College Baseball Odds and Futures

Your regularly scheduled Masters’ handicapping session is interrupted for this important message. 

The college baseball season is basically at the halfway point and there are still numerous betting options available.  


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Even though the sports betting calendar is about to get jammed with NBA and NHL playoffs, MLB games every night, and the golf major season, college baseball is still worth some of your time and units. 

This sport is a major focus of my spring and early-season handicapping and betting and I always suggest to anyone willing to listen to do likewise. 

The daily odds board is softer than MLB since the books get less college action and therefore rely predominantly on an algorithm for the matchups compared to the pro ranks. 

When the MLB board gets a lot of play based on variables like pitching matchups or exhausted bullpens, all that action forces the books to alter the lines. 

That rarely happens for individual college games. So if someone is handicapping the pitching availability of Dallas Baptist in the second of a three-game series, and it appears advantageous for the Patriots, that bettor is one of the few targeting that side. That leads to a slight edge. The books don’t alter their college baseball overnight lines until an algorithm is triggered. 

Rarely is there an edge in the bettor’s favor for an MLB game. On a daily basis, the books likely know more about the pitching matchups, injuries, travel and umpires than you do. 

Don’t let the lack of household names impact your decision to bet on college baseball. If Georgia’s Charlie Condon hits a homerun to win a game, it pays the same as if Bryce Harper did it. 

Now that this campaign message on college baseball is done, let’s take a deeper look at the futures board. 

DraftKings odds used unless noted otherwise. 


Arkansas Razorbacks

With value in mind, this hog has left the pen. Arkansas is the shortest shot on the board at +550, a 50% reduction from its opening day number. This is just way too low of a number to make a NCAA tournament futures investment on even though Arkansas is the top ranked team in the country and has the best arm in Hagen Smith.

There are more economical ways to play the Razorbacks, such as holding off some units for the SEC tournament where the number of challengers will keep some meat on the odds bone. 

Other futures related bets (when posted) like winning a regional or super regional (and rolling over any winnings) have more value on just 5-1 now to win it all. 

Tennessee Volunteers

DK has the Volunteers +800 to win it all, but if you can look around and find some of the double digit numbers still available, that could be a good addition to a futures portfolio, 

The Vols entered this season with less fanfare compared to the past two after they failed to find Omaha gold. That might be working in their favor as they are excelling with the SEC’s best offense based on the combination of power and speed.

A bet on Tennessee now still comes with some hidden value since the Vols have been winning over the past few weeks without slugging third baseman Billy Amick (appendix). There is no word on when his return will come, nonetheless, when he does, the potent lineup will be even better.

Tennessee’s odds may get an Arkansas-like reduction very shortly. 

Rest of the SEC

Any mention of favorites must include the other top SEC programs since the sport’s best conference has produced the last four College World Series winners. 

Texas A&M made an early season move up the odds board after rolling through the non- conference schedule. The Aggies have four losses – all during SEC play – and should be considered one of the better teams in the conference, probably not the best though. 

That makes their current 10-1 odds somewhat concerning. Revisit the Aggies if they can stay afloat within the SEC. 

LSU is just 3-9 in conference play, however last year’s overall winner comes in near the top of the board at +1200. The Tigers must remain on the betting radar since last season it also took until later in the year for them to become a championship club once their starting rotation and bullpen issues were figured out. That could happen again in 2024. 

The April lull for LSU may create better odds for the Tigers on the SEC tournament futures board. 

Florida (+1300), last year’s runner up, is also underperforming so far. Take the same course of betting action with Florida as LSU. This team can get hot, especially with Jac Caglianone, the best two-way player in the country.

Vanderbilt (+1800) is in the mix for a SEC regular season title and that means the Commodores are in the favorites group. Perhaps a bettor wins a few extra units during the Masters, keep those dollars handy to see what Vandy, which recently took two out of three from LSU, does during upcoming series against Texas A&M and Florida. 

If Vandy takes both series, consider making a futures bet on them while the games are still being played. Any change to the odds board will come a day later or so. If the Commodores win those two series, the 18-1 will be history.  

Be leery of Kentucky. The current SEC leaders come in with much higher odds at +4000. Last year the Wildcats also had a strong regular season but fell early in the SEC tournament and then lost to LSU during the Baton Rouge Super Regional. The other top SEC programs prioritize the postseason much more than what happens prior. 


During our early season look at the college baseball futures board, I recommended holding off on Wake Forest at 7-1 because it was way too low. The Demon Deacons are now +1200 after some injuries and unexpected losses. 

Slugging first baseman Nick Kurtz is back on track and Wake remains a top contender. Still, just like during the first section of the season, hold off on playing the Demon Deacons until closer to the NCAA tournament. A Winston-Salem regional is far from a given.

The reason being is Clemson (+1200) and Duke (+1300) are getting most of the current ACC betting attention. Like the SEC, this power conference will have a number of squads beat each other up and whoever finishes third will still have CWS potential but come with higher odds.

I nabbed both the Tigers and Blue Devils early on when they started the season with big wins while the odds board stayed stagnant. Now the Tigers (25-1) and Duke (70-1) are in my portfolio at a relatively low cost with high potential. Movement like this is why the college baseball futures board should be part of an overall spring betting strategy.

Pac-12 Juggernaut?

