Colorado vs. Iowa Spurs More Women’s NCAA Basketball Betting Interest

Written By Cheryl Coward on 03/29/2024 - Last Updated on April 8, 2024
Colorado vs. Iowa helps to drive rise in women's NCAA tournament betting

Colorado Buffs women’s basketball have a chance to take down the team of the most recognized athlete in college basketball in the Sweet 16 on Saturday. With bettors flocking to women’s basketball this March Madness season, a Buffs win over a Caitlin Clark-led Iowa Hawkeyes would upset brackets and send shockwaves through the postseason.

With women’s NCAA basketball viewership on the rise, players like Caitlin Clark and local teams like the Buffaloes are seeing a bump in Colorado sports betting action.

The Iowa-West Virginia game on ESPN brought 4.9 million viewers, the most of any women’s NCAA basketball game outside of a final four or Championship game. It was Caitlin Clark’s final home game at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. And it could go up as they get closer to a winner.

Colorado Buffaloes women’s team making an NCAA tournament splash

Saturday’s matchup marks a second-consecutive Sweet 16 matchup between the squads. Last year, the Hawkeyes prevailed 87-77, led by Clark who scored 31 points. However, the Buffs staged a comeback effort that had them trailing by just six in the last three minutes of the game.

The difference this year? Most of Iowa’s starting supporting cast to Clark graduated while Colorado has four of its five starters back including dynamic point guard Jaylyn Sherrod along with leading scorer Aaronette Vonleh, three-point ace Frida Formann and leading rebounder Quay Miller.

Does Colorado have a chance? Will bettors take chances on the underdog? Let’s take a look at the odds.

By the Sportsbooks

All the major sportsbooks give Iowa a fairly significant edge in the contest that will take place on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. ET and 1:30 p.m. local time. The game will be televised on ABC, broadcasted from the Albany, NY regional.

FanDuel has a Caitlin Clark section in its sportsbook that includes over a dozen wager types including bets on her future WNBA performances when she gets drafted in April. She is expected to be selected by the Indiana Fever who have the No. 1 pick.

Bettors in the state can choose from 21 legal mobile sportsbooks that offer wagering on college teams. However, prop bets on intercollegiate athletics are prohibited in Colorado. Nevertheless, there are plenty of other traditional wagers available in sportsbooks including futures.

Caitlin Clark is a household name

With Clark helping to propel women’s sports betting and name recognition that surpasses every college male basketball player, according to a recent Seton Hall University poll, sportsbooks should expect a surge in activity. The poll also found that 48% of Americans plan to watch women’s March Madness.

The American Gaming Association estimates Americans to make at least $2.7 million in legal bets during the NCAA tournament on women’s and men’s basketball games.

“Caitlin Clark is carrying the March Madness brand this year,” said Daniel Ladik, a Seton Hall marketing professor and chief methodologist for the poll. “It’s likely that viewer numbers for the women’s tournament will surpass all previous records and her presence alone is a logo shot for the NCAA.”

Don’t count Colorado out

Home state fans of the Buffs have enjoyed witnessing a resurgence of women’s basketball under eight-year head coach JR Payne. Her blue-collar, defensive-minded approach helped the team be a mainstay in the top 25 polls and earn a No. 5 seed in the Big Dance.

This tournament marks only the third time in program history that the team has gone to back-to-back Sweet 16s, and the first since the Ceal Barry years. With battle-tested veterans playing for the Buffs and the all-time leading scorer in college basketball in Clark on the opposing team, the game has all the makings for four exciting, nail-biting quarters.

Photo by AP Photo/Caean Couto
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Cheryl Coward

Cheryl Coward is a contributor for PlayColorado with a background in sports journalism. She started her career as a news reporter in Washington, DC. She’s a die-hard women’s basketball fanatic and founded the website as a result of that passion. She has extensive experience covering gambling and sports betting in California.

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