Women’s Final Four betting preview: South Carolina heavy favorite, LSU odds and expectations

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Final Four signange hangs on the exterior of American Airlines Center, Wednesday, March 29, 2023, in Dallas. The venue will host the women's NCAA Final Four basketbal tournament where South Carolina is scheduled to play Iowa and LSU will play Virginia Tech on Friday. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

The women’s Final Four is here, and the action kicks off on Friday night. LSU takes on Virginia Tech in the first national semifinal Friday night in Dallas. Of course, South Carolina, the reigning champion and still unbeaten this season, is the heavy favorite, both in its semifinal game against Iowa and to win another national title.

Let’s break down each matchup with odds, point spread and over/under from FanDuel Sportsbook:

LSU vs. Virginia Tech, 7 p.m. Friday

Point spread: LSU -1.5

Money line: LSU -134, VT +110

Over/under: 133.5

The Tigers have been favored in all of their games during March Madness, and this is no exception, though it has the tightest point spread of any LSU tournament game thus far.

When the line opened, the Tigers were a 1-point favorite, a spread that now shows LSU -1.5.

LSU’s offense has not had great success in the tournament so far. Against Miami, LSU made only 1 of 12 from 3-point range and shot just 58% from the free-throw line. Instead, the Tigers derived their advantage from defense (12 steals to Miami’s six) and rebounding (an edge of 15 boards).

Virginia Tech will be a different challenge. The Hokies feature Elizabeth Kitley, who had 25 points and 12 rebounds in their 84-74 regional final victory over Ohio State. Like LSU’s double-double machine, Angel Reese, Kitley is adept at offensive rebounds and put-backs. She is, basically, the taller version of Reese.

Her teammate Georgia Amoore is a lethal shooter who will dribble around the perimeter to get free from a defender and take a step-back 3 from the top of the key. If she comes alive in the fourth quarter, LSU’s party at the dance may stop.

South Carolina vs. Iowa, 9:30 p.m. Friday

Point spread: South Carolina -11½

Money line: South Carolina -800, Iowa +520

Over/under: 149.5

South Carolina is a massive -290 favorite to win the championship and is favored by double digits over the Hawkeyes, who are in the Final Four for the first time since 1993. Both of these teams were also favored in all of their games in the tournament.

The Gamecocks are the only team in Dallas that has been to a Final Four any time in the recent past. The defending national champions are a physical team that plays tight defense without fouling. In their 86-75 regional final win over Maryland, the Terrapins had 26 rebounds to South Carolina’s 48. South Carolina also has a deep bench that scores 36.6 points per game.

Still, the Gamecocks may have a challenge against Iowa, who has one of the best shooters ever in Caitlin Clark. If she has any space, she will shoot. In the Hawkeyes’ 97-83 regional final win against Louisville, Clark had a 41-point triple-double and shot 57% from 3-point range. Iowa also has a strong post player in Monika Czinano, but she has not had to play a physical post defender like Aliyah Boston or Kamilla Cardoso.

Best bets

South Carolina -290 to win national title

Virginia Tech +1.5 vs. LSU

National championship odds

South Carolina -290

LSU +600

Iowa +850

Virginia Tech +900

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