College World Series Championship Betting Odds: Michigan vs. Vandy … Which Team Will Win it All?
Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Michigan’s Jack Blomgren
- Vanderbilt evened the College World Series vs. Michigan on Tuesday night, brining us to a decisive Game 3, which will take place at 7 p.m. ET on Wednesday night.
- Vanderbilt is a -200 favorite for Game 3 ($200 wins $100), while Michigan is +170 ($100 wins $170). The over/under is 8.5, with the line trending toward 8.
- Collin Wilson details how he's betting Game 3, and what prices he's comfortable taking.
Michigan took Game 1 of the College World Series, handing Vanderbilt just its third loss since April 15. But the Commodores fired back on Tuesday night, thanks to a dominant performance from ace Kumar Rocker.
That brings us to a winner-take-all Wednesday showdown (7 p.m. ET, ESPN), with Vanderbilt a heavy -200 favorite to take home its second CWS title.
Mason Hickman is projected to start for Vandy; he has allowed just eight earned runs in his past six starts, spanning 33.2 innings. He’ll face off against Michigan’s Karl Kauffman, who been a workhorse of late for the Wolverines, pitching 38 of a possible 45 innings in his past five starts.
Let’s dig into my projected lines for Game 3 and the best betting values on the board.
College World Series Championship Projections for Every Game
Check NCAA.com for the latest Bracket
Michigan-Vanderbilt Game 3 Analysis
- Game 3 Spread: Vanderbilt -200
- Game 3 Total: 8.5 (u-120)
As you can see from the chart above, my numbers make this game Vandy -210. So if you missed out on some of the futures options mentioned below prior to the series/before Game 2 and are simply looking to bet a side in this game, I don’t see much value in either side of the moneyline.
I make this total 9.6, and at the time of writing, the over/under is listed at 8.5 with it trending toward 8. Normally this would make me lean toward the over, but a word of caution: The wind is expected to be blowing in from right field at a 10 mph clip during the game. So unless that changes, I’ll be staying away.
Analysis Entering the Series
Editor’s note: This article has been updated throughout the series.
Michigan has certainly been riding a hot streak, while the season long statistics heavily favor Vanderbilt. Michigan is top 60 in most offensive categories, but has not cracked the top 25 in any individual statistic. Fielding percentage also shows a discrepancy, with the Wolverines at 71st in the country compared to the Commodores at No. 8.
Despite not facing a single SEC team, Michigan is here because of dominant starting pitching. The wild card between the two pitching staffs is Tommy Henry, the only left handed starting pitcher.
The Vanderbilt offense has been slowed at times when facing left handed pitching. The Commodores’ first Omaha game was against left hander Reid Detmers from Louisville. Detmers threw 5.2 innings for five strikeouts and just one earned run.
In the SEC tournament, left hander Ethan Small limited Vanderbilt to one earned run over 7 innings also striking out 11 batters. Michigan’s best hopes come in Game 1 with their left handed ace on the mound.
Kumar Rocker will go for Vanderbilt in Game 2, while Michigan coach Erik Bakich has not named a starter. With Karl Kauffmann going 100 pitches on Friday against Texas Tech, expect Jeff Criswell for Game 2.
Speaking of Bakich, he was a Vanderbilt assistant under current head coach Tim Corbin from 2003 to 2009. It will be fascinating to watch the chess match between Corbin and his former understudy Bakich.
As for best bets, Game 1 is priced correctly but with Vanderbilt’s short history against left handed pitching, I will be on the Wolverines +180 or better. Kumar Rocker’s price in Game 2 will not accurately reflect his recent domination, and with the Commodores against a right-handed Michigan pitcher, I will take the Vanderbilt moneyline and run line in the second game.
A possible Game 3 will have Vanderbilt -200 or more with Mason Hickman facing Karl Kauffmann. In lieu of the spread in Game 3, I will put a normal unit on Exact Series price of Vanderbilt 2-1 +250.
ADDITION AFTER GAME 1: If you did not jump on the exact series price prior to the start of the series, I like Vanderbilt +120 to win the series.
The totals should get some attention. The wind is forecasted to blow out to left or centerfield for the first two games of the series. The Action Network projections have these pitching matchups at 10 runs or more. I am content to watch the Game 1 total in hopes of a move to an 8.5 or 8, but I will be looking for a Game 1 and 2 Over the total at 9 or better.
College World Series Best Bets for Michigan and Vanderbilt
- Exact Series Price Vanderbilt +250
- Game 1 Michigan +180 or better
- Game 2 Vanderbilt -210 or better
- Game 1 Total Over 8.5 or better
- Game 2 Total Over 8.5 or better