NCAA Baseball - Opening Weekend/Week Recap:
Updated: Feb 25, 2022
The MLB may be in a potential lock-out, but there’s no shortage of baseball on the college front as we kick off the season with a bang. Below, I recap the weekend and the week of baseball we’ve had so far, big games upcoming that I’ll be looking to bet this weekend, plus, I’ll give you my Omaha 8, along with their most current odds. Thanks for being here!
Louisiana Tech (4-0)
After sweeping Wichita State and handling LSU 11-6 at the Love Shack, Louisiana Tech sits 4-0, with all the momentum on their side. From top to bottom, their roster is solid. This team could very easily host a Regional and is one to keep an eye on.
Long Beach State (2-1)
I don’t think anyone saw Long Beach coming into Dudy Noble Field and waxing Mississippi State in its first two games, but they did. They outscored the reigning champs 16-3 in their first two games, taking the series, before losing their final game 12-4. Needless to say, I know it’s early, but the Dirtbags look like they can be a force against top level competition.
Texas started off the season as the shortest shot to win it all, which makes sense. Texas has a very good baseball team and they did what they were supposed to do against Rice, winning their series by a combined 36-3.
Oklahoma State (2-2)
Let me start off by saying that when I saw Circa posted Oklahoma State as one of the short shots to win the College World Series, I wondered what they saw. After taking their series against Vanderbilt 2-1, I now understand what they saw in setting those lines. Top to bottom, Oklahoma State has a talented squad that will definitely compete with Texas for the Big 12. Unfortunately, they dropped a mid-week game to Sam Houston State 6-3, but I can’t beat them up too bad.
Tennessee did what they were supposed to do vs Georgia Southern, but I think the most impressive thing Tennessee did was pitching two shutouts. I didn’t expect the SEC in general to be in the pitching category as years past, but Tennessee looks to have a lot of potential at that position. We’ll see how many runs these guys can prevent against the outstanding offenses in the SEC when conference play begins.
NC State (5-0)
Last years team of destiny that was cut short due to a COVID outbreak opened up their series right where they left off, with an absolute thrashing of Evansville, 24-6. The Wolfpack offense stole the show as they combined for 37 runs through their three game series. Freshman infielder, Tommy White may have already locked up freshman of the year. This kid looks special.
Florida State (3-1)
With one of the best pitching rotations in the country, the Seminoles will be tough to beat in a series with their co-aces, Messick and Hubbart starting off every series.
After getting the clean 3-0 sweep at the State Farm Showdown, Arizona looks pretty solid on offense, scoring a combined 35 runs through their first three games, which was against decent opponents in Kansas State, Oklahoma, and Texas Tech.
Oregon State (5-0)
I don’t know if Oregon State could’ve put together a better weekend than what they did in the College Baseball Classic. Coming out unscathed at 4-0, this Beavers team outscored its opponents 56 to 14. The offense is lethal, the pitching was solid. The Beavers look legit.
After going into a Top 25 team’s house and sweeping them, you get my respect. I had to look up where Bryant University was, but hats off to them. They get the nod and make this list out of pure respect.
Texas Tech (2-2)
Starting the season, I had a lot of hopes for Texas Tech. After having the perfect opportunity in the State Farm College Baseball Showdown, facing three teams I felt that they could sweep, they barely get by Michigan 7-6, lose to Auburn 2-1, and then get throttled by Arizona 13-2. I know it’s early, but Texas Tech doesn’t look like they’re going to be in Omaha this year.
Mississippi State (1-2)
Reigning champs return home to take on the Dirtbags of Long Beach State and get blanked in game one, blown out in game two, and finally found some rhythm in game three, but ended up losing the series. I don’t want to sound like a Bulldog hater, but Mississippi State doesn’t look like they’ve got the talent they had last year to make it back to Omaha.
East Carolina (1-3)
After suffering a sweep at home against the Bryant Bulldogs, the Pirates bounced back with a 10-3 win over Campbell, but their season didn’t start out as well as they hoped. We’ll see if East Carolina can get it together in their series against North Carolina, but this Omaha hopeful needs to get the bad taste out of their mouths quick.
After being stunned by a 3-2 loss to Illinois State in game one of their series, Arkansas got things clicking a little bit as they end up taking the series, but boy it wasn’t very pretty. I have high hopes for the Razorback offense this year, but so far I’ve been most impressed with our pitching. Hagen Smith threw 6 shutout innings, Kole Ramage came in and looked solid, and Jaxon Wiggins also looked pretty impressive. If Arkansas can get its bats going like they’re capable of, they’ll be a force.
MY OMAHA 8 (In no particular order):
Texas (5-0) +650
Louisiana Tech (4-0) +7500
NC State (5-0) +2000
Arizona (4-1) +3300
Arkansas (2-1) +1500
Tennessee (4-0) +3300
Florida State (3-1) +2200
Oregon State (5-0) +3300
This weekend’s slate I’m keeping an eye on:
There’s a pretty good slate of baseball on this weekend, with series beginning on Friday at 1:00 PM CST, you can watch the opening game of the Round Rock Classic, which will be Louisiana Lafayette (3-1) vs Stanford (3-1) on the Flo Sports App. Depending on the odds of that game as well as the others, I’ll post my bets on my twitter, @GrissomTweets.
Following that game, Arkansas (2-1) takes on Indiana (0-3) in the other matchup at Round Rock. I figure Arkansas will be in the -240 range, but we’ll see. Indiana is coming off a 0-3 sweep against Clemson and will be looking at Arkansas for their first win of the season.
Outside of the Round Rock Classic, there are some good series matches going on as well. Alabama (5-0) faces Texas (5-0) in Austin. I feel like Texas will be a pretty heavy favorite in these matchups, so depending on the number, I may take Alabama if the price is right.
North Carolina (4-0) gets East Carolina (0-3) in what I think should be a pretty good series. Depending on the numbers, I’ll likely be on the overs and a side. I think East Carolina will bring the bats and be ready to get a win or two, but North Carolina can hit the ball themselves, so expect some runs in this series.
There will likely be other games that I’ll bet on, it just depends on what books offer. With the popularity of College Baseball not yet where I’d like it to be, it’s getting better. Props to Circa Sports for posting College Baseball lines as often as they have. The more we can get series put on television, actual television, not streaming, the more popular it will become. For those that haven’t really gotten into it, now is the perfect time. It’s incredibly entertaining, competitive, and full of action.