Iowa-LSU Most Bet Women's NCAA Basketball Game of All Time at Multiple Sportsbooks

Much-hyped NCAA Women’s Elite Eight produces record sports betting handles.

Apr 2, 2024 • 12:50 ET • 4 min read
Caitlin Clark NCAAW Iowa
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

Monday was one of the biggest sports betting nights in NCAA women’s basketball history.

The ultra-hyped Elite Eight matchups of Iowa-LSU and UConn-USC drew millions of eyeballs and tons of wagers. 

The rematch from last year’s national championship between the Caitlin Clark-led Hawkeyes and Angel Reese’s Tigers for a trip to another Final Four was the most-bet women’s basketball game ever at multiple sportsbooks.

Iowa-LSU was the most bet women’s college basketball game in DraftKings Sportsbook history, by both handle and bets, a spokesperson confirmed with Covers.

Over at bet365, the number of bets on the Iowa-LSU moneyline alone in the U.S. was the most in NCAA women's basketball, ever, a company spokesperson shared with Covers.

"This game was the most bet women’s basketball game in bet365 history," bet365 shared via email. "Last year’s final between LSU-Iowa and the Iowa-Ohio State match last month where Caitlin Clark broke the scoring record round out the top three."

It was a similar refrain over at BetMGM. The public came out in droves to watch the NCAA's all-time leading scorer, one whom BetMGM identified as being the driving force behind an increase in betting on women's sports.

"LSU vs. Iowa was the most bet women’s basketball game ever, and UConn vs. USC was top 3," BetMGM trading manager Seamus Magee shared via email.

Caesars also confirmed to Covers that Hawkeyes-Tigers was "the biggest women's college basketball game we've ever booked" in terms of handle, surpassing the number from last year's championship game.

Women's basketball dominates sports landscape

The Iowa-LSU battle didn't just make NCAA women's basketball betting history, the much-hyped matchup also dominated the sports betting landscape on a night in which three of the four major professional sports were in action.

“Both women’s NCAA tournament games last night outperformed all six NBA games in total bets and handle," Magee said on behalf of BetMGM. “It was a special night for the game and for the sportsbook as we saw record handles in both pregame and live in-play action."

There were six NBA games on Monday's schedule, including the league-leading Boston Celtics and Kevin Durant-led Phoenix Suns. The MLB lineup featured 14 games, including a Houston Astros-Toronto Blue Jays matchup that ended with a no-hitter being thrown, and the NHL had a healthy eight-game schedule. They could not hold a candle to the Clark-Reese machine.

"LSU vs. Iowa was the No. 1 betting event on FanDuel yesterday, ahead of all NBA, MLB and NHL games," a FanDuel spokesperson confirmed via email. "UCONN vs. USC was the third highest of the day."

FanDuel also reported that the handle was up 28% from last year’s title game.

LSU emerged victorious 94-87 and Clark led the way with 41 points, 12 assists, and seven rebounds.

Looking ahead to the Final Four

Iowa will next face UConn in the Final Four on Friday and bettors are already supporting the Hawkeyes, who are -2.5 favorites.

"To date, 56% of bets and 84% of handle is on the Iowa moneyline, and 84% of bets and 92% of handle is on Iowa to cover," FanDuel reported.

The undefeated South Carolina Gamecocks enter the Final Four as an even heavier favorite. Head coach Dawn Staley’s squad knocked off Oregon State 70-58 on Sunday in their third double-digit win in four NCAA games. 

The Gamecocks are an 11.5-point favorite on FanDuel against NC State in the other semifinal. The online sportsbook says 93% of the bets and 83% of the handle is on the South Carolina moneyline while 45% of bets and 56% of the handle are backing the Gamecocks to cover against the Wolfpack, which upset No. 1-seed Texas 76-66 in the Elite Eight. 

South Carolina arrives in Cleveland, Ohio, as a -200 favorite to cut down the nets after opening at +290, according to BetMGM. 

Iowa is second at +300 with UConn at +700 and NC State at +1400. 

It’s no surprise that Clark and the Hawkeyes are BetMGM’s biggest liability to win it all. Iowa is getting 33.7% of the tickets and 31.1% of the handle. South Carolina is second at 11.4% of the tickets and a close 30.7% of amount wagered. 

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