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2017 College World Series – LSU vs Florida Games 1-3 and O/U Betting

Florida Gators(50-19-0) @ LSU Tigers(52-18-0)

  • Where: TD Ameritrade Park. Omaha, NE
  • When: June 26, 2017 7:00 pm EST
  • Moneyline: Florida (+120) vs LSU (-140)
  • Over / Under: Over 8 (+100) vs Under 8 (-120)

In The Natural, sportswriter Max Mercy explains to legendary Roy Hobbs that anything can be wagered on during a baseball game, including “balls, strikes, outs and errors.”

Quick-draw betting in the era of ubiquitous top-hats was often an exercise in sitting next to your bookie, at the ballpark, with a bucket of silver dollars. But today, the term in-play could be extended to fit any point during a no-break championship series. Bettors must carefully track the changing odds while (of course) keeping a bird’s gaze at who’s on the mound.

Louisiana State University is a favorite to take the NCAA crown in a Best-of-3 with Florida after beating FSU and Oregon State twice each. But odds are tight, largely due to June 19th. On a very bad day for Tiger baseball, OSU pummeled the finalists 13-1 less than a calendar week ago.

The Gators fought back from a blow-out loss of their own before finally shutting out TCU to reach the final series. Both clubs have had to overcome thinned pitching staffs, increasing both potential value and volatility in money lines.

Let’s take a brief look at four bets – on Game 1 (Monday night – scroll down further if reading this on Tuesday or Wednesday), on Game 2 if LSU leads 1-0, and vice versa…and of course a potential rubber match for the grail.

Gators will be Singer-ing early

If either club wins the first game and then loses out, it will likely be the Florida Gators. A grueling win over Texas Christian in which star hurler Alex Faedo tossed 95 tense pitches has proven costly in at least the short term. Faedo may not pitch in the triad of championship ballgames. But Florida is not the only side with issues on the mound.

The favorites are missing Eric Walker for the tournament, leaving their staff in a precarious position. Meanwhile, Tiger batters won’t have it easy against probable starter Brady Singer, a talented sophomore who pitched a complete game in an 8-1 pounding of LSU in March.

Singer will give the Gators a coin-flip or better chance to win Game 1. That puts value in a 1 or 2-unit play on Florida at (+120).

Game 2 following a Florida win

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If Florida leads the series 1-0, LSU is your strong Game 2 value play for two undeniable reasons.

The nature of baseball (and partisan roar of Swamp-land boosters) will drive the odds irrationally in Florida’s favor following a Game 1 win. The Tigers will have a 50% chance or better to win Game 2 regardless, but big-money bets will drive the odds to a higher payout margin when they do.

Also, late in Game 2 is when LSU’s plate discipline may begin to wear down a think Gator pitching staff. The favored Tigers do not have overwhelming contact-hitting – freshman Zach Watson leads the team with a .322 average – but the club gets on base, and sluggers like Michael Papierski and Greg Diechmann bring prodigious RBI power.

Game 2 after an LSU win

MSB does not recommend a wager in this situation, because LSU skipper Paul Mainieri will have two equally valid options…pitch the heck out of the bullpen trying to close the series, or manage conservatively and give the club its best chances to win one out of two.

We can’t read Mainieri’s mind, so any bet on an LSU sweep is problematic.

Game 3 – Ignore the pageantry

For a deciding show-down on Wednesday night, our betting advice is for those who care more about winning cash than team colors. Bayou tycoons and Sunshine State beach magnates will be wagering whole properties against one another on the winning money line, or other negotiated odds. But what should the wise wagerer do?

Take a cold shower…and then go all-in on a total-runs bet.

The O/U line for Monday night is set at (+/- 8) runs, with Bet Online encouraging players to take the O with plus-odds. Suppose the first two games are tense and competitive, as they’re likely to be – now we likely have a similar O/U line for the biggie, which could in fact be a blow-out.

Pitching melt-downs have already happened once each to these clubs in the 2017 ‘Series. If the trailing side gets anxious in Game 3 – and they will – more double-digits could appear on the scoreboard for either school.

…and nail the O/U

Yes, it’s true that Florida hasn’t put up amazing run totals throughout the NCAA postseason. But the Gators can flash power from the plate when you least expect it, even without the moral support of Faedo on the mound. Against Louisville last week, 2nd baseman Deacon Liput fell behind in the count and faced a low fastball, but dinged it over the fence for a winning trio of runs.

And no…it’s not likely that LSU will suffer another collapse like last Monday’s, when eight Tiger pitchers allowed a dozen walks and a baker’s dozen scores. But is there value on a 2/1 wager that 9+ runs will tally in Game 3? You betcha.

So while the SEC suffers yet another civil war of fans and high-rollers, place an over bet on the rubber match and tilt the outcome in your favor.

Kurt BoyerThis article was written by Kurt Boyer

A freelance sportswriter from Missouri, Kurt has covered court, gridiron, rink and ring for 10+ years. He muses about High School football on social media as The Gridiron Geek.

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