The team with my biggest early season investment and the one we recommended at the start is Oregon State. The Beavers at +1500 is a reduction from the +2500 at the start, however, they are still worth a play at this point. OSU has one of the country’s top players in Travis Bazzana and has emerged at the top team in the west. That means they are well in line to host a regional and then super regional. 

The Next Group 

This group is led by East Carolina +2200. In our early season article on college baseball, the Pirates were in the longshot group (+5000) and marked as a top preseason play because the number was so high for a midmajor with major-like potential. So far the Pirates have lived up to the billing and also could host a super regional. The problem is 22-1 is low from the realistic and value standpoint. ECU is always going to be a step below the SEC and ACC teams in a tournament where depth is essential. 

The Number 9 team in the country has two great arms in Trey Yesavage and Zach Root and could win a series against any opponent. The 22-1 odds are absolutely the lowest a futures bettor should consider going. 

The other teams residing in this neighborhood tend to be those who have moved on up during the first half. 

The aforementioned Patriots of DBU (+2800) now call this home after starting the year at 90-1. They are in my portfolio with the intention of monetizing a ticket against them in the NCAA tournament or utilizing a cash out option once the calendar turns to May. 

For those who also have a Patriots ticket, good news so far, they could host a regional. 

Other teams in this odds range like Alabama (+2800), Florida State (+3000), Virginia (+3000), TCU (+3000) and South Carolina (+4500) are there for a reason – good potential but clearly lower in the power conference pecking order than some other counterparts.

Perhaps the best team to consider here is North Carolina (+3000). The Tar Heels, with a league leading 11 conference wins, have gone largely unnoticed because Clemson, Duke and Florida State did so much during non-conference play. 

A +7000 ticket on Coastal Carolina or UC Irvine still has the potential to be monetized at those odds. The number is high enough and these two teams could have a surprise regional win based on their likely geographic opponents. 


Handicappers should look at these teams with the idea of targeting those who have the pitching to get hot, make an NCAA tournament appearance, and win at least one regional game to start the process of monetizing a ticket. 

UC Santa Barbara (+10000) could knock off Irvine in the Big West conference tournament to earn a bid. Some early tournament bracketology has included Oklahoma State (+9000),  Oregon (+10000) and Indiana State (+13000).

Northeastern (+20000) is worth a Mitch and Pauly pizza bet. 

Also, UCF at that same price is worth a pizza with extra toppings bet. The Golden Knights are ranked in the Top 25 of some polls and could possibly host a regional if they finish the Big 12 season in the top quarter of the standings. Even if that doesn’t happen, a No.2 seed and a 200-1 ticket are a good pairing.  


There is a common debate among bettors regarding the cash out option sometimes offered by books. Usually, the conclusion is that cash outs are a bad move to make from the bettor’s perspective. The reason being books aren’t offering cash outs out of the goodance of their heart and the total is derived from poor proportional odds. 

A bettor who puts down $1,000 on Kansas City to win the Super Bowl would likely be making a bad decision to cash out once the playoffs start just because they were offered $1,200 and could make a small profit. 

Consider a different cash out philosophy when it comes to college baseball futures. 

Backing long shots can be viewed similarly to buying penny stocks. Investors doing so are looking to make a quick profit and easily get out.  

Nobody buys a penny stock thinking they are getting in on the next Google. Likewise nobody should invest in a triple-digit long shot with the expectation of that team winning it all. Before you bring up Oral Roberts making it to Omaha with 175-1 odds, remember, LSU actually cashed the final ticket. 

I take a penny stock strategy with longshots like UCF, DBU and Northeastern. The books

priced these legitimate tournament teams from the start way too high because they have little chance of winning a title. Their odds though will have to be adjusted once the tournament gets closer and they will be just one out of a 64 team field. Due to liability concerns, books may offer a cash out on these teams prior to the start of tournament action. 

I also look to buy multiple small tickets on those teams in order to create the opportunity to cash out some for a profit, hedge with others, while keeping one in pocket to let it ride as long as possible. 

This method won’t lead to a bettor cashing a ticket in order to pay for a new Corvette. Rather it can help incrementally build the bankroll to have more bullets to fire when the tournament turns to Omaha. 

Tuesdays and Wednesdays 

These are in my estimation the best days of the week to bet on college baseball. Tuesdays and Wednesdays are predominantly non-conference games where the larger program hosts or travels to a lesser ranked regional opponent. The motivation angle swings heavily toward the plus dog that will often use its top lineup in order to make a statement win. The larger program is saving its best players for an upcoming conference opponent it deems more worthy. 

It is an angle I have played extensively this season and recommend. It takes only a couple of winners at prices like +180 to +230 to make this profitable. Look at all the top ranked teams in the country and by far most of them have dropped mid-week games to heavy underdogs.

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Aaron Moore
Aaron Moore is a currently a professor of sports media at Rider University and a VSiN contributor. His sports media professional background includes working for The Philadelphia Inquirer, Los Angeles Times, The Sporting News, YES Network, Basketball Times and the Philadelphia Phillies radio network. Moore’s writing and handicapping focuses on college basketball and football. His interest in sports betting started at the age of 8 when his father would take him to “Sunday School”, which was a local watering hole in Upstate New York to watch and make wagers on NFL games. Leading those Sunday services was Brent Musburger.