College World Series Betting Odds, Predictions: Picks & Projections for Every First-Round Game
Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images
Omaha! Welcome to one of the best sporting events on the calendar that simply does not get enough publicity.
A college baseball national champion will be crowned in the city of Omaha at the newly renamed Charles Schwab Field.
What makes the event a necessary bucket list trip for fans is the close proximity of each program. The College Football Playoff is hosted at two separate venues, and the Final Four is a collection of teams in a major city.
Neither of those compare to the College World Series, which holds eight fanatical fanbases at the friendly intersection of 13th and Mike Fahey Street.
The 2022 Omaha 8!#MCWSpic.twitter.com/X7mNo1sJwS
— NCAA Baseball (@NCAABaseball) June 14, 2022
Another element of Omaha is always the weather, as most College World Series events have extreme delays from storms. Not only is rain limited in the forecast, there will be blazing temperatures in the triple digits throughout bracket play.
Wind direction at the building formerly known as TD Ameritrade is also always a key aspect for fans and bettors. Friday and Saturday games are expected to have stiff breezes coming in from left field, but Omaha is in the Midwest, and that direction can change.
Totals have been a consistent winner when looking at the under, as Park Factors indicate teams have scored 15% fewer runs in Omaha than in their home stadium.
If you’re unfamiliar with the format as a first-time investor of the event, Omaha combines the elements of the Regional and Super Regional. Eight teams are separated into two four-team brackets, playing double elimination to crown a championship-round entry.
The two teams that win their brackets will face off in a best-of-three series to determine a national champion.
This article will look at both brackets — with full pitching projections in every scenario — giving an investor a baseline against oddsmakers with calculations that include ERA, FIP, base runs, bullpen analytics and runs per game.
Check back with Action Network for full analysis on the championship round before Saturday, June 25.
Oklahoma vs. Texas A&M
Opener: Nathan Dettmer vs. Jake Bennett | Oklahoma -120 | Total 10.7
Only two Super Regional hosts made the trip to Omaha, as Texas A&M and Stanford advanced.
The Sooners are one of the unseeded teams to make it to Omaha, thanks to strong pitching led by Jake Bennett. The third-year southpaw has been electric in the postseason, allowing just one earned run in seven innings in the Super Regional opener against Virginia Tech.
The best part of Bennett is being an innings eater, as he’s gone at least six innings in six of his last eight starts.
Jake Bennett is out here just making the big pitches look easy for @OU_Baseballpic.twitter.com/5e2DhcSCF5
— D1Baseball (@d1baseball) June 10, 2022
The Aggies have risen from 150-1 odds to win the national title to just +750 before first pitch. While Micah Dallas is the heralded transfer, Nathan Dettmer has struggled throughout the postseason as an opening starter.
In two starts against Louisiana and Louisville, the sophomore has allowed 10 earned runs over 8.2 innings. The question of fatigue must be asked after throwing 100 pitches in numerous games throughout April.
Dettmer has yet to make it to the sixth inning in May and June, but that might not be needed, as the Aggies feature the biggest bullpen weapon of any team. Closer Jacob Palisch has allowed just four earned runs since March 29, playing a vital role in clinching a trip to Omaha.
TROY CLAUNCH GETS THE WALKOFF KNOCK FOR THE TEXAS A&M AGGIES TO WIN GAME 1 OF THE COLLEGE STATION SUPER REGIONAL #GIGEM#RoadToOmaha#NCAABaseball#CollegeBaseball
— The College Experience (@TCEonSGPN) June 11, 2022
While Texas A&M may have the better bullpen weapon, Oklahoma has the better collective stats in all areas.
The Sooners have posted better numbers in base runs, team FIP and ERA. With Dettmer’s recent issues getting to the sixth inning, the Aggies’ bullpen could be racking up pitch counts early.
Another struggle from Texas A&M in recent games comes against left-handed pitching. The Aggies have two losses in their past 10 games, but those two defeats came to Florida lefty Timmy Manning and Ole Miss lefty Hunter Elliott.
This is a play on Bennett to advance the Sooners while keeping a low score in double-digit winds blowing from left field.
Pick: Oklahoma -120 | Under 13.5 or Better
Texas vs. Notre Dame
Opener: Pete Hansen vs. Austin Temple | Texas -130 | Total 10.6
Nothing has been as close to automatic as Texas in the postseason. The Longhorns only have a single blemish on their resume — an opening Super Regional loss to East Carolina.
