The women’s college basketball regular season has been played and there were a handful of teams wiping the court clean on a regular basis. Months have flown past and March Madness is underway.
Two major upsets have already occurred, suffered by teams who entered the Big Dance as top-three favorites to win it all. The No. 1 Indiana Hoosiers, who were +900 favorites for the tournament in early March, were bounced by the No. 9 Miami Hurricanes 70-68. Meanwhile, the No. 1 Stanford Cardinal were shown the door by the No. 8 Ole Miss Rebels in a 54-49 finish.
𝐂𝐎𝐌𝐄𝐁𝐀𝐂𝐊 𝐂𝐀𝐍𝐄𝐒@CanesWBB ties for the fifth largest comeback in NCAA tournament history after trailing by 17 points#MarchMadness pic.twitter.com/t5cdEBwjme— NCAA March Madness (@MarchMadnessWBB) March 18, 2023
Aside from those two blows, the top of the oddsboard has stayed the same as we prep for the Sweet 16. So, who is chalked to be crowned the best on April 2 in our women’s college basketball national championship odds? There’s one clear favorite.
Based on odds released by a variety of online sportsbooks, the South Carolina Gamecocks (-275) are favored to defend their title and they have a decent cushion between themselves and the other contenders. Following are the Connecticut Huskies (+700) and LSU Tigers (+1000) to round out our top three on the oddsboard.
Undefeated Gamecocks Favored In WNCAAB National Championship Odds
|South Carolina Gamecocks||-275|
|Virginia Tech Hokies||+2500|
|Notre Dame Fighting Irish||+8000|
|Ohio State Buckeyes||+10000|
Odds as of March 25
South Carolina Gamecocks (-275)
Exiting the regular season, the Gamecocks (32-0) had a nest full of wins and held the No. 1 spot in the AP rankings for the 37th straight week – talk about a dynasty. The program pocketed its second national championship last season with a 64-49 win over Connecticut, but somehow South Carolina jumped into this year even stronger.
Of their 32 victories, 20 came by a margin of 20 points or more, starting with their season debut when they destroyed the East Tennessee State Buccaneers 101-31. South Carolina now finds itself carrying a 40-game win streak dating back to last year, obliterating the school record of 29 consecutive wins.
Since they started dancing, the No. 1 Gamecocks have cruised through the tournament, kicking off with a resounding 72-40 victory over No. 16 Norfolk State. That momentum didn’t sway heading into the second round, either. South Carolina made its 76-45 win over No. 8 South Florida look easy.
These Seniors are the Standard#MarchMadness x @GamecockWBB pic.twitter.com/veNvrZIlaZ— NCAA March Madness (@MarchMadnessWBB) March 19, 2023
The Gamecocks are seventh in the nation in scoring, averaging 81.5 points per game, with Zia Cooke (15.3 PPG) and Aliyah Boston (13.3) leading the way. Defensively, they’re even better, allowing 51.1 PPG to rank fourth in Division 1. At the end of their season, the Gamecocks backed up their reputation with wins over the No. 5 Huskies (81-77) and No. 3 LSU Tigers (88-64).
Wagering on the defending champions, especially when they’re on another dominant run, is a promising bet. According to our odds calculator, South Carolina still offers a decent profit with a $100 bet paying out a $36.36 profit. I’d take the Gamecocks for a repeat championship.
WNCAA Basketball Championship Value Picks
While knocking off the reigning champions is going to be a tall task for any team, I’ve got a couple of longer shots that could certainly contend for the chance to cut down the net.
Huskies Growing Stronger Through Tournament (+700)
Similar to South Carolina, Connecticut has been distancing itself from its opponents on the scoreboard. The No. 2 Huskies barely broke a sweat in the first round, eliminating No. 15 Vermont 95-52. Then, they showed No. 7 Baylor the door with a merciless 77-58 beating. However, it was who showed up to play in the game that makes Connecticut look big and bad.
Azzi Fudd, who missed 22 games this year with a knee injury, sank 22 points – her most since the end of November. Prior to her injury, the sophomore had two 32-point nights to kick off the season. Now, in just her fifth game since being cleared to play, she led her team to its 29th straight Sweet 16.
