Few college baseball teams have achieved the duality of regular season success and postseason disappointment the Arkansas Razorbacks have reached over the last six decades.
The Razorbacks are tied with North Carolina for the third-most College World Series appearances of any school that has zero titles, at 11, including four trips to Omaha since 2015.
Arkansas is hot-to-trot to turn that postseason sadness into a little early summer madness in 2023, however, with a loaded roster that returns power hitting infielder Brady Slavens, who chose to come back for a fifth season in Fayetteville after belting 16 home runs and 58 RBIs a year ago.
Pitching-wise, ace Connor Noland returns for his senior season after going 8-6 with a 3.65 ERA across 116 innings last year.
As coach Dave Van Horn looks to bring the program’s first national title to Fayetteville in his 21st season with the school, Arkansas sports betting feels pretty good about the Razorbacks chances.
One national operator — DraftKings Sportsbook — gives Arkansas the eighth-best odds to win it all in 2023 at +2200.
BetSaracen, one of the three local operators taking wagers in the state, gives the Razorbacks +1500 odds to win the title, which is tied for fifth best.
BetArkansas.com, the home to Arkansas sportsbook promo codes if national operators come into the market, wanted to see where the Razorbacks stack up nationally, odds-wise.
Here’s where Arkansas ranks as we fast approach the first pitch of the 2023 SEC baseball season.
NCAA Baseball Title Odds
SEC Stacked With Title Favorites
The Razorbacks are among seven SEC programs to rank in the top eight when it comes to College World Series odds on DraftKings Sportsbook.
The program trails LSU (+500), Tennessee (+600), Stanford (+1000), Ole Miss (+1200), Vanderbilt (+1500), Florida (+1600) and Texas A&M (+1800).
As far as the season ahead is concerned, SEC media members picked the Razorbacks to finish third in the SEC West behind the Tigers and Aggies with 68 votes in total for Van Horn’s bunch (to LSU’s 88 and Texas A&M’s 69).
Arkansas did not get any SEC championship votes from the media, as LSU finished with 11 and Florida, Ole Miss and Texas A&M had one apiece.
The Razorbacks did have two first-team preseason All-SEC selections, in second baseman Peyton Stovall and relief pitcher Brady Tygart.
Stovall returns to Arkansas after hitting .295 with six home runs and 31 RBIs in 52 games played a year ago, while Tygart posted a 3.82 ERA in 24 appearances out of the bullpen.
Both will be leaned upon heavily out of the gate for Arkansas, as it plays No. 19 Texas, No. 18 TCU and No. 9 Oklahoma State in succession at the College Baseball Showdown at Globe Life Field from Friday to Sunday.
How Razorbacks Road To Omaha Looks
From an opening weekend gauntlet in Texas to an SEC slate full of tough teams, there’s no doubt Arkansas will be battle-tested come NCAA Tournament time.
The Razorbacks’ schedule includes an SEC opening weekend against Auburn at home in mid-March, before heading to No. 1 LSU on March 24-26.
From there, Arkansas plays Alabama at home between March 31 and April 2, before heading to Oxford to challenge the Rebels from April 6-8.
Home series against the Volunteers (April 14-16), Aggies (April 27-29) and Gamecocks (May 12-14) are offset by road clashes against the Bulldogs of Georgia (April 21-23) and Mississippi State (May 5-7), along with a regular-season finale in Nashville against Vanderbilt from May 18-20.
From there, Arkansas will turn towards the 2023 SEC Tournament in Hoover, Ala., in late May, before the NCAA Tournament begins in early June.
One way or another, the Razorbacks will look to make their 12th trip to Omaha the charm, as they look for their first title in program history, 44 years after making it to the CWS for the first time.