In years past, with all the hullaballoo over the men’s NCAA Tournament, women’s March Madness odds might’ve been overlooked. 

That won’t be the case this year. 

The 2024 Women’s College Basketball NCAA Tournament odds market is sure to draw a lot of eyeballs — and dollars.

In large part, you can thank Caitlin Clark for that. The Iowa superstar is attracting sports bettors in droves, as they wager in record numbers on Iowa games and women’s college basketball in general.

“There’s been a tremendous uptick in action this season, and Clark has a major role to play in it,” said Adam Pullen, assistant director of trading for Caesars Sports.

Pullen provides his behind-the-betting-counter insights on Clark and the surge in women’s college basketball betting, heading into the NCAA Women’s Tourney.

Slow But Sure Betting Build-Up

As expected, Iowa earned a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Women’s Tournament. In the first round on Saturday, the Hawkeyes meet either Holy Cross or Tennessee-Martin. Those two No. 16 seeds square off in a Thursday night play-in game.

Regardless of the opponent, there will be a massive talent gap, and therefore, a massive point spread.

“That first game will be the interesting thing. It’ll probably have the least action of all the games Clark plays in the tournament,” Pullen said. “The gulf in talent is pretty significant. You might see a 50-point spread.”

Which means fans and bettors might not see much of Clark. She could easily sit out the entire second half.

“How long is Caitlin Clark gonna play? We’ll see if that has any effect,” Pullen said. “But as the matchups get more competitive, you should see the handle on Iowa games growing.”

How Caitlin Clark has changed college basketball and is ‘not done’

Been There, Done That

Pullen and other oddsmakers know from experience that Iowa NCAA Tourney games will be a boon these next couple of weeks. The Caitlin Clark phenomenon boomed this season, but it really began during Iowa’s run to the 2023 National Championship Game. 

The Hawkeyes lost to LSU 102-85 in the final.

“You could see it starting in last year’s tournament. The betting attention was just tremendous. You definitely saw the effect of Clark,” Pullen said. “We expect that trend to continue.”

And particularly so within the state of Iowa, which is a fanatical sports betting market when it comes to Clark and the Hawkeyes.

“All the Iowa games get a lot more action, way more handle,” Pullen said, noting that home-state bettors really get into it. “There’s just a ton of action in Iowa whenever the Hawkeyes play.

“People will know when Caitlin Clark is playing. They’ll keep their eyes on it, and when game time comes, they’ll be interested no matter who she’s playing. And increased attention leads to increased betting.”

Clark’s Championship Chase

After reaching last season’s title game, Clark and her Iowa teammates are hoping to take that final step this year. However, undefeated South Carolina (32-0) is the strong favorite on Caesars Sports’ Women’s NCAA Tournament oddsboard.

The Gamecocks are -135 to win the title, meaning it takes a $135 bet to profit $100, for a total payout of $235. Iowa (29-4) is the +600 co-second choice with LSU (28-5). That’s a much more attractive price to the public betting masses. A $100 bet on the Hawkeyes would profit $600, for a $700 total payout.

Caesars customers are lining up to back Clark’s championship chase.

“Iowa is far and away the leader in ticket count. It’s all Caitlin Clark and Iowa,” Pullen said. “Then it’s South Carolina and LSU, which are almost the same.”

Any championship run will have to go through South Carolina. But with Clark, Pullen likes Iowa’s chances.

“At 6/1, the Hawkeyes have a shot. Anytime you have a player like her, you’ve got a shot,” he said. “They’ll go as far as Caitlin Clark can take them.”

Patrick Everson is a sports betting analyst for FOX Sports and senior reporter for He is a distinguished journalist in the national sports betting space. He’s based in Las Vegas, where he enjoys golfing in 110-degree heat. Follow him on Twitter: @PatrickE_Vegas.

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