College Baseball Regionals Odds: Wake Forest, LSU, Florida, More
Perhaps the most overlooked postseason tournament in sports, the 2023 college baseball tournament is here. Sixty-four teams compete for eight coveted spots in the College World Series in Omaha, Neb., over the next two weeks. The Regionals round of the NCAA Tournament brings some of the most exciting moments in college sports. Below, we’ll unpack college baseball regionals odds for all 16 groupings.
The field is broken up into 16 four-team pods, each of which plays a double-elimination style tournament. The victor of each region advances to the next round, dubbed the “Super Regionals.” Those teams play a three-game series to advance to Omaha.
Last year’s final two teams – Ole Miss and Oklahoma – both made improbable runs, beginning as No. 3 seeds in their respective regionals. Could there be another team (or teams) prepared to do the same in 2023?
College Baseball Regionals Odds
Related: College World Series odds
Winston-Salem Regional (Wake Forest)
The top overall seed in the tournament, Wake Forest, is a healthy favorite to emerge victorious from their region and stands atop odds boards to both make and win the College World Series. The Demon Deacons handle two conference champions – Maryland (Big Ten) and Northeastern (Colonial) – both of whom rank respectably in RPI.
However, the pitching corps for Wake stands in a tier on its own by far in this region. Four of their five starters post an ERA under 3 and they lead the nation in FIP (3.63). The nearest team, Northeastern, has just one regular starter with an ERA under 3 and a team FIP of 4.33. Notably, the Huskies are 7-0 against top-50 teams this season.
Gainesville Regional (Florida)
Not making the SEC Tournament final didn’t deter the selection committee from offering the Gators the No. 2 overall seed in the country. Florida won 20 conference games in the nation’s toughest league thanks to a stellar lineup. Their weighted on-base average (wOBA, which gives credit for extra-base hits that offer more value than merely reaching base) stands third in the field of 64.
Florida also draws a favorable group, with UConn arguably the weakest No. 2 seed in the tournament. The Huskies played just three top-50 opponents all season long, going 1-2, and have a resume closer to a No. 3 seed (aside from RPI, which was expressly laid out as the deciding factor in seeding). Texas Tech should not be counted out in this bracket, as the Red Raiders went 17-9 against non-conference opponents this year.
Fayetteville Regional (Arkansas)
No matter the year or sport, group-stage tournaments always feature a “Group of Death.” This year, the Fayetteville Regional might boast just that. Arkansas, the No. 3 overall seed, hosts TCU (Big 12 tournament champions and winners of 12 of their last 13 games), Arizona (45th in RPI despite being a last-four in team), and Santa Clara (second-highest RPI among four seeds). It’s no surprise that the Razorbacks aren’t odds-on favorites in their own region (Editor’s note: The Razorbacks initially opened around +115).
TCU really is the team to keep an eye on in this group. Despite a difficult road to the Super Regionals, they have one of the nation’s hottest teams, bogged down by the stigma of a meandering middle of the season. Their pitching staff was a real liability, but late-season shifts to the starting lineup and an increased reliance on an extremely talented freshman class makes the Horned Frogs an intriguing bet this postseason.
Clemson Regional (Clemson)
Though Fayetteville may have drawn the toughest group top to bottom, Clemson drew the toughest one-two punch of the tournament. The Tigers are the nation’s hottest team, rising from seemingly nowhere to win the ACC Tournament (at +600) and secure a top-four national seed. As a reward? They received Tennessee – an extremely talented but underperforming group.
The Vols roster an extremely talented rotation that only ranks behind Wake Forest in FIP (3.88). However, Tennessee is 4-12 away from Rocky Top this season and the confines of Clemson won’t be so friendly. The Tigers also boast an impressive 21-10 record against top-50 competition.
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Baton Rouge Regional (LSU)
|3||Sam Houston State||+650|
A late-season stumble and early exit from the SEC Tournament likely cost LSU the top overall seed. Postseasons are all about momentum and LSU is far from the hottest program in the country at the moment. However, when it comes to pure roster talent, there may not be a better team in the nation. Ace Paul Skenes (167 Ks in 90.1 IP) nearly pencils in a W for the Tigers with every start but their bullpen raises a few questions.
