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2024 Women’s NCAA Tournament Picks: 4 Futures To Bet Right Now, Including Caitlin Clark at Plus Money

Check out our 2024 Women’s NCAA Tournament Picks, which includes 4 best bets and a play on Caitlin Clark!

It’s officially that time of year: March Madness! We’re on the eve of the 2024 Women’s NCAA Tournament, my absolute favorite sporting event of the year.

Last year’s women’s basketball tournament drew unprecedented attention and set several viewership records, ending with a legendary Final Four that saw match-ups between powerhouses like Iowa, South Carolina, and the ultimate champion, LSU.

Let’s look at a few of my favorite futures bets to place ahead of the the tournament’s tip-off. I’ll be back this weekend with some of my Best Bets for the First Round, but for now, I wanted to take a look at some fun and profitable futures still on the market. 

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2024 Women’s NCAA Tournament Picks

Caitlin Clark to Record Her 538th Career Made 3-Pointer in the Elite 8 (+200) – DraftKings

Caitlin Clark, star of the Iowa Hawkeyes, has become a household name over the last two seasons of college ball for her infinite three-point range, eye-popping scoring numbers, and for the records she’s breaking this season. Clark already holds the NCAA scoring record for a player of any gender, having broken both Kelsey Plum and ‘Pistol’ Pete Maravich’s scoring records. Now, heading into the tournament, Clark has her eyes on Oklahoma alum Taylor Robertson’s three-point record of 537 career made threes.

Clark is averaging 5.2 made threes per game this season, meaning that if Iowa survives to the Elite 8 (the fourth round of the tournament), she projects to break this record that round with around 16 of the 18 threes she needs to break T-Rob’s record. Barring Clark going absolutely beast mode from three-point range in the first three rounds, what we essentially have here is a +200 bet for the Hawkeyes to make the Elite 8. That implies a probability of 33.33%– I would project that significantly higher, closer to 70% working off numbers from my colleagues at HerHoopStats. I love the value here for a half-unit play to win a unit. 

LSU To Win The NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship (+700) – FanDuel

The LSU Tigers entered this season as the betting favorite to repeat after adding top transfers Hailey Van Lith (formerly of Louisville) and Aneesah Morrow (formerly of DePaul) to the returning pieces of their championship roster, headlined by star post Angel Reese. Having failed to garner ‘good wins’ to offset their ‘bad losses’ to Mississipi St., Auburn, and Colorado this season, LSU fell in the rankings, ending the season as 3-seed. 

While the Tigers have underperformed this season, I believe that we’re going to see the best version of LSU we’ve seen all season. They face an absolute gauntlet in their region, which also features No. 1 seed Iowa and No. 2 seed UCLA. I lean towards LSU to come out of this region, boasting a coach with championship pedigree in Kim Mulkey, and an incredibly high ceiling if their ‘Big 3’ of Morrow, Van Lith, and Reese can play their best ball. We saw last year how Mulkey can motivate her players to reach another gear when the brightest lights are on them. 

If LSU makes it to the Final Four, there should be decent cash out value on this bet. But they’re also probably one of the teams that match-up best with powerhouse South Carolina in the bracket. LSU is one of four teams in the country who have come within single digits of the undefeated Gamecocks, doing so in both of their games this season. If anyone in the country can beat this South Carolina team, it might just be their conference rivals. I like a healthy sprinkle bet on LSU to win the title. 

Consider also hitting LSU at +155 to win their region.

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South Carolina To Win The NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship (-145 at most books)

To get the obvious out of the way: The best time to bet on South Carolina was definitely before they went undefeated through 32 games. The Gamecocks were +1300 when LSU opened the season as the favorite, with books prediciting a falling off from Dawn Staley’s squad after losing their entire senior starting five.

However, South Carolina pulled off another undefeated regular season and enter the tournament once again as the No. 1 overall seed. The combination of Staley’s elite coaching, the arrival of an absolute stud guards in freshman Milaysia Fulwiley and senior transfer Te-Hina Paopao, and the improvements of returning players like Raven Johnson, Ashlyn Watkins, Bree Hall, Chloe Kitts, and star center Kamilla Cardoso has extended South Carolina’s run of complete and utter dominance. 

South Carolina has the best defense in the NCAA by defensive rating and holds the best net rating in the country, beating teams by a whopping average margin of 29.8 points per game. No one has found a way to beat South Carolina all year, and I don’t know if I have faith that any team in this field will be able to pull it off.

The major Achilles’ heel of the dominant South Carolina squad last year was it lacked a modern, three-point shooting offense, something LSU was able to exploit in the Final Four. This year guard Raven Johnson has returned with a much-improved three-point jumper, and the Gamecocks have added shoot creating guards in Paopao and Fulwiley. South Carolina is the third-best three-pointing team in the country this season by percentage (39.7%), compared to ranking 171st in the same statistic last season. 

Once again, based both on stats and the eye test, I don’t know if I believe any team in the country can beat them. No. 8 seed Tennessee gave South Carolina a good scare in the SEC Tournament, leading the Gamecocks 73-71 with 1.1 seconds on the clock in the semi-finals. This is as close as anyone has come to beating South Carolina all year, and Staley was able to find her way out of it, drawing up a play for her center Cardoso – who hadn’t hit a three pointer in her entire career – to hit a game-winning, dream-crushing, impossible buzzer-beater three. 

South Carolina is -145 against the field at most books, which implies a probability of just under 60% for them to win the championship. Anecdotally, it feels like their odds are much better than that. If you don’t have an existing future on South Carolina, or if you want to add on with how dominant they’ve shown themselves to be, I still think -145 presents value over the field. I would put up to three units on it.

Baylor To Advance to The Sweet 16  (+160 at DraftKings)

No. 5 seed Baylor hasn’t garnered much national attention this year, but they’ve had a solid season behind head coach Nikki Collen, a solid coach with WNBA head coaching experience. Baylor went 24-7, including wins against No. 1 seed Texas and No. 5 seed Utah back in non-conference play.

The Baylor Bears are a solid squad, and they find themselves in the same pod as No. 4 seed Virginia Tech, who they’d be slated to face in the second round if chalk holds. Virginia Tech will likely be without their star forward Elizabeth Kitley; while no official announcement has been made, Kitley suffered a serious looking injury during the ACC Tournament and I doubt she’ll be available. Virginia Tech looked rough without Kitley in the ACC Tournament Finals  where they got blown out by Notre Dame, 82-53. Without Kitley, I expect Baylor to upset Virginia Tech to come out of that pod fairly easily. I’d place 1.5 units on this future.

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