams made the start in Hoover, but expect Travis Smith and Zack Lee to lead a Wildcats staff that ranked top-30 nationally in ERA and WHIP.
Lee has the best strikeout rate on the staff, with expectations of getting the Saturday start against the West Virginia vs. Indiana winner. Trennor O’Donnell gives Ball State the best chance of upset, lowering the projection on Kentucky to -145 in the opener. There may be enough pop in the Cardinals' sticks to cover a run line.
West Virginia will be fighting the narrative that the team peaked a month ago. The Mountaineers were swept at Texas before dropping consecutive games in the Big 12 Tournament.
The conference tournament did not feature CSUN transfer Blaine Traxel, who logged five complete games this season. Either Traxel or Ben Hampton is expected to get the start against Indiana.
Luke Sinnard has earned opening duties for the Hoosiers most of the season, but the Mountaineers project -120 in Game 2.
Kentucky topped the rankings in strength of schedule and fielding percentage. Pitching and defense have been the calling cards for the Wildcats, with sporadic offense. The Cats bring the lowest numbers in runs per game and BaseRuns of all four teams in the Regional.
True odds on the Wildcats are +140, giving no value to the series price on the host.
- Series: West Virginia +240 or Better
- Game 1: Ball State Run Line (with Trennor O’Donnell)
- Game 2: Indiana Run Line (with Luke Sinnard)
Game 1: Southern Miss (41-17) vs. Samford (36-23) · 2 p.m. ET Friday · ESPN+
Game 2: Auburn (34-21-1) vs. Penn (32-14) · 7 p.m. ET Friday · ESPN+
Southern Miss has made the postseason 19 times since 1990 with only a single trip to Omaha on the resume. This version of the Golden Eagles is the most upperclassman-dominant yet thanks to COVID-19 rules and the extra season of play.
Head coach Scott Berry won the Sun Belt Tournament and now looks to steal a Regional at Auburn with an excellent pitching staff.
Samford comes to Auburn with a SoCon Tournament title but a poor 11-17 record away from home. John Anderson has mashed 22 home runs for the Bulldogs, but there may be no larger difference in pitching on Friday between Southern Miss and Samford.
Tanner Hall may get the start for Southern Miss, but he'll more than likely be held for Auburn, while Billy Oldham could go on Friday.
The formula for Samford is much easier: Get enough innings out of Jacob Cravey to reach the staff cornerstone in closer Ben Petschke. Depending on the starting pitcher, Southern Miss projects -150 to -180 in the opener.
Penn will have the tough task of brining a struggling offense to an SEC venue. There's a high probability Auburn will look to Tommy Vail in the opener, saving Chase Allsup for a potential Southern Miss game on Saturday.
Auburn projects at 12 runs in the opener, but there are historical reasons to look for overs at Plainsman Park. The Tigers have averaged 13% more runs per game at home than on the road in conference play over the past two seasons.
If Hall is saved for Saturday, Southern Miss is a slight favorite over Auburn. Equipped with a lower staff and bullpen ERA, FIP and xFIP, the Golden Eagles are primed for a Regional upset. Closer Justin Storm is certainly the difference, posting 59 strikeouts in just 35.2 innings with eight saves on the season.
- Series: Southern Miss +165
- Game 1: Samford Run Line (if no Tanner Hall for Southern Miss)
- Game 2: Auburn vs. Penn Over 12 or Better
Terre Haute Regional
Game 1: Indiana State (42-15) vs. Wright State (39-21) · 1 p.m. ET Friday · ESPN+
Game 2: Iowa (42-14) vs. North Carolina (35-22) · 7 p.m. ET Friday · ACC Network
The Sycamores did everything a team could from a lower-tier conference to become a Regional host. Indiana State finished the schedule with a road RPI rank of fourth nationally, but the record against the top teams in the nation is a bit questionable.
Head coach Mitch Hannahs' team finished 2-9 against teams in the RPI top 50. Although Wright State is not in the RPI top 50, starting southpaw Sebastian Gongora will be a real test in the opening game.
Pitcher Matt Jachec will have Indiana State projected as just -120 favorites over the Raiders.
North Carolina and Iowa are two top-50 RPI programs that will look to steal a bid to the Super Regionals.
Jake Knapp is projected for the Heels, while Brody Brecht should get starting duties for the Hawkeyes. The important note for these two teams is that Iowa holds a supreme advantage in staff and bullpen ERA and FIP against North Carolina, making the Hawkeyes the play in Game 2 at -130 all the way to -165.
