The University of Alabama is one of 16 Division I baseball teams still alive in this year’s NCAA Tournament, but sports bettors will have limited access to wagering markets for both the Crimson Tide and their highly anticipated Super Regional series against No. 1 overall seed Wake Forest.
The best-of-three series begins Saturday at noon ET on ESPN, but customers using major mobile sportsbooks like Barstool Sportsbook, BetMGM, bet365, Caesars Sportsbook, DraftKings, and FanDuel won’t be able to wager on the games due to the lingering effects of a scandal this season.
The Ohio Casino Control Commission opened an investigation into Alabama’s baseball program after suspicious sports wagering activity on the team’s matchup with LSU on April 28. Sports Illustrated was among the outlets to report that the suspicious activity was Alabama head coach Brad Bohannon communicating with Bert Neff at the time of Neff wagering against the Crimson Tide at the BetMGM Sportsbook at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati.
Sportsbook operators in Ohio were instructed to stop accepting bets on the program once the OCCC investigation opened, and several other states including Pennsylvania and New Jersey followed suit by removing Alabama markets. Most mobile sportsbooks took Alabama baseball markets off their platforms nationwide.
Many mobile sportsbooks available across the U.S. still don’t have Alabama betting markets available, as the OCCC has yet to complete its investigation.
“The commission does have an ongoing active investigation into the Alabama baseball situation,” OCCC Director of Communications Jessica Franks told Sports Handle this week. “Once that investigation is complete, we do plan to share our findings — unfortunately, I don’t have any sort of timeframe as to when our investigation will be finished.”
National title futures
While bettors can’t wager on Wake Forest’s Super Regional series against Alabama at most mobile sportsbooks, they can make Wake Forest futures bets. The Demon Deacons are the national title favorite across most sports betting platforms, with FanDuel giving them +340 odds to win the College World Series. DraftKings lists Wake Forest’s title odds at +380.
Miami’s 1999 team is the only No. 1 overall seed to ever win the Men’s College World Series under the current tournament’s format, which began that year. It has proven to be a massive challenge for the tournament’s top seed to win it all, although Wake Forest certainly looked the part of a potential national champion during its regional, winning three games by a combined score of 48-7.
Doug Ziefel, a baseball contributor with Action Network, likes Tennessee’s chances of winning the title. The Volunteers’ title odds sit at +1200 on FanDuel, and they face Southern Miss in their Super Regional.
“The Vols are one of the most well-rounded teams in the country, as they finished 17th in wRC+ and second in FIP,” Ziefel said in an email interview. “They have the power and the pitching to compete with any team in the country.”
Other top national title threats include Florida (+550 on FanDuel), LSU (+600), and Virginia (+950).
Assessing Super Regionals
As for the Super Regional matchups, LSU (-230 on FanDuel to win its series with Kentucky) is the biggest favorite. Several other matchups are expected to be competitive, including Florida-South Carolina and Stanford-Texas. Florida (-144) and Stanford (-134) are each short favorites.
Elsewhere, TCU is favored (-205) to advance past Indiana State, Tennessee is favored (-176) against Southern Miss, and the betting market suggests Virginia (-205) is expected to get by ACC peer Duke.
Ziefel has his eye on the Oregon-Oral Roberts series, as he thinks ORU (+126 to win the series on FanDuel) can upset the Ducks and advance to Omaha.
“The Ducks have been hit hard with injuries to their rotation, and that is troublesome against an Oral Roberts lineup that finished 11th national in wRC+,” Ziefel said. “Additionally, ORU also has the edge on the mound as their staff FIP is over a full run lower than Oregon’s staff. The Golden Eagles may be underdogs, but they are the better team.”