College Baseball Conference Tournaments Futures

College Baseball Conference Tournaments Futures

This article is part of our College Baseball Picks series.

College Baseball Picks: Conference Tournament Best Bets

The College Baseball regular season has closed. It's bittersweet. On one hand, I love doing this every week. And this signifies the end is around the corner. On the contrary, this is definitely the best time of the year, and the opportunity to really make some money. Conference Tournaments are niche markets with a lot of small details. Every conference has a different format, which is something to be aware of. I've narrowed down my four favorite to talk about.

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College Baseball Bets: SEC Tournament Winners

LSU Tigers +1200 (0.5u)

This is the Tigers' time of year. A team with a lot of postseason pedigree. A unit that has been battle tested after raising the banner on a story book 2023 championship season. The 36-20 Tigers were only 13-17 in conference play this year. It took a little while for them to find their identity in life after Paul Skenes and Dylan Crews.

They've won four of their last five series, including a massive win again Texas A&M. It seems like LSU is gearing up to be a bit of a dark horse for June if they ultimately make the field of 64. A strong showing in Hoover can't hurt to lock up their bid. With superstar Tommy "Tanks" White heated up at the right time, LSU definitely has the DNA to make a nice run. 

The SEC Tournament features every team in Bracket One, which is a single elimination stage. The winners in Tuesday's play-in stage will go on to see the four top seeds in the double-elimination part of the tourney (Tennessee, Kentucky, Arkansas, Texas A&M). It looks like the winner of LSU-Georgia will go on to play Kentucky Wednesday morning.

Something notable is that the top four seeds have all virtually locked up top eight national seeds (Super Regional hosting sites), leaving this tournament all but meaningless. I believe we'll see one of the Bracket One teams in the finals by the end of the week. And I think LSU has a great chance.

Georgia Bulldogs +1200 (0.5u)

The Dawgs are the new kids on the block in 2024. A lot of that has to do with the guy who may be going number one in July's draft, Charlie Condon, the Golden Spikes front-runner. It's not only Condon though. This team has one of the most potent offenses in America finishing third in homers (140) in College Baseball this season.

While there's basically nobody that can outslug UGA, the pitching is more than a question mark. The team's 5.58 ERA and 1.50 WHIP are ultimately what will likely be their downfall in June. They do have a couple of hot starters in Kolten Smith and Leighton Finley that could provide the boost they need. And of course, their true Friday guy, Charlie Goldstein, is more than solid, but he's missed a lot of time with injury.

Coming out of the Bracket One and winning is a difficult challenge. The Aggies almost pulled it off before losing to Vandy in the finals last season. But it required them to play six games in six days. The offense could be enough to carry them if the pitching is just average. The elimination game against LSU on Tuesday morning renders one of these two teams as a losing ticket, but I definitely think the winner can create a path to go all the way. 

The other team I think is also worth a ticket to win the SEC is Mississippi State at +950.

College Baseball Bets: Big 12 Tournament Winner

Texas Longhorns +450

Texas is baseball royalty. It's a blue blood program that's played in a lot of big games over the years. Despite being a poor team early on, they pulled their signature move where they heat up in the month of May. It's like clockwork. And it's something I've been keeping my eye on.

Since losing to BYU in the first weekend of April, The Longhorns have not lost a series, winning six straight. A couple of them were very impressive in beating Oklahoma and Oklahoma State, two teams that will probably both be hosting.

There's a solid mix of pitching and hitting for this team, but the path is even better. They'll see Texas Tech on Tuesday, which is a favorable matchup. Then if they win, they should OK State in a rematch. They don't play a team that worries me. Oklahoma won the Big 12 regular season title, but they may have locked up a top-eight seed, which could give them less incentive. The only team that could stand in their way would be West Virginia. It's not a big number, but grabbing them at +450 is not only a solid number, but it's too large.

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College Baseball Bets: ACC Tournament Winners

NC State Wolfpack +1000

Talk about the hottest team in the ACC. That's NC State. This team has been on a war path in the final six weeks of the season. Since getting swept at Louisville in the first week of April, the 'Pack have not lost a series. Furthermore, they've taken down some of the top teams in the nation. the beat Clemson, UNC, Virginia, and swept Wake Forest with a split of FSU in there as well.

The lineup has a lot of producers like Jacob Cozart, possibly the first catcher off the board this summer. The pickup of ECU's grad transfer, Alec Makarewicz, has also been gigantic as his .362 average and 19 homers both lead the team. It's a deep lineup that has been giving fits to opposing pitchers.

The pitching is talented but has underperformed. There are enough arms for them to string together enough wins. Chances are if they win their pool (consists of NC State, Duke and Virginia Tech), they would have to play either the winner of Pool A or B, which is likely either Clemson or UNC. Since the Wolfpack have already beaten both of them, I wouldn't be afraid of them facing anybody from the conference.

This is a red-hot ball club, and sometimes, it's a very tough task to cool down a team like this. NC State has impressed me so much that I'm thinking about taking a future on them to win it all. This is definitely the best bang for the buck, especially when you consider they are still looking to lock up a top-16 hosting seed.

Florida State Seminoles +1000

FSU is one of my biggest positions to win the College World Series. It's a team that has a lot of swagger and talent, not to mention a great coach in Link Jarrett. The Seminoles have drawn Pool D, which consists of Georgia Tech and Virginia. In the ACC tournament, each teams plays its entire pool once. So everybody will get two games. Basically the team that goes 2-0 advances to the semi-finals later in the week. 

FSU drew Georgia Tech for Tuesday, a pesky opponent, that they just beat in last weekend's series. They would need to win that, then beat Virginia. The Cavaliers are a dangerous offense with no pitching. It's absolutely a pool I could see FSU win, especially when their young arms perform the way they have been.

The Seminoles have not been as hot as I had hoped they would be at this time of the year, but they're still more than capable at getting to the end of the road. Not to mention, if they make Saturday's semi-finals, you could always hedge against them to create equity. They already secured a hosting seed, but a deep run in this tournament could push them into Top Eight seed territory.

College Baseball Bets: PAC-12 Winner

Arizona Wildcats +410

Oregon State was the team I had to win the conference regular season title. They needed to sweep Arizona last weekend to steal the crown, but after winning the first two games of the series and having a late lead in game three for all the marbles, they blew it. Zona ended up taking that trophy.

The Wildcats were not a team I had a lot of faith in coming into the year, and frankly not many sharps I know did either. Credit them though. Their pitching did a complete 180 and now boasts a capable weekend rotation of Jackson Kent, Cam Walty, and Clark Candiotti. 

Despite losing first-round stud Chase Davis in the draft last year, they managed to do their thing on offense. Death by 1,000 cuts. The lineup is not elite by any stretch. Zona has just one player in double figures for home runs, and two guys batting over .300. But it works for them.

Given their strong pitching and capable hitting, it's a very good number in a weak field. They probably end up rematching Oregon State in the finals, so if you take this value, then you can hedge in the finals. Since the Beavers are only +125, I'm not rushing to the window to bet them. Zona is definitely the best play, but if you feel frisky for a long shot, then Utah at 30/1 is something worth a sprinkle.

Arizona is still fighting for a chance to steal a top-16 hosting bid. A deep run in the Pac-12 tournament could give them enough helium to do just that.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
John Venezia
John Venezia has covered the NFL, MLB, and College Baseball for betting and fantasy for more than six years. His recent stints include NBC Sports, Bet Karma, Bettor Sports Network, and Fantasy Life.
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