March Madness betting, odds: Upsets make South Carolina an even bigger title favorite ahead of Sweet 16
Two No. 1 seeds lost in the second round of the women's NCAA tournament
You’ve got to be feeling pretty good if you bet on South Carolina to win the women’s NCAA tournament before it began.
The Gamecocks were better than even-money favorites to win the tournament before it tipped off and are now at a whopping -250 at BetMGM to win after the first two rounds. South Carolina’s odds to win the tournament increased significantly from -145 because of two massive upsets during the second round on Sunday and Monday.
No. 1 seed Stanford lost 54-49 to Ole Miss on Sunday night. The Cardinal were +700 to win the tournament and tied with UConn as the No. 2 favorite behind South Carolina. Monday night, No. 1 seed Indiana fell at home to Miami. The Hoosiers were at +1000 to win the tournament and it’s the first time in 25 years that two No. 1 seeds have failed to make the Sweet 16.
The defending national champions entered the tournament as the overwhelming favorite, thanks to an undefeated season and an average margin of victory of 30 points per game. The Gamecocks haven’t played at their best through the first two rounds of the tournament but have still won by more than 30 points each time. South Carolina beat Norfolk State 72-40 to start the tournament and then beat South Florida 76-45 on Sunday.
Big money bettors are loving South Carolina's chances too. Over 60% of the money bet on the women's national title winner is on South Carolina. Fewer than 20% of bets are on the Gamecocks to win and more bettors have Iowa winning the national title but those Iowa bets make up just 9% of the handle.
The Gamecocks draw No. 4 seed UCLA on Saturday in the Sweet 16 and should have a significant home-court advantage in Greenville, South Carolina, where the regional is being played. If South Carolina wins, it will either play Maryland or a Notre Dame team without Olivia Miles in the Elite Eight. The Terrapins are the No. 2 favorite to win the national title in South Carolina’s region, but their odds are at +5000 because of a possible matchup with the Gamecocks.
UConn is still the No. 2 favorite at +700 while Iowa is now the No. 3 favorite at +700. LSU is at +1200 and none of the 12 other teams remaining in the tournament has odds better than +3300 to win.
Women’s national championship odds ahead of Sweet 16
South Carolina (-250)
Virginia Tech (+3300)
Notre Dame (+9000)
Ohio State (+12500)
Ole Miss (+12500)