"If she misses 100 shots, I would still get her the last shot for the win. That's how good of a shooter she is." - @MuhlNika— UCTV Sports (@UCTVSports) March 21, 2023
Azzi Fudd's 22 point game leads @UConnWBB to their 29th straight Sweet 16 appearance.‼️@brimahn has the report⬇️ pic.twitter.com/teU45GwvFk
The Huskies know the tournament well and experience is an added bonus to going the distance. With Fudd giving the team an extra boost, Connecticut is looking more and more promising as a value pick.
The Lady Vols A Reliable long Shot (+2500)
If you’re like me and not afraid to shoot for the underdog, then the No. 4 Tennessee Volunteers have your name written all over them. The Lady Vols are the only team to play in every NCAA Tournament and, yup, that includes men’s March Madness, too. So, speaking of experience, Tennessee has fewer performance jitters than the rest.
The confidence was evident in the opening rounds of the Big Dance. Tennessee pushed past No. 13 Saint Louis in a strong 95-50 performance. Then, the Lady Vols looked even better the following round, advancing past No. 12 Toledo in a 94-47 tilt. It was a group effort too, with five gals earning double-digit points to secure the win. So, not only is Tennessee stacked with experience, the team is also well balanced. Stopping a couple on the court is easy, but stopping them all? That’s a whole other ball game.
.@LadyVol_Hoops advances to its 36th Sweet 16 in program history — most by any men's or women's program all-time 🍊 pic.twitter.com/rN0DHfiKxX— SEC Network (@SECNetwork) March 21, 2023
Even just a cautious $5 bet on the Lady Vols to win the championship would pay out a $165 profit. You can’t go wrong with this value bet.
Last 10 Women’s College Basketball National Champions
|2022||South Carolina Gamecocks (35-2)||UConn Huskies||64-49|
|2021||Stanford Cardinal (31-2)||Arizona Wildcats||54-53|
|2019||Baylor Bears (37-1)||Notre Dame Fighting Irish||82-81|
|2018||Notre Dame Fighting Irish (34-3)||Mississippi State Bulldogs||61-58|
|2017||South Carolina Gamecocks (38-0)||Mississippi State Bulldogs||67-55|
|2016||UConn Huskies (38-0)||Syracuse Orange||82-51|
|2015||UConn Huskies (38-1)||Notre Dame Fighting Irish||63-53|
|2014||UConn Huskies (40-0)||Notre Dame Fighting Irish||79-58|
|2013||UConn Huskies (35-4)||Louisville Cardinals||93-60|
|2012||Baylor Bears (40-0)||Notre Dame Fighting Irish||80-61|
*2020 season canceled due to COVID-19
The Connecticut Huskies own a full trophy case with 11 national championships, the most of any school. They have won the title in three or more consecutive years twice (2002-2004, 2013-2016) in the last two decades. Between 2014 and 2017, the Huskies recorded a 111-game winning streak that was kept alive for 867 days.
How To Bet NCAA Women’s Basketball National Championship
If you’re a first-time bettor in women’s college basketball odds to win the championship, welcome! Typically, you’ll visit a sportsbook and see the NCAA championship odds listed like this:
The odds indicate what it would pay out if one of these teams were to win a national championship. Unlike a straight-up bet, or a moneyline bet, where there is a clear favorite represented by a minus sign (-), the team with the lowest odds would be the favorite.
In this case, it’s South Carolina, and the rest are underdogs even though each team has a plus sign (+) prefacing its odds. For American odds, all potential payouts are predicated on $100 bets.
Using American odds, if you were to bet $100 on the Gamecocks and they win, your sportsbook would return your original $100 investment and reward you with $100 in profit for your winning pick, which is $200 in total return to the bettor.
College basketball is notorious for long shots and underdogs going far in the NCAA Tournament or even winning it all. So, a team like LSU may entice a bettor to consider the Tigers with +850 odds to win the tournament (10.5 percent implied probability).
If LSU was to defy the odds and go on to win the title with bettors placing a $100 bet on the Tigers, they would be rewarded with a $950 return – the original $100 is returned along with $850 in profit.
If you’re ever unsure about numbers, check out our odds calculator. It’ll show you what your payout would be based on the odds and amount wagered.