Watch The College World Series In Omaha, But Visit Council Bluffs For Bets

Posted By Russ Mitchell on June 18, 2021

Northern states still break out the snow shovels when southern states can break out the foul line chalk. And, that climate head start tends to pay off at the College World Series.

Teams with shorter winters tend to fill out the baseball bracket in Omaha, NE. College baseball’s biggest event begins Saturday afternoon.

But remember, the games will unfold in a state that doesn’t have sports wagering. That’s about to change, however.

College World Series futures odds

The road to Omaha began with a 64-team field and the College World Series is baseball’s version of the Elite Eight. As of Friday morning, Vanderbilt is the favorite among Iowa’s sports betting operators:

DraftKings Sportsbook
BetRivers Sportsbook
Betfred Sportsbook
William Hill SportsbookFanDuel SportsbookBetMGM SportsbookPointsBet Sportsbook
Vanderbilt+275+250+240+175+250
Texas+325+300+380+350+300
Tennessee+350+400+420+350+500
Arizona+600+900+750+650+1000
Mississippi State+650+900+750+650+750
Stanford+800+1000+1000+900+700
Virginia+1000+1400+1200+1000+1500
North Carolina State+1200+1200+1200+1200+1500

Cross the river to place bets in Iowa

Iowa and the city of Council Bluffs are just across the Missouri River from Omaha. College World Series fans who find lodging in Council Bluffs should have no problem placing a sports bet in Iowa.

Council Bluffs is home to three casinos, and there are more than a dozen online sportsbooks in Iowa. College baseball fans don’t need to visit the Iowa casinos to register and place a bet, either. Just be within Iowa state lines because bet attempts to wager on the Nebraska side of the river are blocked by design.

All the major players have operator licenses in Iowa. The most popular Iowa sportsbooks, including FanDuel, DraftKings and PointsBet, have odds on the College World Series champion as well.

In addition, some sportsbooks have set odds for the first round pairings Saturday and Sunday. Stanford, Vanderbilt, Tennessee and Texas all have run spreads of -1.5.

Betting will soon join the College World Series in Omaha

For now, Nebraska only has state lottery offerings, keno parlors and on-site racetrack betting.

Nebraska voters approved a set of constitutional amendments in the November 2020 general election. Their support will allow the addition of casino gaming to any of the state’s current (and any future) racetracks. The Nebraska Legislature set betting parameters in the recently-adjourned legislative session.

Drew Niehaus was a spokesperson for the “Keep the Money in Nebraska” campaign and helps racetrack casino (“racino”) projects in Hastings, South Sioux City, Lincoln and Omaha. Nebraska’s other racetracks are in Columbus and Grand Island.

Niehaus said he was pleased with the Nebraska gambling package that came out of the legislature:

“Truthfully, it’s hard not to be with the passing of LB561. Everything is at least allowed to move forward. So this keeps the ball rolling and ensures that gaming is going to be brought to Nebraska as soon as possible.”

Because there are more boxes to check, Nebraska betting on the College World Series isn’t an option in 2021.

When the racinos begin to offer sports betting, customers will have to visit one of the new facilities to place a bet. Construction plans and policy are still taking shape; however, it’s already been determined not to allow betting on Nebraska college teams. The casinos will need to be staffed with fully-trained employees as well.

2021 College World Series schedule

Here’s the complete schedule for the 2021 College World Series:

Saturday, June 19

  • 1 p.m. | Game 1: Stanford vs. North Carolina State | ESPN
  • 6 p.m. | Game 2: Vanderbilt vs. Arizona | ESPN

Sunday, June 20

  • 1 p.m. | Game 3: Tennessee vs. Virginia | ESPN2
  • 6 p.m. | Game 4: Texas vs. Mississippi State | ESPN2

Monday, June 21

  • 1 p.m. | Game 5: Game 1 loser vs. Game 2 loser |  ESPNU
  • 6 p.m. | Game 6: Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner | ESPN

Tuesday, June 22

  • 1 p.m. | Game 7: Game 3 loser vs. Game 4 loser | 1 p.m. | ESPNU
  • 6 p.m. | Game 8: Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 winner | 6 p.m. | ESPN2

Wednesday, June 23

  • 6 p.m. | Game 9 | ESPN

Thursday, June 24

  • 6 p.m. | Game 10 | ESPN2

Friday, June 25

  • Game 11: 1 p.m.  | ESPN2
  • Game 12: 6 p.m. | ESPN

Saturday, June 26

  • If necessary: 1 p.m. | Game 13 | ESPN
  • If necessary: 6 p.m. | Game 14 | ESPN2

CWS Finals (Best-of-3 series)

  • Game 1: 6 p.m.  | Monday, June 28 | ESPN2
  • Game 2: 6 p.m. | Tuesday, June 29 | ESPN
  • If necessary: 6 p.m. | Wednesday, June 30 | ESPN2
Photo by Sean Rayford / AP
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Russ Mitchell

Russ Mitchell has been covering news and sports in northwest Iowa since 1997, including 11 years as managing editor for one of the most acclaimed community newspapers in the state. He looks forward to keeping readers up to date on the growing sportsbook industry in Iowa.

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