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South Carolina vs Iowa Predictions & Best Bets

Last Updated: Apr 6, 2024

Two college basketball superpowers will meet this Sunday in the final game of the Women’s NCAA Tournament. No. 1 South Carolina (37-0) will put its perfect record on the line against No. 1 Iowa (34-4) and Caitlin Clark, the most outstanding player in the sport.

The Gamecocks rolled through their Final Four matchup with No. 3 NC State, outscoring the Wolfpack 29-6 in the third quarter en route to a 19-point victory. The Hawkeyes battled to the final second with No. 3 UConn, with Clark sinking late free throws to seal a 71-69 win.

Can Clark cap off her college career with a win over unbeaten South Carolina? Or will the Gamecocks avenge last year’s Final Four loss to the Hawkeyes and complete the first perfect season since 2016?

Here are our best bets and predictions for South Carolina vs Iowa.

South Carolina vs Iowa Odds

All NCAAW odds are current as of Saturday, April 6, at 8 a.m. ET.

  • Spread: South Carolina -6.5 (-110) • Iowa +6.5 (-110)
  • Moneyline: South Carolina (-270) • Iowa (+220)
  • Total: Over 161 (-110) • Under 161 (-110)

Unsurprisingly, South Carolina is listed as a 6.5-point favorite over Iowa. The Hawkeyes have a phenomenal offense, but the Gamecocks are equally stellar defensively. South Carolina has covered this spread in four of its first five NCAA Tournament games.

The total comes in at 161 points, which seems a touch too high considering the Gamecocks’ two-way ability. Iowa and South Carolina rank first and third in points per game, but Dawn Staley’s side has yet to have a game surpass this total in the tourney.

South Carolina vs Iowa Prediction

Iowa 74, South Carolina 70

It’ll take an efficient offense to bring down South Carolina — Indiana almost did in the Sweet 16 — but if Iowa is going to pull it off, it’ll need to perform better than it did in the win over UConn. The Hawkeyes committed 16 turnovers and went 7-of-25 from three-point range, and a repeat performance won’t cut it.

In last year’s meeting with the Gamecocks, Clark notched 41 points and did most of her damage inside the arc, going 10-of-14 on twos and 5-of-17 from beyond the arc. This year’s South Carolina squad isn’t quite as sharp defensively as in 2022-23, but they’ll still be Iowa’s most difficult opponent of the year.

The Gamecocks’ key to victory is limiting Clark’s impact as a playmaker. The Hawkeyes are 20-1 when Clark records 10-plus assists this season, so if they can make her a scorer and cut off passing lanes, Iowa may not get the well-rounded effort it needs to win.

Of course, that’s much easier said than done, and the Gamecocks’ relative vulnerability against fast-paced offenses (Tennessee, LSU, Indiana) makes me weary. With that in mind, I’m expecting the nation’s best player to deliver Iowa’s first national title.

South Carolina vs Iowa Best Bets

Iowa +6.5 (-110) vs South Carolina

DraftKings Sportsbook • WAGER: 1 Unit

Although I’m predicting an Iowa victory, I’d rather bet on them to cover as 6.5-point underdogs. South Carolina’s tightest wins this season came against teams with offensive profiles similar to the Hawkeyes — that is, uptempo and generally perimeter-oriented basketball.

I have no doubt that Iowa can keep this one within a few possessions, but getting over the hump and pulling off the upset is less certain. The value is there at (+220) if you’d rather take the moneyline, but the spread feels much safer at (-110).

Back the Hawkeyes to cover with your best college basketball bet today.

Under 161 Points (-110)

DraftKings Sportsbook • WAGER: 1 Unit

The Gamecocks have only had four games exceed this sky-high total all season. It’s true that these are two of college basketball’s most efficient offenses, but Iowa won’t have its usual 90-point showing against this South Carolina defense, and I wouldn’t be surprised if neither team surpassed the 80-point mark, either.

I would consider the Over if this total was about 10 points lower, but as it stands, the Under provides the best value.

Author

Garrett Chorpenning

Garrett Chorpenning is the Lead NBA Editor for The Game Day. His previous work includes covering the LA Clippers for Sports Illustrated and FanSided. He graduated from Ball State University in 2021.

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