Women's NCAA Tournament Betting: South Carolina Versus the Field

Brandon Gdula
Brandon Gdula@gdula13
Women's NCAA Tournament Betting: South Carolina Versus the Field

Historically speaking, women's NCAA Tournament winners are great overall teams.

No team is greater, this season, than the South Carolina Gamecocks, and they possess all the traits of an eventual champion.

South Carolina is a perfect 32-0 (16-0 in the SEC) and have been number one in the AP Polls since November.

The women's NCAA Tournament betting odds at FanDuel Sportsbook consider South Carolina a heavy favorite. They're -115 to win the championship.

But you can also bet on any other team to win (i.e. "The Field") at -115 odds, as well.

Just how good is South Carolina?

Finding Precedent for South Carolina

Based on Sports-Reference's opponent-adjusted net rating (the differential between a team's adjusted offensive rating and its adjusted defensive rating), South Carolina leads the nation with an astounding +59.1 mark.

None of the past 13 champions have had an adjusted net rating below +46.4.

Is there precedent for a team this good, though?


And here's where things get interesting.

South Carolina's mark was +59.0 in 2022 during their championship season -- just a shade below what it is in 2023-24.

But, since 2010, 21 teams have actually had an adjusted net rating of +59.0 or better.

So, while South Carolina's great, we have seen dominance like this before.

In fact, this season, two other teams -- UConn (+53.3) and Texas (+50.3) -- have adjusted net ratings above 50.0.

Speaking of UConn, they've had a 50.00-plus adjust net rating it nine times since 2010 and hold each of the nine best seasons by adjusted net rating (ranging as high as +78.3).

What happens when we have more than one great team, though?

A Look at the Competition

While South Carolina is the best team in the nation this season, we also need to account for opponents who can give them a challenge. Namely how many viable competitors are there this season?

There are three teams within 10.0 points of South Carolina's adjusted net rating:

  • UConn (-5.8 compared to South Carolina)
  • Texas (-8.8)
  • Stanford (-9.9)

Two more teams -- Iowa (-10.2) and UCLA (-10.9) -- are within 11.0 points.

Make no mistake. Even 5.8 points is a substantial gap, but South Carolina actually had a bigger adjusted net rating gap over second place (14.0 points) last season before losing to Iowa in the Final Four.

South Carolina's adjusted net rating last season was 60.8.

And if we look back at the 13 teams since 2010 with the best adjusted net rating (excluding 2020, which didn't crown a champion via the Tournament), we see seven instances where the nation's top team had at least one challenger within 10.0 points of their adjusted net rating.

While all seven made the Final Four, "just" four of the seven won the championship.

South Carolina vs. The Field

As far as some projections go, ESPN's BPI simulations consider South Carolina 39.1% likely to win the NCAA women's tournament with notable head-to-head win probabilities over UConn (61.6%), Texas (67.5%), Stanford (69.0%), Iowa (73.2%), and LSU (73.8%).

MasseyRatings -- of course -- ranks South Carolina first in the nation with UConn, Iowa, Texas, and Stanford rounding out the top five.

They're considered 62% likely to beat UConn, 66% likely to beat Iowa, 70% likely to beat Texas, and 67% likely to beat Stanford in simulated head-to-head matchups via MasseyRatings.

Perfection is certainly on the table for South Carolina, but they do have enough challengers in the field to give us a long look at the field in this particular market.

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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.