The No. 2 seed, Oregon State, provides a tough road to the Supers for LSU. Against LSU’s rotation, though, Oregon State needs to find their bats quickly, as the Beavers rank last in wOBA among No. 2 seeds (.372).
Elsewhere in the region, Tulane enters as a longshot after winning just 18 games this season, shocking the AAC Tournament to grab an auto-bid.
Also notable, Oregon State travels farther than any other team to their regional (over 2,500 miles!).
Nashville Regional (Vanderbilt)
Thanks to a favorable group (ninth in average RPI rank) and the potential Super Regional matchup with Oklahoma State, Vanderbilt has among the best odds to advance to the College World Series. Oregon secured the No. 2 seed by winning the Pac-12 Tournament, but the Ducks are third in RPI from that conference, behind Oregon State and Washington. As far as No. 2 seeds go, the Ducks’ resume is among the weakest, going just 5-11 against top-50 opponents this season. They also have the second-longest commute of any regional team.
In terms of RPI, Xavier is a middle-of-the-pack No. 3 seed, but also boasts a poor record against top-50 competition (4-12). It comes as no surprise that Vanderbilt has the fourth-best odds to win their region of any team.
Charlottesville Regional (Virginia)
The No. 1 seed Virginia has their hands full with their regional grouping. No. 2 seed East Carolina likely would have hosted their own regional if not for a disappointing showing in the AAC Tournament. While ECU’s batting leaves much to be desired (.388 wOBA ranks 42nd in the tournament), they match up well against a group devoid of offensive powerhouses.
The Cavaliers boast an incredible home field advantage, though, having gone 31-4 at home (.886). They avoided the ACC’s top teams, playing neither Wake Forest nor Clemson, but UVA does have a 6-3 record against top-25 teams in RPI, per D1Baseball.
Stanford Regional (Stanford)
|3||Cal State Fullerton||+600|
|4||San Jose State||+1750|
Seeking their third consecutive CWS appearance, Stanford locked in the No. 8 overall seed and a tough draw in their regional. Their chief competition is Texas A&M, a terrific postseason team that made a run at Omaha last season and were SEC Tournament runners-up just last week. An argument can be made against the Aggies, however, as they travel over 1,800 miles to Stanford, the fourth-longest trek in the field.
Cal State Fullerton is a solid No. 3 seed, as well, posting nine wins against top-50 teams this season. Stanford takes the crown with a 12-6 record against top-50 opponents, tied for the fourth-best win percentage in the tournament. The Cardinal also have the best offense in the group by a healthy margin (.423 wOBA, 13th among tournament teams).
Coral Gables Regional (Miami)
Expect the Coral Gables Regional to be filled with low-scoring pitchers duels among a few strong teams. No team ranks inside the top 20 in wOBA (Maine leads at 23rd) and three of the four rank inside the top 15 in fielding percentage. Miami flexed their muscles en route to an ACC runner-up bid, but the ‘Canes have one of the weaker resumes among the No. 1 seeds.
Texas, like East Carolina, likely missed out on hosting a regional due to an early exit from their conference tournament. Unlike last year’s Longhorn team that made a run to Omaha, this year’s Texas team lacks in batting. No players hit 20 home runs and their wOBA is fourth-lowest among the No. 2 seeds. However, two of their three regular starters have an ERA under 3 and they have a long list of dependable relievers.
Conway Regional (Coastal Carolina)
For the top two teams in the Conway Regional, it’s strength vs. strength. Coastal Carolina has the fourth-highest wOBA (.448) in the tournament field while Duke has the fifth-lowest FIP (4.21) in the tournament. The Blue Devils – once a hot team with lots of market value – dropped eight of their final 11 games, including consecutive losses in the ACC Tournament to NC State and Miami.
On the other hand, the Chanticleers won nine of their final 11 games before being eliminated from the Sun Belt Tournament. Despite facing the second-toughest non-conference schedule (per RPI), Coastal still went 7-6 against top-50 opponents. UNC Wilmington also played a difficult non-conference schedule – which included beating TCU in a three-game series – but went 6-10 against top-50 competition.
Stillwater Regional (Oklahoma State)
Oklahoma State is the lone Big 12 team to host a regional this postseason as the normally juggernaut conference underperformed this season. They land perhaps the most well-balanced regional that ranks the toughest, per average RPI. Even the No. 4 seed, Oral Roberts, is the highest-ranked four, with a top-20 FIP (4.90) and top-three fielding percentage (.984).
