Iowa-South Carolina NCAA Title Match Surpasses Final Four to Become Most-Bet Women’s Event Ever

Women's National Championship again broke sports betting records at FanDuel, DraftKings, BetMGM, Caesars.

Brad Senkiw - News Editorat
Brad Senkiw • News Editor
Apr 8, 2024 • 15:24 ET • 4 min read
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

This year’s NCAA women’s basketball not only transcended the sport and received huge ratings, it changed the sports betting landscape. 

Following record wagering events in the Elite Eight and Final Four, Sunday’s title game between Iowa and South Carolina, which the Gamecocks won 87-75 as a 6.5-point favorite, took sports betting and women’s sports to another level.

BetMGM’s John Ewing reported on X that the championship match “shattered” this tournament’s previous games to become the most wagered women’s sporting event ever for the online sportsbook. 

FanDuel announced Monday that the Iowa-South Carolina handle surpassed the Final Four semifinal between Iowa-UConn by 22%. The amount wagered jumped by 155% compared to last year’s NCAA women’s championship game while the bet count rose 205% at FanDuel. 

DraftKings told Covers that Sunday’s contest was its most-bet women’s basketball game yet as well.

Sportsbooks also enjoyed a huge amount of action on a Final Four Friday when Iowa edged UConn in a 71-69 thriller while the Gamecocks crushed NC State 78-59 in the other semifinal. 

What could’ve been?

Sportsbooks and TV execs couldn’t have asked for a better scenario.

It was the final chance to see Iowa star Caitlin Clark play at this level. The most prolific scorer in NCAA history had the Hawkeyes one win away from the national championship, a fitting way to end a remarkable and well-documented career.  

The Gamecocks, meanwhile, were sort of the anti-Iowa. It was a team of highly recruited players, not just one major star, that looked like a machine going for perfection, which they accomplished to finish the season 38-0 with an all-around effort on Sunday. 

That certainly led to it being the most-bet sporting event at FanDuel on a Sunday with MLB, NBA, NHL, golf, and NASCAR. 

Could it have made an even bigger sports betting impact if it hadn’t been a 3 p.m. ET start?

"We could only imagine the handle if the game was given a proper primetime slot,” said Craig Mucklow, Caesars VP of trading, in a statement to Covers. 

Still, Iowa-South Carolina doubled the record at Caesars previously held by Iowa-UConn. 

One more game

The final game of the college basketball season is set for tonight when the UConn men’s team seeks to become the first back-to-back NCAA champion since Florida in 2006 and 2007. 

The Huskies take on fellow No. 1 seed Purdue, which is chasing redemption after losing to a No. 16 seed in the 2023 NCAA tournament. 

UConn is a 6.5-point favorite at FanDuel, which reported Monday morning that 83% of the spread handle is on the Huskies. That’s also the side getting the 73% of the wagers, and UConn has received 70% of the moneyline handle and 68% of the moneyline bets, according to FanDuel.

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