Women’s March Madness odds 2024: Projecting the teams with best chances to make each round, win NCAA Tournament

Let the madness begin.

The 2024 NCAA women’s basketball tournament field has been set, and it has no shortage of star power. Caitlin Clark headlines this year’s tournament as the biggest star in the sport at the collegiate level. USC’s JuJu Watkins is going to have her own shot at stardom this year as the new face of USC basketball. And Angel Reese and LSU are back to defend their national championship.

But while there are plenty of household names, March is the time for new faces to emerge in college basketball. There will be plenty of upsets and many thrilling matchups as teams look to shake up the field. Can anyone keep South Carolina’s perfect season from ending in a title? What about stopping Clark’s Iowa career from being capped off with a national championship? Will anyone prevent a repeat from another strong LSU squad?

Sporting News is rolling out its projection model that evaluates the field and determines which teams are the most likely to come out of each matchup. The model is based on composite ratings from Sports-Reference’s SRS ratings, Omni Rankings, Real Time RPI and Warren Nolan’s ELO ratings. The model then runs a Monte Carlo simulation of the tournament 20,000 times and records the outcomes for each result.

Here is a look at the current odds for the entire 2024 March Madness bracket, as well as what SN’s model says about the field.

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March Madness odds 2024

It should be no surprise undefeated South Carolina is the favorite to win the national championship in odds from BetMGM. What perhaps comes as a bit of a surprise is by how much the Gamecocks. South Carolina is the favorite over the entire field, meaning that bookmakers think it’s more likely the Gamecocks win the national championship than the odds of any other team winning combined.

On the men’s side, Connecticut is the favorite at +400. South Carolina’s odds are in the negatives. That’s picking them as huge favorites.

Region Team Seed Odds
Albany 1 South Carolina 1 -135
Albany 2 Iowa 1 +600
Albany 2 LSU 3 +750
Portland 4 Stanford 2 +1500
Portland 3 Texas 1 +1500
Portland 4 Connecticut 3 +2000
Portland 3 Ohio State 2 +2500
Albany 2 UCLA 2 +3000
Portland 3 USC 1 +3000
Portland 4 NC State 3 +5000
Albany 1 Notre Dame 2 +5000

If anyone was going to follow the Gamecocks, it makes sense it would be Clark’s Hawkeyes. They’ve stolen the show in college basketball throughout the season, though it is a bit surprising to see the Hawkeyes so heavily favored considering they’d have to get past reigning national champion LSU in their region just to reach the Final Four. The Tigers have the third-best title odds behind the Gamecocks and Hawkeyes.

The model also sees South Carolina as huge favorites to win it all (38.7%), though not quite as much as bookmakers. After all, it’s hardly an easy feat to run the table on an undefeated season all the way through. 

However, after South Carolina, it’s Connecticut that comes in second, edging Iowa at 11 percent to 9.7 percent. Then, the Longhorns come up with a 9.5 percent chance to win it all. Reigning champion LSU is at 4.2 percent, which ranks seventh.

Region Team Seed Title Win Percent Implied Odds
Albany 1 South Carolina 1 38.7% +158
Portland 3 Connecticut 3 11% +807
Albany 2 Iowa 1 9.7% +933
Portland 4 Texas 1 9.5% +950
Albany 1 Notre Dame 2 4.6% +1869

If you’re looking for the sleeper value bet through the model’s eyes, it’s on Connecticut. The Huskies are at +2000 in BetMGM’s odds to win the national championship, but the model thinks they’re chances are significantly better. Still, it’s hard at this point to bet against undefeated South Carolina.

MORE: Women’s bracket expert picks | Upset predictions

NCAA Tournament odds to advance by region

Here is a look at the odds for each team to advance past each region, as well as the projected run for each team based on Sporting News’ model.

It should be noted teams in the play-in or facing play-in teams will have their odds and model projections updated once the games are concluded. Odds for teams to reach the Elite Eight will be updated as they are released.

