2024 NCAA Women's Tournament First Four Betting Picks

Brandon Gdula
Brandon Gdula@gdula13
2024 NCAA Women's Tournament First Four Betting Picks

The 2024 NCAA women's tournament bracket is set, and the First Four begins Wednesday, March 20th.

The tournament begins at 7:00 p.m. Eastern on ESPNU with a matchup between Presbyterian and Sacred Heart to see who first faces a dominant South Carolina squad.

Here are the NCAA women's basketball betting odds for the First Four matchups, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.

NCAA Women First Four Betting Odds

Home Spread
Away Moneyline
Home Moneyline
Presbyterian Blue Hose at Sacred Heart Pioneers-8.5+370-600115.5
Columbia Lions at Vanderbilt Commodores+1.5-118-112138.5
Arizona Wildcats at Auburn Tigers+1.5-138+104127.5
UT Martin Skyhawks at Holy Cross Crusaders+1.5-122-108116.5

Which bets are the most appealing? Let's dig in.

Presbyterian vs. Sacred Heart Betting Odds

Over 115.5 (-114)

Presbyterian +8.5 (-110)

We have two trending teams facing off in the first game of the First Four for the women's bracket.

Presbyterian enters with an 8-1 record over its final nine games, including a Big South tournament win as the conference's 5 seed. This is their first tournament appearance since joining Division I in 2007.

During that nine-game streak, their games have averaged just 105.2 points, but the pace is down only by around 3.0 possessions per game in that sample. They've faced a lot of low-scoring offenses in that span, and that's bogged down the point totals.

Sacred Heart beat Le Moyne in the NEC title game for a back-to-back trip to the Big Dance (though Le Moyne wasn't eligible for the tournament, so Sacred Heart was in win or lose).

They're 19-1 in their final 20 games and are on a 15-game win streak. Over their final 20, they're averaging 72.2 points per game offensively. That would rank them 68th in the nation across the full season.

MasseyRatings projects 119.9 total points here. My model anticipates 121.3 points in this matchup and, across 10,000 simulations, sees it tallying at least 116 points 59.6% of the time.

UT Martin vs. Holy Cross Betting Odds

Over 116.5 (-122)

Holy Cross +1.5 (-122)

The UT Martin Skyhawks are favored in this game by 1.5 points, but there are reasons to like the Holy Cross Crusaders (and the over).

Both teams play at a slow pace (both are 307th or worse in possessions per game) with pretty average offenses (94.5 raw offensive rating for each).

In terms of adjusted offense, there's a difference of opinion between two advanced models.

Sports-Reference's adjusted offensive rating ranks Holy Cross 219th and UT-Martin 173rd. However, TheAnalyst's TRACR rating likes Holy Cross more (152nd versus 188th) offensively.

Senior guard Bronagh Power-Cassidy leads the Crusaders with 16.8 points per game across 33.3 minutes. She is shooting 40.6% from the three-point arc on 6.0 attempts per game. She's taken over offensively down the stretch with point totals of 33, 15, 30, 14, 20, and 21 over the Crusaders' final six games.

UT-Martin has the 16th-best three-point percentage in the nation, though, and has two 15-plus-point scorers (Kenley McCarn at 16.9 and Anaya Brown at 15.1).

My model is projecting 122.0 total points here; MasseyRatings' total is 120.3.

Overall, TheAnalyst has Holy Cross winning this game 59.3% of the time, suggesting moneyline odds of -146.

My model has it tighter (51.6% in Holy Cross' favor). It shows them as 54.7% likely to cover, so the spread is more appealing.

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The above author is a FanDuel employee and is not eligible to compete in public daily fantasy contests or place sports betting wagers on FanDuel. The advice provided by the author does not necessarily represent the views of FanDuel. Taking the author's advice will not guarantee a successful outcome. You should use your own judgment when participating in daily fantasy contests or placing sports wagers.