College World Series Odds: UNC vs. FSU Elimination Game Tuesday Afternoon

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Written By Brett Gibbons | Last Updated
UNC florida State odds CWS

It’s time for an elimination game at the 2024 College World Series. The North Carolina Tar Heels battle the Florida State Seminoles in a win-or-go-home Game 9 on Tuesday. UNC fell to Tennessee on Sunday, 6-1, while Florida State stayed alive against Virginia, 7-3. College World Series odds show Florida State as a -125 favorite while UNC is +100 to win. So far, favorites are 8-0 straight up at the CWS.

North Carolina vs. Florida State begins Tuesday at 2:00 p.m. ET from Charles Schwab Field in Omaha, Nebraska. Watch the game on ESPN or ESPN+. The winner of this game will then have to beat Tennessee twice to advance to the National Championship series.

College baseball: UNC Vs. Florida State Odds

Compare UNC vs. Florida State game odds from the best sports betting sites below. Click on odds to place a bet.

The Case For North Carolina

Top to bottom, North Carolina has a better and deeper rotation of arms to use on Tuesday. Although they warmed up six bullpen arms in their last two games, the Tar Heels used less of each pitcher, and everyone should be available. Between the two teams, Carolina has the shutdown closer, Dalton Pence (1.92 ERA, 8 saves). Opposing teams bat a paltry .161 against Pence; should UNC take a late-game lead, it’s more capable of slamming the door shut than Florida State.

Star Vance Honeycutt has answered the call. Honeycutt delivered walk-offs in two of three games, sending a homer over the wall in Game 1 of the Super Regionals and singling to walk off Virginia in the opening game at the CWS. In Game 2 of the Supers, he also homered, lifting Carolina to a 2-1 victory. Even in the Heels’ 6-1 loss to Tennessee, Honeycutt was the lone offensive spark, homering in the sixth inning.

But starting pitcher Aidan Haugh (4-2, 4.53) and the Carolina bullpen have to pitch another masterclass. Florida State’s offense is as dangerous as anyone, demonstrated by 64 scored runs in its last five tournament games.

The North Carolina pitching staff sits third in FIP (4.89) among CWS teams, behind Tennessee and Texas A&M.

The Case Against

Runs have been difficult to come by for North Carolina as a whole. In the NCAA Tournament, UNC averages just 4.9 runs per game (combined six runs in its last three). The lone spark from the plate has been Honeycutt, who’s homered in three of his last four games.

Haugh hasn’t been spectacular in his last couple of outings. Opening the door to FSU’s offense early is a dangerous place to be – the ‘Noles can pour it on.

The Case for Florida State

Both teams are using a short-term starter/opener this game. Florida State calls upon Andrew Armstrong (5-0, 6.98) to get things rolling in this elimination game. When all else is equal on the mound, which team’s bats are more live? The answer is a clear Florida State.

Against the elite pitching rotation of Tennessee, the ‘Noles dropped 11 runs on four extra-base hits. Haugh, the opposing pitcher, struggled in his last couple of times out. As shown before, Florida State is dangerous when they can jump out to an early lead.

The last team to hold FSU to under five runs was Duke in the ACC Championship; that’s only happened twice since the start of May. Carolina failed to score five runs in five of its last six games. No offense is currently firing on all cylinders quite like Florida State.

The Case Against

In Armstrong’s first 14 appearances, he allowed three or more earned runs twice. In his last eight appearances, he allowed 3+ runs five times. But Armstrong hasn’t pitched since the ACC Tournament. In that outing, he allowed three hits and three runs to Wake Forest in just 1.2 IP. FSU will need the bullpen to step up – a bullpen that’s already turned in 132 pitches.

In Armstrong’s last four appearances, he’s received 11.8 runs in support per game. Can the ‘Noles count on nearly 12 runs against a UNC rotation that’s given that number up twice all season?

Expected Pitching Matchup

The strategy for pitching in the College World Series is extremely difficult. Do you keep your ace arms for elimination games? Maintain your usual rotation? Or exercise the big guns early to avoid getting in elimination games at all?

We likely won’t know starters until 24 hours before (or even fewer), but here’s who may go if both teams rely on their usual rotation.

North Carolina: Aidan Haugh (4-2, 4.53 ERA)

  • Struggled his last time out against LSU. Allowed four runs on five hits, including a home run. The Tar Heels are 8-5 in games Haugh appeared in since starting ACC play in mid-March.

Florida State: Andrew Armstrong (5-0, 6.98 ERA)

  • Walked three, allowed three hits and three runs, and struck out just one batter last time out against Wake Forest. In his last four starts, Armstrong received an average of 11.8 runs in support.

Final Thoughts on UNC Vs. Florida State Odds

Both bullpens have thrown exactly 132 pitches through two games so far. UNC has used more arms (six) than FSU (four), but the ‘Noles are out of help from top pitchers like Carson Dorsey (106 pitches thrown Sunday) and still likely Jamie Arnold (98 pitches thrown Friday). And though elimination is on the line, do you attempt to burn aces on short rest, knowing you’ll be without them in the semifinals against Tennessee?

Armstrong likely only goes a max four innings against UNC; he’s never topped 4.1 innings this season and only hit the four-inning threshold twice. In this game, you’re hoping to get eight innings from two guys and send Brennan Oxford (3.31) or Connor Hults (4.45) in to shut the door. On the other hand, Haugh has been used as an opener and middle reliever, but has longer starts under his belt. Dalton Pence is ready to go for UNC.

I think the run of favorites ends here, and I was genuinely surprised to see Florida State favored. I’m betting UNC +100 to win.