With just six outs to go against the Longhorns, the Pirates were well on their way to Omaha for the first time ever. Greenville then saw the strength of the Horns. As a top-10 team in home runs per nine, they homered to tie and then take the lead in a heartbreaker for East Carolina.
WE HAVE A TIE BALLGAME!!!
Skyler Messinger belts a 3-run, game-tying HR in the 8th!!#RoadToOmaha x @TexasBaseballpic.twitter.com/qFgeQTwWJB
— NCAA Baseball (@NCAABaseball) June 11, 2022
The rock-solid pitching from Texas proved to be deflated throughout the postseason, starting with ace Pete Hansen, who has allowed eight earned runs in 10.2 innings pitched through two games. Hansen was the staff anchor, throwing at least 96 pitches in seven of the Longhorns’ last eight games before hosting a Regional.
There have been similar issues for Lucas Gordon, who got lit up by the Pirates for four earned in five innings through the Supers.
The great news for Texas is it has an offense that’s dominating in slugging, led by first baseman Ivan Melendez’s 32 home runs.
Not many picked a Notre Dame series price around 3-1 to beat No. 1 overall seed Tennessee. The Irish posted a top-10 rank in team ERA and WHIP, but a non-conference strength of schedule outside the top 100 left plenty of skepticism on the strength of the roster.
That was put to rest against the Volunteers, as the Fighting Irish received plenty of quality innings from Jack Findlay.
John Michael Bertrand has been the horse of the pitching staff, though. The fifth-year senior was rocked for six earned runs in the Supers after dominating Texas Tech in the Regionals.
Despite Bertrand acting as anchor, Austin Temple is expected to get the start in the College World Series Game 2 between the Horns and Irish. Temple will look to rebound after being knocked out after three innings against Tennessee in the Super Regional.
Notre Dame hopes to keep another high-powered offense at bay by using a number of names from the bullpen.
While Texas is the favorite and has the better offensive numbers, there will be plenty of steam on the Longhorns. Any number at -140 or higher is too much inflation against Notre Dame.
Pick: Notre Dame +120 or Better | Under 11.5 or Better
Bracket 1 Analysis
Oklahoma and Notre Dame have the better odds against the market to advance, but both teams have been reliant on their bullpens to bail out starters not named Bennett.
The Sooners should be fresh for a potential Game 6 in the winners’ bracket, where Notre Dame’s Bertrand would project at -135 over Oklahoma’s David Sandlin. Oklahoma finished the season ranked outside the top 130 in staff ERA, making its chances to race through Bracket 1 without a loss meager.
The question is whether or not the bullpen for Notre Dame is enough to stop the offenses of Texas and Texas A&M from the losers’ bracket.
Because Charles Schwab in Omaha is one of the bigger fields in keeping home runs down, defensive play is crucial. Not only does Texas have the most pop in its bats of the four teams, but the Longhorns are also the top team in the nation in fielding percentage.
That is a key weakness for an Oklahoma team at 97th and a Texas A&M team at 169th.
If this bracket is ultimately decided on the depth of the Notre Dame bullpen versus the sticks of the Longhorns’ lineup, Texas will be playing in the championship series for the 13th time since 1949.
Bracket 1 Winner: Texas Longhorns
Arkansas vs. Stanford
Opener: Connor Noland vs. Alex Williams | Stanford -160 | Total 8.8
The sleeping giant that is Arkansas baseball woke up in Stillwater and continued that run through Chapel Hill.
The Razorbacks scored 37 runs over the final three games at Oklahoma State before having masterful pitching performances and cashing two under tickets in winning the Super Regional against North Carolina.
Head coach Dave Van Horn switched up the rotation in Stillwater and concocted the same formula at North Carolina. Freshman Hagen Smith has been moved to the bullpen, now acting as the Razorbacks’ go-to pitcher when Connor Noland, Zack Morris or Will McEntire need relief.
Hagen Smith… that is all. Goodnight Stillwater! #WooPighttps://t.co/gVBlIiHz31
— Connor Noland (@cnoland_13) June 7, 2022
As Arkansas becomes more dynamic from a pitching front, Stanford rolls into Omaha scheduled to face Noland out of the gate.
