The most unpredictable College World Series in recent memory is ending with an unexpected matchup in the final series. The first game of the championship showdown between Ole Miss and Oklahoma continued to deliver the surprises.
Will Game 2 be any different? Let’s break down the betting odds for today and try to find out.
Ole Miss Rebels vs. Oklahoma Sooners
Sunday, June 26, 2022 – 03:00 PM EDT at Charles Schwab Field
CWS Game 1 Recap
Both teams had ridden dominant pitching in Omaha to the final weekend of the CWS, so, naturally, the Rebels and Sooners produced a slugfest in Game 1.
Oklahoma appeared to have a lopsided advantage in starting pitching for the opener, putting their ace on the mound against a reliever with a 5.00-plus ERA for the Rebels. So, of course, Ole Miss got a lights-out start from Jack Dougherty and built an early lead against Jake Bennett.
Pitching and run production have been the standard for both teams, so Ole Miss treated us to a home run display we haven’t seen in years to blow out the Sooners, 10-3 in Saturday’s opener. The Rebels are one win away from a College World Series title, while Oklahoma looks to force a game three on Monday.
CWS Game 2 Betting Analysis
Now it’s time for Oklahoma to bounce back, and that’s been the Sooners’ specialty in their late-season run. The last time Oklahoma lost a game to an opponent, then lost again in the rematch was against Oklahoma State on April 10. Since then, the Sooners have gone 5-0 in a rematch game.
After getting a better start than anyone could have expected from Dougherty, Ole Miss will now send their hottest starting pitcher to the mound. Freshman lefthander Hunter Elliott is 5-3, 2.70 on the season, but the Rebels have won his last six starts.
In the NCAA Tournament, Elliott has pitched 18.2 innings in three starts, with a 0.96 ERA. Coach Mike Bianco was tempted to start him on Saturday, but, instead, Elliott will be going on a full five days’ rest.
Another Lefthander Freshman Pitcher for Oklahoma
For Game 2, Oklahoma will turn to lefthander Cade Horton to save its season. He originally committed to Ole Miss in high school before changing his mind and flipping to the Sooners. He’s 5-2 with a 5.24 ERA, but, like Elliott, Horton has stepped up lately. He had a career-high 11 strikeouts in beating Notre Dame in his first CWS start.
“One of the best freshman pitchers I’ve been around, ever,” coach Skip Johnson said. “It’s no different than watching a big leaguer.”
CWS Game 2 Betting Pick
The tables have turned 180 degrees from the outlook heading into Saturday’s game one. Now Ole Miss is the team with all the momentum, and Oklahoma appears to be on the wrong side of the pitching matchup.
The way this NCAA Tournament and College World Series have gone should be reason enough to pick the Sooners to pull the mild upset. There’s also the fact that, in Omaha, six of the last seven championship series have gone the full three games. Look for that to continue for our betting picks.
CWS Pick: Over 10.5 Runs (-110) at BetOnline
*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.
Rebels Keep Hitting Home Runs
Heading into Saturday, Ole Miss had hit 103 home runs in 63 games this season, or a little over 1.6 a game. In three games in Omaha, they’d managed four homers. Oklahoma had allowed 81 round-trippers in 61 games, or 1.2 a night. The Sooners had allowed opponents to go deep just four times, total, in CWS games this season.
On Saturday, however, the Rebels went deep again and again and again, hitting four home runs off of Sooner pitching and pounding out 16 hits on the night, the most in a College World Series game since 2008.
Oklahoma’s Reliever Struggled
Ole Miss went deep off of Jake Bennett, Oklahoma’s ace, once. Bennett gave up runs in each of his first three innings on the mound to put the Sooners in an early hole. But the Rebels saved the real power display for the eighth inning, off Oklahoma’s reliever, Chazz Martinez.
Ole Miss went back to back and belly to belly with three straight home runs by TJ McCants, Calvin Harris and Justin Bench. It was the first time a team has gone back-to-back-to-back since 1998 and turned a 4-2 Rebels lead into a laugher.
Ole Miss played an extra game, which threw their pitching into disarray. The Rebels had to send Jack Dougherty to the mound for the reliever’s first start since March. All he did was turn in five perfect innings, striking out five in a row and seven of nine at one point.
When Dougherty ran into trouble in the sixth, Ole Miss turned to another unexpected hurler, bringing freshman Mason Nichols in with the bases loaded and no outs.
It was just Nichols’ third time pitching in a game in the last five weeks, but he showed no signs of rust, striking out the side and turning in a career-best five strikeouts in two innings of work.