The Eastern Illinois Panthers take on the Vanderbilt Commodores in the NCAA Baseball Tournament. Our NCAA baseball odds series has our Eastern Illinois Vanderbilt prediction and pick. Find out how to watch Eastern Illinois Vanderbilt.
Vanderbilt is the No. 6 seed in the NCAA Tournament. The Commodores, who played for the national title on several occasions in the past decade, have a winning identity and tradition. They are the clear favorite at this regional, given the other teams joining them in the quartet. Vanderbilt is the top seed in this four-team regional, going up against fourth-seeded Eastern Illinois.
In the earlier game at the Vanderbilt (Nashville) Regional on Friday, second-seeded Oregon rallied to beat third-seeded Xavier, 5-4. This means that Vanderbilt and Eastern Illinois are playing for the right to meet Oregon in the winners' bracket game on Saturday. The loser will play Xavier on Saturday in an elimination game at the double-elimination regional.
Here are the Eastern Illinois-Vanderbilt NCAA Baseball odds, courtesy of FanDuel.
NCAA Baseball Odds: Eastern Illinois-Vanderbilt Odds
Eastern Illinois Panthers: +4.5 (-114)
Vanderbilt Commodores: -4.5 (-114)
Eastern Illinois: +540
How To Watch Eastern Illinois vs. Vanderbilt
TV: SEC Network
Time: 8:00 p.m. ET/5:00 p.m. PT
*Watch Eastern Illinois-Vanderbilt LIVE on fuboTV (click for a free trial)*
Why Eastern Illinois Could Cover The Spread
The Panthers have nothing to lose. The pressure for them and a lot of other small-conference teams in college baseball lies not in winning NCAA Tournament games, but in getting to the NCAA Tournament. Eastern Illinois has overcome that hurdle. The Panthers' season is a complete success. With that kind of joy flowing through the dugout, the Panthers can let loose, take big swings, play freely, and attack Vanderbilt pitching. The Commodores have all the pressure on their backs. If they don't make the College World Series, the season is a huge disappointment. Eastern Illinois is not dealing with any of those burdens. It's a great spot to have, and it's the position Eastern Illinois inhabits going into this game. The Panthers are playing with house money, and they'll enjoy the experience.
Why Vanderbilt Could Cover The Spread
The Commodores have been an elite program in college baseball in recent years. They set the bar high and they often reach it, too. Vanderbilt just won the SEC Baseball Tournament. The Commodores got great pitching throughout the event and showed that it is going to be tough to score runs in bunches against them. So much of college baseball, as you probably know, is a lot more high-scoring and wide-open than Major League Baseball. A central key to success in college baseball is to avoid the big inning. Giving up single runs here and there is fine. Giving up the four-run inning is a crusher in this sport. Vanderbilt is excellent at not allowing the big inning. If it allows three runs in this game, the ‘Dores have more than enough hitting to score eight or nine runs versus Eastern Illinois pitching. As long as VU limits Eastern Illinois' output, it should be fine. We also shouldn't minimize the point that although this is an NCAA Tournament game, it's not a neutral-site game. Vanderbilt gets to host, which means the hitters will be familiar with the hitting backdrop. They won't have to adjust to a true neutral site. That will really help the Commodores when they are at bat.
Final Eastern Illinois-Vanderbilt Prediction & Pick
The Vanderbilt Commodores are a strong team with elite pitching. They should be able to hammer Eastern Illinois by five or more runs.
Final Eastern Illinois-Vanderbilt Prediction & Pick: Vanderbilt -4.5