The odds for this regional spell out the hurdles for the host to advance, as both North Carolina and Iowa have lower odds to move on to face Arkansas in Fayetteville.
The Hawkeyes don't have as strong of pitching at Indiana State, but top-30 ranks in WHIP and ERA and a better record versus the RPI top 50 has Iowa moving on to a potentially legendary series with Arkansas.
- Series: Iowa +230
- Game 1: Wright State +155 & Run Line
- Game 2: Iowa -130 (Play to -165)
Game 1: Campbell (44-13) vs. NC State (35-19) · 1 p.m. ET Friday · ACC Network
Game 2: South Carolina (39-19) vs. Central Connecticut State (36-12) · 7 p.m. ET Friday · ESPN+
The raging debate before the field of 64 was announced was the placement of Campbell and South Carolina. The committee served the consumer well by placing both of these teams in the Columbia Regional, promising a lit-up scoreboard at Founders Park.
Throw in an NC State team that was robbed of a national title a couple of seasons ago, and this will be the hottest tile selection on the ESPN+ board.
The Camels are no stranger to competition, sweeping East Carolina and logging wins over Coastal Carolina and North Carolina. Six players in the lineup have hit double-digit home runs, including more than 40 from Lawson Harrill and Jarrod Belbin.
— Campbell Baseball (@GoCamelsBSB) May 17, 2023
NC State is one of the most well-rounded teams in the tournament, without a glaring deficiency in any category.
Closer Justin Lawson strikes out a fair amount of batters faced, while Dominic Fritton moves between the starting rotation and the bullpen. Logan Whitaker should get the nod in Game 1 against Cade Kuehler, as the Camels project -150 with a total of 11.6.
South Carolina has dealt with as many injuries as any other team this season, cooling off in SEC play down the stretch. Starter Eli Jones is sure to be saved for Campbell in the winners' bracket, giving way to Jack Mahoney in the opener against Central Connecticut State lefty Dominic Niman.
Granted against lower competition, Niman owns a much lower ERA and FIP, making this opening projection South Carolina -135. A run-line wager on the Blue Devils is the opening play as the Gamecocks look to protect the best pitching options for Campbell.
With 200-1 futures on South Carolina and 100-1 futures on Campbell, this is a sit-and-watch Regional for this author.
For single-game purposes, Campbell's Hunter Loyd projects -110 against South Carolina's Jones if the two were to meet in the winners' bracket.
There's no value in either South Carolina +140 or Campbell +180 for the Regional, leaving bettors with a choice on South Carolina 25-1 or Campbell 60-1 as a future wager moving into the Super Regionals.
- Game 1: Campbell vs. NC State Over 11 or Better
- Game 2: Central Connecticut State Run Line vs. South Carolina
Game 1: Boston College (35-18) vs. Troy (39-20) · 3 p.m. ET Friday · ESPN+
Game 2: Alabama (40-19) vs. Nicholls (34-22) · 7 p.m. ET Friday · ESPN+
The biggest issue with the Tuscaloosa Regional is simply getting action down on a team like Alabama that had processed a midseason scandal.
New head coach Jason Jackson has gotten the most out of Alabama since, taking series against Vanderbilt, Texas A&M and Ole Miss.
The Tide are expected to send Garrett McMillan to the mound against Southland Freshman of the Year Jacob Mayers. The true projection is Alabama -155 in the opener, so look for any inflated Nicholls run-line plays in the opener.
GEARING ENDS IT WITH A K!
The Colonels are victorious 4-0, thanks in large part to Jacob Mayers' excellence on the mound, and eliminate Lamar.
— Southland Conference (@SouthlandSports) May 25, 2023
Troy will be happy to start on the other side of the bracket after losing to Alabama twice this season. The Trojans look to send Grayson Stewart or Logan Ross to the mound against Boston College and Henry Leake or Chris Flynn.
No matter what pitching combinations are set, there should be an explosion of runs with two bullpens that post an FIP over 5. Don't forget that Sewell-Thomas Stadium measures just 390 to dead center, with any southward wind getting pop flies over the fence.
Alabama does not project greater than -210 in any pitching matchup, meaning run lines and overs are the game-to-game bets in the Tuscaloosa Regional.
- Series: Alabama -110 or Better
- Game 1: Boston College vs. Troy Over 12.5 or Better
- Game 2: Nicholls Run Line (With Jacob Mayers)