LSU Vs. Wake Forest: Skenes Vs. Lowder College World Series Odds Preview
The LSU Tigers (51-16) take on the Wake Forest Demon Deacons (54-11) in a winner-takes-all semifinal in the 2023 Men’s College World Series. The victor of this game advances to the CWS finals to take on the Florida Gators. LSU is a -195 favorite and Wake is lined at +165 on the money line. LSU’s Paul Skenes (13-2, 1.81 ERA) squares off against Wake Forest’s Rhett Lowder (15-0, 1.87 ERA) in a blockbuster pitching duel. The game will be broadcast Thursday, June 22 at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN from Omaha, Neb. Below, we compare Wake Forest vs. LSU odds at the best sports betting sites.
These two teams led College World Series odds all season long. If not for being stuck in the same CWS bracket, they likely would still be the top two favorites to capture the title.
College World Series Semifinal: LSU Vs. Wake Forest Odds
CWS Game Preview
On Wednesday, Wake Forest ran out their No. 4 starter, Seth Keener, and appeared to be resistant to bring in reliever Sean Sullivan. Keener found himself in trouble multiple times in his 4.1 IP and he surrendered five runs. Sullivan pitched the final 3.2 innings, allowing just two hits and no runs.
The reason for the hesitancy to bring Sullivan in? Perhaps a lackadaisical approach to Wednesday’s game with a loss to spare. Instead, Wake and LSU head to a loser-goes-home game with a spot in the CWS finals on the line. Worse yet, Wake’s time in Omaha now comes directly down to a mano-y-mano battle between the teams’ aces.
Since touching down in Omaha, Wake Forest’s bats fell silent. The Deacs scored 75 runs in the Regional and Super Regional round – including 22 against Alabama in the clinching Supers game – but averaged just 2.67 runs through three games in the College World Series. All around, scoring is down from the NCAA Baseball Championship rounds (expectedly), but Wake’s drop off is stark. In the College World Series, Wake is batting under .200. Skenes allows an opposing .170 batting average.
LSU demonstrated their power Wednesday, with DH Cade Beloso hitting a third-inning home run. Dylan Crews and Tommy White both nearly sent one over the fence in their elimination game against Tennessee, but a stiff 15 mph breeze knocked those hits down. With wind being less of a factor Thursday, expect the power capability of LSU’s lineup to return.
While Lowder allows few runs, he has given up the long ball to better hitting teams. Against Maryland and Alabama this postseason, he allowed two homers each. He’s also allowed at least one home run in three of his last five starts.
Weather Forecast for LSU vs. Wake Forest
Highs in Omaha are forecast to reach 90 degrees with a slight wind from center field between 7-10 mph. There is no threat of rain during the game. As opposed to run totals getting bet down due to the weather earlier this week, total movement for this game is based on the pitching.
- Wake Forest: Rhett Lowder (15-0, 1.87 ERA, 3.65 FIP)
- LSU: Paul Skenes (13-2, 1.81 ERA, 2.06 FIP)
As if the College World Series couldn’t get any better. LSU vs. Wake Forest presents us with a marquee matchup between the top two pitchers in the nation – Skenes and Lowder.
Either pitcher would normally pencil in an automatic win for the team. Lowder boasts an unbeaten record on the season while Skenes has two losses on his ledger. However, in each of those losses, Skenes allowed just two runs apiece.
Early sudden market movement in favor of LSU suggests the market as a whole is more bullish on Skenes than Lowder. The Air Force transfer sits just two strikeouts away from the SEC single-season record; he has 200 Ks in 114.2 IP. The all-time strikeouts record for a season is 234, a number that Skenes almost surely won’t threaten.
Comparisons aside, Lowder vs. Skenes presents a premier matchup and appointment television.
LSU Vs. Wake Forest Odds Analysis
LSU opened as a -130 favorite, a number that almost instantly climbed to -140. By Thursday morning, that had climbed as far as -210. I bet 1u on LSU -140 and added another 1u on LSU -145.
The opening run total also went on a quick ride, falling from 10.5 at opening to 8.5 and causing some books to take their numbers down. If you were able to get your hands on the original 10.5 number, you locked in terrific closing line value.
Unfortunately, with such rapid changing odds from open, analyzing what’s left of the odds wouldn’t be very helpful. CLV is long, long gone. The bottom line is, if you got your hands on opening numbers, you’re in a much better position than those who did not. If you weren’t able to scoop the brief openers, you may want to sit back and enjoy the spectacle rather than try to bet on has-been markets.
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