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Caitlin Clark and the Final Four: How to watch, what to bet in UConn vs. Iowa, NC State vs. South Carolina

This year’s NCAA Women’s Final Four features a quartet of teams each with an engaging story. The quiet and consistent dominance of undefeated South Carolina, the immense fanfare surrounding Caitlin Clark and Iowa, the resilience of UCONN, and the return to prominence of NC State.

It is a case of deja vu for the Gamecocks as they head into the national semis again undefeated at 36-0. This year they are seeking revenge for a loss in the semis last season. Led by Caitlin Clark, it was the Iowa Hawkeyes who knocked the Gamecocks from the ranks of the unbeaten. This season they hope to take it all a step further and claim the national title. UCONN is in the Final Four despite losing six players to season-ending injuries. Incredible! The Huskies have now played ij 15 of the last 16 Final Fours. NC State at one time was a consistent national power. Hoping this is the start of another lengthy run amongst the best in the sport, the Wolfpack return to the national semis for the first time since 1998.

Bet the Edge is your source for the day in sports betting. Get all of Jay Croucher and Drew Dinsick’s insight weekdays at 6AM ET right here or wherever you get your podcasts.

While we wait for the books to drop player props and team totals, let’s look at the handful of available markets currently offered for each of the women’s national semifinal games and consider a handful of bets.

Friday, April 5, 2024 @ 7P ET on ESPN

Site: State Farm Stadium in Glendale, AZ

3-North Carolina State (+600) vs. 1-South Carolina (-800)

Spread: Gamecocks -11.5 | O/U: 139.5

Somehow, the Gamecocks (36-0) are marching quietly towards the perfect season. The Indiana Hoosiers kept it close in the Sweet 16 but they are the only team to remotely test Dawn Staley’s squad so far in the Tournament. With seven players averaging more than eight points per game, balance is one of the primary reasons USC is so lethal. South Carolina’s lone weakness is at the free throw line where they convert just 68% of the time. The Gamecocks are better than the Wolfpack in every other statistical category (the Wolfpack shoot 73% from the charity stripe) on offense AND defense. Three looks to consider: NC State’s game total UNDER, South Carolina’s game total OVER, and laying the points with the Gamecocks. USC has not been a covering machine, but the Final Four is a familiar spot for them whereas it is unchartered waters for State.

Friday, April 5, 2024 @ 9P ET on ESPN

Site: Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in Cleveland, OH

3-UCONN (+125) vs. 1-Iowa (-150)

Spread: Hawkeyes -2.5 | O/U: 162.5

Can Geno Auriemma come up with a gameplan to slow Caitlin Clark? You have to believe any plan needs to involve multiple bodies beginning the moment Clark steps across midcourt. The scary part for UCONN is Iowa’s results vs. LSU were not out of the ordinary statistically. Their shooting percentages were on par – up slightly from beyond the arc but slightly below overall – and they actually grabbed fewer rebounds than usual. The more I dive into this game the more I wonder how a Connecticut team that has lost six players to season-ending injuries can stay with Iowa. Lay the points with the Hawkeyes. A probable an in-game play for me is the TOTAL. It is a little too high to sweat it from the outset and so if the two sides start scoring early, maybe play the contrarian and bet the UNDER once it climbs in the opening moments.

We shall return later this week with a handful of Caitlin Clark and other prop bets once player markets and team totals are released.

Iowa Hawkeyes
South Carolina Gamecocks
UConn Huskies
North Carolina State Wolfpack