Led by Caitlin Clark, Iowa-LSU Elite Eight Showdown a Slam Dunk for Sportsbooks

Caitlin Clark put on a show last night as No. 1 Iowa took down No. 4 LSU in the Elite Eight in what was a rematch of last year’s National Championship.

Iowa’s Caitlin Clark makes one of her nine three-pointers during the Hawkeyes’ 94-87 win over LSU in the Elite Eight of the 2024 NCAA women’s college basketball tournament on Monday, April 1, 2024. Clark’s historic season continues to the Final Four where her Iowa Hawkeyes will meet UConn. (Image: Getty)

Clark would not be defeated by the Tigers for a second consecutive year. She dazzled the packed crowd last night to finish with 41 points, 12 assists, and seven rebounds in outdueling her rival Angel Reese.

At one point during the fourth quarter, Reese simply shook her head in disbelief after Clark made one of her nine three pointers. Reese said she played through pain during much of the game. She finished with 17 points on poor seven for 21 shooting.

Iowa’s 94-87 victory sends the Hawkeyes to the Final Four for a second consecutive year.  

Unprecedented Action

Oddsmakers are happy Clark remains in the NCAA tournament, as last night’s game against LSU shattered records.

The Iowa-LSU rematch that included two of the game’s most recognizable stars — Clark and Reese — was much anticipated. The hype bled to sports betting where oddsmakers said the game was unprecedented in terms of wagering.

FanDuel said Iowa-LSU was its biggest event ever for women’s sports.

We have seen an incredible uptick in betting on women’s sports as fans show unprecedented interest, and we look forward to seeing how fans engage during the Final Four,” Karol Corcoran, senior vice president and general manager of FanDuel Sportsbook, told CNBC.

Fanatics Sportsbook told Casino.org that the Iowa-LSU showdown garnered over two times more tickets and money than all other women’s March Madness games this year. The game also attracted more money than several marquee men’s games, including North Carolina-Alabama, Kansas-Gonzaga, and Kentucky-Oakland.

DraftKings said the Iowa-LSU battle dominated its Monday night. The women’s nightcap between the University of Connecticut and the University of Southern California also gained a flurry of action.

BetMGM also reported that Iowa vs. LSU was its most bet women’s sporting event ever.

“It was a special night for the game and for the sportsbook as we saw record handles in both pregame and live in-play action,” said Seamus Magee, BetMGM’s trading manager.

Title Might Be Short-Lived 

Iowa-LSU’s claim to being the most bet on women’s event ever might not last long.

The Hawkeyes and UConn Huskies meet on Friday in Cleveland for the NCAA Women’s Championship Final Four. Clark will go up against another major star in Paige Bueckers.

ESPN Bet has Iowa favored by 2.5 points, and the over/under at 162.5 points. The moneyline is UConn +120 and the Hawkeyes favored at -142.

Most states where sports betting is legal prohibit player props involving college athletes. So, most bettors won’t have the option to bet on how many points Clark or Bueckers might score on Friday night.

The only states that continue to permit college player props for individual games — not season-long futures — are Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, and Wyoming.

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