NCAA college baseball doesn’t quite compare to basketball and football in terms of viewership and fanbase, but the NCAA college baseball program is a feeder for a major professional sport - so it’s worth keeping an eye on, and of course, betting on.
There is 300 Division I teams in the United States and the league is sanctioned by the NCAA, with the College Baseball World Series being held in May and June of each year. 64 college baseball teams are invited to participate in the College World Series, with double elimination brackets, followed by the best of three series.
Unfortunately, like many other spring sports, the NCAA college baseball season was cut short and the 2020 College World Series was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We can start looking at the 2021 season, and check out the 2021 College World Series odds, as they’ve already been released on some of the bigger sportsbooks.
Odds to Win the 2021 NCAA College Baseball World Series
The odds were last updated on December 11, 2020:
|Duke Blue Devils||+1600||+1600||+1600|
|Illinois Fighting Illini||+1700||+1700||+1700|
How to Bet on NCAA College Baseball
While it may not stack up to Major League Baseball, NCAA College Baseball tends to be a fun option for fans of the sport. There are definitely some great opportunities to place a few wagers, but those looking to bet on college baseball should keep a few things in mind before betting on NCAA baseball.
First, there aren’t many online sportsbooks that offer NCAA baseball betting, and it’s highly unlikely that your local retail sportsbook (if sports betting is legalized in your state at all) offers college baseball betting as many states have restrictions on college sports in general.
There likely won’t be odds on every game, even at the best sportsbook - so you will need to monitor the big games, and not get your sights set on smaller college baseball games as there may not be odds listed.
College baseball players aren’t as skilled as the pros. There can be way more errors and player mistakes because we aren’t looking at world-class players in the pros. These games can be harder to handicap because of the unpredictability.
It’s best to wait and bet on televised conference games and tournaments, the NCAA tournament and the College Baseball World Series - as they will likely have the best odds selection and best chances for making some great money betting on college baseball.
Let’s take a look at NCAA college baseball betting odds first:
NCAA College Baseball Betting Odds
When you’re looking at college baseball odds, you will be looking at the numbers you see next to a team name on the oddsboard, they’ll be positive or negative. This denotes how likely a team is to win the game. The positive numbers indicate that the team is less likely to win, and the negative number represents the favored team that is most likely to win.
If you have UCLA listed at +300 and USC at -200, that means that USC is the favored team to win that game, and UCLA is the underdog. A bet on USC wouldn’t pay out as much because the oddsmakers are predicting that they would be the ones to win, but a bet on UCLA would likely pay out quite well if they do pull off a victory.
College baseball odds represent how much you would need to bet to win a certain amount of money. In the case above, you would need to bet $200 on USC to win $100. You can bet any denomination, but that bet isn’t really worth your time unless you are 100% sure USC will win the game. If you bet on UCLA, you would need to bet $100 to win $300 plus your initial stake.
Popular NCAA College Baseball Betting Options
Now that we’ve covered what college baseball odds look like, let’s look at popular betting options for baseball in general - many options you’d be familiar with if you bet on the MLB.
Betting on the College Baseball Moneyline
Moneylines are the most simple betting type available in any sport. It’s easy to understand, there is always a moneyline wager for any NCAA baseball game, and not to mention it’s great for new bettors. Your only job is to determine which team will win the game. We’ve outlined a basic moneyline bet above in our odds example but let’s dig in a little further:
If UCLA and USC are playing and you believe USC will win, you select USC and you’re good to go. Ensure you review the odds and the pregame matchups to ensure you do plenty of research before making your bets.
Let’s look at an example: USC -120 UCLA +450
We changed the numbers around to give you a different perspective. USC is still the favored team, with -120 odds. A $120 wager, with the USC winning, would pay out $100 plus your initial wager. UCLA would still be the underdog, and if they upset USC and win, a $100 wager would yield $450 plus your initial $100.
Betting on College Baseball Point Spreads
Point spreads in college baseball are commonly referred to as the ‘runline’, just like the MLB. It is the exact same as any other point spread, nothing changed - it just goes by a different name because there are no points in baseball, just runs. Spreads are popular throughout all professional sports, but NCAA baseball runlines can have really great odds depending on the game.
Point spreads essentially give the underdog team an imaginary head start, meant to level the playing field in games that are one-sided. Your sportsbook has expert oddsmakers that will decide who the favored ball team is, and determine the spread based on how those two teams match up for the game.
The college baseball runline shows us how many points a sportsbook believes a team must win or lose by, depending on which side you’re betting on. If you choose the favored team, their spread will be a negative number, and they must win the game by more than that number of runs. If you choose the underdog, they must lose by less than that number of runs or win the game.
For example, if you have the Cal Tech at -2.5 and Oregon at +2.5, then Cal Tech is favored to win the game. Cal Tech is expected to win by a few runs, and for your bet to win, they must beat Oregon by more than 3 runs. Oregon on the other hand needs to win the game, or lose by less than 2 runs.
Betting on NCAA College Baseball Totals
When looking at the college baseball oddsboard, and you can’t decide which team to bet on, betting on the over/under or the totals can be a great opportunity to still get value out of a college baseball game. Totals betting is very easy, and you don’t have to choose one team over another - you simply have to decide if the total number of runs scored by both teams will be over or under your chosen oddsmaker’s line.
If you have Stanford versus Washington, and the total is set at 9, you will need to decide if you think both teams will score more or less than 9. If both teams easily get over five runs per game, that should be an easy bet to lock in, and you’d take the over.
Betting on College Baseball Props
Prop bets or proposition bets as they’re commonly referred to as aren’t as popular in betting on college baseball, you may find a few during the regular season at the top online sportsbooks, but many props will be found during the College World Series. Props are unusual circumstances or happenings that don’t have anything to do with the outcome of the game. You could bet on a certain player to hit a home run or grand slam for example.
Betting on NCAA College Baseball Futures
College baseball futures are extremely popular in the early or middle season because they offer much more value with higher risk. Betting on NCAA baseball futures means you are placing a bet on which team will win an event outcome in the future - like who will win the 2021 College World Series. As soon as the College World Series Champion is announced, sportsbooks release the following season’s futures.
Top Online Sportsbooks for Betting on NCAA College Baseball
Now that you have a good idea of how to bet on college baseball odds, we can look at where to bet on your favorite collegiate baseball teams.
As we mentioned, even though your state may have legalized sports betting already, there are still many that haven’t passed laws or updated legislation yet, so offshore sportsbooks are still the best option for betting on sports in general. Many of your local sportsbooks will only have odds on professional sports due to guidelines and laws outlawing bets on NCAA sports and also having limited resources to have plenty of options available.
Finding an online sportsbook that offers the best baseball betting odds, hefty sign-up bonuses and a variety of deposit options should be your main priority. All sportsbooks are different, so shopping around for the best NCAA college baseball odds and the best features are of the utmost importance before betting on any baseball games.
Remember to always bet responsibly, and have fun with your NCAA college baseball betting!