Women’s NCAA Division I Basketball Tournament Betting Preview

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It was a season for record-breaking in women’s college basketball. Multiple scoring records fell, as did records for television viewership. And now we all turn our attention to what is sure to be an incredible Women’s NCAA Division I Tournament, with the chance for more records.

First Four

The first “First Four” was played on the men’s side in 2011. The women expanded their field in 2022, and since then they’ve also been playing the First Four.

We start things off for the women on Wednesday, with Sacred Heart and Presbyterian playing for the right to be the 16-seed that plays South Carolina in the Round of 64. South Carolina is the runaway favorite to win the entire tournament – college basketball online sportsbooks have them at -120, and the winner on Wednesday night is in for a rough Friday.

Also tipping off on Wednesday is Vanderbilt and Columbia, playing for the right to be a 12-seed. The Commodores are in their first tournament in 10 years, and Columbia, which began playing in the Ivy League in 1986, is in the NCAA Tournament for the first time.

On Thursday, the two games feature Auburn and Arizona playing for the 11-seed, and Holy Cross and Tennessee Martin playing for a 16-seed. The winner of Auburn-Arizona will play Syracuse on Saturday. The Holy Cross-Tennessee Martin winner gets No. 1 seed Iowa.

Caitlin Clark set multiple records this year, including most three-pointers made in one season. The record for career three-pointers made is 537 and held by Taylor Robertson. Iowa online sportsbooks are taking bets on when Clark, who has 520, will break the record and hit three-pointer 538. The betting favorite is the Elite 8, at +200. If she can get there by the second round, the payout is +5000.

Albany 1 Region

As mentioned already, South Carolina is the overwhelming favorite to cut down the nets in Cleveland and win the National Championship. They have an entirely new starting lineup from last year, and they are actually better than last year’s Final Four team.

They are first in the nation in defense, second overall in offense, and they are a perfect 32-0. Notre Dame is the No. 2 seed in the region, and Indiana online sportsbooks have the Irish a distant +4500 to win the tournament.

Albany 2 Region

Iowa is the No. 1 seed in the Albany 2 Region, which includes No. 2 UCLA, No. 3 LSU, and No. 4 Kansas. It’s a tough bracket for the Hawkeyes, and if they do make it back to the Final Four, it will be well-earned. UCLA is one of the deepest teams in the country, and LSU is the defending champion. If things go as planned for the Hawkeyes and Tigers, we’ll see the Caitlin Clark-Angel Reese rematch, with a trip to the Final Four on the line.

Portland 3 Region

USC is the top seed in the Portland 3 Region, and they face Texas A&M-Corpus Christi in the first round. Freshman JuJu Watkins finished as the nation’s second-leading scorer, only trailing Clark. Also in the region is UConn, who, despite losing five players to season-ending injuries, are once again in the national championship conversation. The 11-time national champion is paying +1600 to win another title at Connecticut online sportsbooks.

Portland 4 Region

The final region is Portland 4, and the Texas Longhorns are the top seed. Even after losing point guard Rori Harmon to a torn ACL in December, Texas still managed to win the Big 12 and earn a top seed. Stanford is the two-seed, and they were in the running for the No. 1 until the final day. 

BetUS.com has Clark as the big favorite to win WNBA Rookie of the Year in 2024, paying +400. But if she doesn’t, Stanford’s Cameron Brink is a likely candidate. She was an NCAA champion in 2021, she has twice been the Pac-12 Player of the Year, and most WNBA online sportsbooks have the Los Angeles Sparks selecting her with the No. 2 overall pick in the WNBA Draft, just behind Clark.

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