UConn vs. Iowa odds, prediction: March Madness Women’s Final Four picks, best bets

Make no mistake, Caitlin Clark is the best player in women’s college basketball right now and is the deserving face of a sport that has a galaxy of star players and teams. 

She might even justify the astronomical ticket prices for the Women’s Final Four, where on Friday night she and her Iowa teammates will take on Connecticut in an epic clash, with the winner moving on to Sunday’s national championship game.

UConn vs. Iowa (9:30 p.m. ET, ESPN) is the main event on the Final Four card, following a worthy undercard of North Carolina State vs. South Carolina (6:30 p.m. ET, ESPN).

With some good planning by the NCAA Tournament seeding committee, it’s all set up in front of Clark, the NCAA’s all-time leading scorer and future top pick of the WNBA’s Indiana Fever. 

On Monday, she got past the team that beat her in the finals last year (LSU), and now Friday night she faces the premier program in the country, with legendary coach Geno Auriemma and sharp-shooting guard Paige Bueckers, who is a star in her own right.

And then – potentially – onto Sunday’s natty, where – potentially – an undefeated South Carolina team could await.

If she pulls it all off, they’ll start chiselling her face into the side of Mount Rushmore as she walks off campus. You couldn’t draw up a better map if you’re the NCAA. 

But first things first — Friday night’s matchup with UConn. Here’s a betting preview of the game.

UConn vs. Iowa odds

Team Spread Moneyline Total
UConn +3 (-110) +130 o162 (-110)
Iowa -3 (-110) -155 u162 (-110)
Odds via Caesars Sportsbook

UConn vs. Iowa analysis

I didn’t understand Kim Mulkey’s strategy in Monday’s Elite Eight game against Iowa, putting Hailey Van Lith, who was under the weather, on Clark and going under screens. It was confounding, to say the least.

Clark finished with 41 points and 12 assists, tying the NCAA Tournament record for the most 3-pointers made (nine) in a single game.

Just as confusing was what USC did (or didn’t) do in its Elite Eight matchup with UConn. The Trojans failed to to attack when Nika Muhl and KK Arnold both had four fouls. Why didn’t USC constantly attack a UConn team that only goes six deep?

Don’t expect Iowa coach Lisa Bluder to be that kind if the Huskies get into foul trouble Friday night, and they very well could trying to defend Clark.

Iowa won’t be at full strength; they haven’t been since Molly Davis went down with a knee injury against Ohio State in the Hawkeye’s final regular-season game.

The fifth-year guard was such a key part of Iowa before she got injured, giving Bluder an additional ball-handler.

UConn star Paige Bueckers.
UConn star Paige Bueckers. Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

But Sydney Affolter has been really good in replacing Davis in the starting lineup and is deserving of even more minutes.

Affolter is averaging 13.4 points and 7.3 rebounds across seven postseason games in Davis’ absence.

Kate Martin is a good second player to Clark, but Affolter provides pressure on the rim and comes with needed attitude for this Hawkeyes team.

She gives Iowa an edge on the court and has shown out so far in the tournament.

The Huskies haven’t played in a game that has been close this season; closest was a seven-point win against USC in their last outing.

In a game with a one-possession spread, it will be interesting to see how they react if it comes down to the wire.

Betting on March Madness 2024?

Don’t expect Bueckers to suddenly shrink from the moment, but there are things you learn when you play in tight games.

Clark has been there several times throughout this season and in her career. We know how those have ended for Iowa’s opponents.

UConn vs. Iowa pick

If this is a tight game, as anticipated, it goes to Iowa. If refs have a tight whistle, it also goes to Iowa because of UConn’s lack of depth.

It’s difficult to go against Clark and Iowa — and maybe even fate.

Pick: Iowa -2.5 (-110, BetRivers)


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