LSU vs. Tennessee: 2023 College World Series Odds, Preview, TV Start Time
The No. 5 overall seed LSU Tigers (48-15) take on the unseeded Tennessee Volunteers (43-20) in the opening round of the College World Series. LSU is a healthy -180 favorite at DraftKings Sportsbook, the second-biggest favorite of the opening round. Earlier in the season, LSU took two of three games at home against the Vols. The game begins Saturday, June 17, at 7:00 p.m. ET from Omaha. It will be broadcast on ESPN and streamed on ESPN+. Below, we’ll compare LSU vs. Tennessee odds at the best sports betting sites.
College World Series: LSU Vs. Tennessee Odds
Of LSU’s nine regular starters, eight of them have 10+ home runs; six of them boast an OPS over 1.000. NC State transfer Tommy White leads the team with 22 round-trippers. All-American Dylan Crews follows with 17 bombs. As many headlines as the LSU starting pitchers get, the bats may be the best in the tournament field. The Tigers top the field in wOBA (0.448) and season-long strength of schedule (14). Even against Tennessee – who stands second in the CWS in FIP (3.88) – LSU presents a dangerous challenge at the plate.
But LSU’s biggest advantage in this game in particular is ace Paul Skenes. The right-handed junior leads the nation with 188 strikeouts (107 IP) and has walked only 18 batters all season long. The splits are ridiculous and Skenes gives LSU an enormous boost. In his two lone losses this season, he allowed two runs apiece at South Carolina in April and at Georgia in May.
Tennessee has their work cut out for them. Underseeded in the original NCAA Baseball Championship field, the Vols flexed their pitching chops in their CWS-clinching game against Southern Miss. While Chase Dollander (7-6, 4.50 ERA) turned in a disappointing start to the season, he’s won five of his last seven starts, the last two coming in the tournament. Chase Burns (4.64, 105 strikeouts) found a more apt role as a closer, fanning the last nine batters against Southern Miss and topping out at 102 mph on his fastball.
The Vols are among the best-suited teams to face LSU. They have enough pop at the plate to dig into LSU’s bullpen, which may be the Tigers’ weakest unit. But the key for Tennessee is keeping LSU’s bats at bay with a strong pitching performance.
Starters for LSU vs. Tennessee likely won’t be released until near the start of the game. However, based on previous rotations, we can make an educated guess at who we will see on the bump Friday.
- LSU: Paul Skenes (12-2, 1.77 ERA, 1.85 FIP)
- Tennessee: Andrew Lindsey (3-3, 2.79 ERA, 4.55 FIP )
Not much introduction is necessary for Skenes. In his last two tournament starts, he allowed two runs – including zero in the Supers against Kentucky – and struck out 21, issuing just one walk. Lindsey allowed four runs to Southern Miss and picked up his third loss on the season. Typically in an opening role, Lindsey went six or more innings in three of his last four starts.
LSU Vs. Tennessee Odds Analysis
Whenever Skenes takes the mound, LSU is bound to be a heavy favorite. In his one start against Tennessee this season, he allowed one run and struck out 12 in seven innings of work. The Tigers are heavily overvalued, per College Baseball Nation’s projections, but a bet against LSU is a bet against Skenes. It’s for that reason I’m not betting Tennessee.
The market favored the Tigers after opening at -175 at DraftKings Sportsbook. Tennessee can be found as long as +148 at BetRivers at the time of writing, which still keeps a higher hold on this game than typical games (4.6%).
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