The other two teams also present a challenge, as Dallas Baptist (+225) has the third-best RPI among No. 2 seeds and Washington has the fifth-best RPI among No. 3 seeds. All three non-hosting teams in the Stillwater Regional boast terrific records away from home, spearheaded by Oral Roberts’ 18-6 mark. Washington travels the third-farthest distance among tournament teams.
Lexington Regional (Kentucky)
Despite an 11-11 conference record and the No. 12 overall seed, Kentucky ranks No. 2 in RPI and No. 1 in College Baseball Nation’s RPI+ metric. Outside of league play, Kentucky is 20-4 – a non-conference schedule that ranks the ninth-hardest, per RPI. They draw West Virginia, who competed for a Big 12 title before falling apart down the stretch of the season, and Indiana, which tops the Big Ten in RPI.
The Mountaineers posted a 10-6 record against top-50 opponents, all of which came in Big 12 play. Indiana went 7-11 in conference, 2-4 against top-25 competition. The victor of this region has a tough draw in the Supers, possibly against LSU.
Auburn Regional (Auburn)
Perhaps the weakest of the regions, Auburn managed to draw a hosting position over teams like Dallas Baptist and Boston College despite ranking 19th in RPI, behind both teams. Southern Miss, which missed out on hosting despite winning the Sun Belt, tops the group in pitching with a 4.98 FIP, but that’s still 10th among No. 2 seeds in the tournament. Samford is the second-lowest rated No. 3 seed in the tournament (70th in RPI).
An interesting conversation surrounds the No. 4 seed, Penn. Despite ranking 117th in RPI, their regional odds are substantially lower than other No. 4 seeds and they stack up respectably in both pitching (5.07 FIP) and defensively (.977 fielding percent). They’ve won their last eight games, but in their lone contests against top-50 competition, they were swept by South Carolina.
Terre Haute Regional (Indiana State)
Indiana State holds on slightly to their role as the favorite in their own regional (Editor’s note: This is no longer true but the Sycamores opened +200). They own the longest odds of any of the hosts, which is supported by some weakness in the stats. Namely, the Sycamores are 2-9 against top-50 opponents this season. Iowa and North Carolina present seriously tough draws. The Hawkeyes notably roster a terrific pitching staff, led by three rock-solid starters.
That Iowa rotation counters a poor hitting Indiana State team (.367 wOBA, worst among non-No. 4 seeds). North Carolina will be without all-conference outfielder Vancy Honeycutt, who is out for the Regionals with an injury. While not a complete death sentence for the Tar Heels, Honeycutt’s absence hurts their chances to advance.
Columbia Regional (South Carolina)
Similarly to Kentucky, South Carolina falls lower on the seeding ladder than their RPI might suggest. After starting 25-2 on the season, the Gamecocks finished 14-17. They played one of the most difficult schedules nationally, which included consecutive series against LSU, Florida, Auburn, Kentucky, Arkansas, and Tennessee (five regional hosts and the highest-ranked No. 2 seed).
South Carolina draws one of the top hitting teams in the nation, Campbell. The Camels put together their second straight 40-win and fifth-straight 35-win season (save 2020) and they lead the tournament field in wOBA (.467). NC State also presents a challenge, despite being a last-four team in. The Wolfpack struggled against top-50 competition, going just 10-17 on the season, but are top 25 in RPI.
Tuscaloosa Regional (Alabama)
Note: Tuscaloosa Regional odds are not available in many states following an investigation into the Alabama baseball program.
Despite losing their coach near the end of the season, the Tide still rolls on. Alabama worked its way to the SEC Tournament semifinals before losing to eventual champion Vanderbilt. They pull a difficult No. 2 seed, Boston College, but favorable other teams with Troy and Nicholls. Of the group, Boston College holds the biggest advantage, excelling in pitching and on defense. However, their bats lack, as their wOBA stands 46th in the tournament field.
Different sportsbooks in different states implemented different restrictions on Alabama. There’s a strong chance that many will not allow bettors to wager on the Tide throughout the tournament, which could be an interesting situation should they work their way to Omaha.