Starter Alex Williams is expected in the Cardinal’s first game, but his output over the past three starts has been abominable. Williams has given up 15 earned runs in a short 10.2 innings spanning back to the Pac-12 Tournament.
A total of six earned runs in the second inning against UConn may be of big advantage to Arkansas in the opener.
Stanford has lost just four games since April 23, three of which Williams pitched.
Oddsmakers have respected Arkansas with the opening odds of a pick’em, but the performance of a staff that ranks top-25 in team ERA also brings a top-10 fielding percentage to Omaha.
The Razorbacks are proven commodities on the road, while Stanford posted a 13-8 record away from the Sunken Diamond with a strength of schedule of just 40th.
Not only will Noland’s off-speed arsenal stifle Stanford, but a tremendous defense and the wind blowing in will also help get the total under.
Pick: Arkansas -120 or Better | Under 11.5 or Better
Auburn vs. Ole Miss
Opener: Trace Bright vs. Dylan DeLucia | Auburn -110 | Total 10.1
The great news about “Game 4” on the bracket is the history between the two teams. These two teams played a weekend series last March that saw the Rebels take two out of three. Each instance of the three-game series ended in a blowout, resulting in 60 total runs.
Dylan DeLucia is expected to get the nod for Ole Miss. He faced Auburn in that March series, giving up two earned runs in 3.1 innings. DeLucia was constant in giving up three earned runs a game, but his 5.2 innings of four-hit ball against Southern Miss jump-started the series victory in the Supers.
Dylan DeLucia with the BIG TIME pitching performance for @OleMissBSB!!
5.2 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 9 K#RoadToOmahapic.twitter.com/K6roYS1GrU
— NCAA Baseball (@NCAABaseball) June 11, 2022
Auburn starter Trace Bright also started in the March weekend series against Ole Miss, giving up five runs in a sloppy defensive performance. Bright has not put up the kind of innings expected, posting three starts with fewer than three innings pitched in his last five games.
The Auburn bullpen will be sure to enter this game quickly, with Tommy Sheehan and Carson Skipper carrying the water for the staff.
The strength of this Auburn team has been its instant pop in the bat via Sonny DiChiara.
Swing and a drive! 💥
There's a start courtesy of @SonnyDichiara!
— Auburn Baseball (@AuburnBaseball) June 12, 2022
Both of these teams have consistent issues with their pitching, specifically the lack of innings from starters and the shutdown capability from the bullpens. Dipping into the bullpen in the first game makes the path to the championship game even more challenging.
Look for Ole Miss to win a run fest, but both teams will exhaust their bullpens if DeLucia or Bright don’t bring their best to Omaha.
Pick: Ole Miss -130 or Better | Over 11.5 or Better
Bracket 2 Analysis
Welcome to the SEC West versus the Pac-12. There’s plenty of history between three of these teams, as Arkansas, Auburn and Ole Miss finished second, fourth and fifth in their conference division, respectively.
Arkansas won each series against its conference brethren, with Auburn coming on the road during the first weekend in May. The Razorbacks’ smooth pitching transition that saw Smith go to the bullpen alongside Brady Tygart is the key element in this bracket.
As with the focus in Bracket 1, defense will take precedence in a ballpark that requires elite fielding. Not only is Arkansas the top defensive team in this pod of programs, but the Razorbacks also flashed plenty of pop against Auburn and Ole Miss during the season.
Night night from @__robertmoore_pic.twitter.com/9QstkLz1nI
— Arkansas Baseball (@RazorbackBSB) May 7, 2022
Ole Miss and Stanford are the odd teams out from a defensive perspective, ranking 49th and 107th, respectively.
The Cardinal may have the least trustworthy staff of this group, as Williams and fellow starter Quinn Mathews have taxed the bullpen this postseason. With losses to Texas State and UConn at Sunken Diamond over the past two weeks, Stanford will be the odd team out in this battle royale of the SEC West.
Look for Auburn and Ole Miss to score an abundance of runs while dipping heavily into the bullpen in the first two games.
Neither staff has the numbers the Razorbacks do, while only the Rebels can generate the pop in the sticks that Arkansas does.
Look for the Hogs and Hotty Totty to provide high drama from a run-scoring perspective, as the defense and pitching will get Arkansas in position for its first-ever national title.
Bracket 2 Winner: Arkansas Razorbacks
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