Albany 1

Is anyone in the Albany 1 region going to take down South Carolina? It sure seems unlikely. BetMGM gives no other team in this part of the bracket better than +5000 odds to win the national championship, indicating a clear lack of faith in anyone to upset the favorites.

Seed Team Title winner
1 South Carolina -135
2 Notre Dame +5000
3 Oregon State +10000
4 Indiana +10000
5 Oklahoma +30000
6 Nebraska +30000
7 Ole Miss +30000
8 North Carolina +25000
9 Michigan State +30000
10 Marquette N/A
11 Texas A&M +50000
12 FGCU +50000
13 Fairfield N/A
14 Eastern Washington N/A
15 Kent State N/A
16 Sacred Heart N/A
16 Presbyterian N/A

Could it be No. 2 Notre Dame, the ACC champs? They’re the clearest contender, though the odds on No. 8 North Carolina at +25000 indicates there might be some at least a modicum of belief the Tar Heels could find success by getting the top squad in the second round.

The model has South Carolina as the heavy favorite to emerge from the Albany 1 region, giving it a 65.1 percent chance of reaching the Final Four and a 50 percent chance of getting to the national championship.

Seed Team Round of 32 Sweet Sixteen Elite Eight Final Four Championship Title winner
1 South Carolina 99.9% 92.2% 79.3% 65.1% 50.3% 38.7%
2 Notre Dame 93.7% 72.9% 54.6% 18.1% 10.0% 5.1%
3 Oregon State 81.6% 53.6% 20.9% 4.5% 1.8% 0.6%
4 Indiana 81.6% 52.7% 10.6% 5.4% 2.0% 0.7%
5 Oklahoma 73.6% 34.8% 5.5% 2.3% 0.7% 0.2%
6 Nebraska 61.2% 27.2% 8.5% 1.5% 0.3% 0.1%
7 Ole Miss 59.8% 17.9% 8.2% 1.2% 0.4% 0.1%
8 North Carolina 42.3% 2.4% 1.2% 0.3% 0.0% 0.0%
9 Michigan State 57.7% 5.3% 2.6% 0.9% 0.3% 0.1%
10 Marquette 40.2% 8.0% 3.1% 0.3% 0.1% 0.0%
11 Texas A&M 38.8% 13.4% 3.2% 0.3% 0.0% 0.0%
12 FGCU 26.4% 6.9% 0.4% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
13 Fairfield 18.4% 5.6% 0.3% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
14 Eastern Washington 18.4% 5.8% 1.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
15 Kent State 6.3% 1.2% 0.3% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
16 Sacred Heart TBD TBD TBD TBD TBD TBD
16 Presbyterian TBD TBD TBD TBD TBD TBD

Looking for some upset picks? No. 9 Michigan State could be a sleeper against the Tar Heels. If No. 11 Texas A&M can get past No. 6 Nebraska, the Aggies could also be an underrated pick to then reach the Sweet Sixteen.

Albany 2

The Hawkeyes are the favorites to emerge from their region, but this is far from open and shut like Albany 1. The Tigers aren’t far behind in national championship odds, and even No. 2 UCLA has a decent shot. 

Seed Team Title winner
1 Iowa +600
2 UCLA +3000
3 LSU +750
4 Kansas State +20000
5 Colorado +10000
6 Louisville +20000
7 Creighton +50000
8 West Virginia +30000
9 Princeton N/A
10 UNLV +30000
11 Middle Tennessee +50000
12 Drake N/A
13 Portland +50000
14 Rice +50000
15 Cal Baptist +50000
16 Holy Cross +50000
16 UT Martin +50000

No. 5 Colorado has some decent odds at winning the title at +10000, perhaps indicative of its easier perceived path to the Sweet Sixteen, where it would then likely have to face Iowa.

The model sees this as a three-team race between Iowa, LSU and UCLA. The Hawkeyes are the favorites, but it is far from an overwhelming advantage over the Tigers and Bruins. Part of the edge for Iowa might come in the fact simply that LSU and UCLA have to face one another just to reach the Elite Eight, while the Hawkeyes’ toughest challenge would be No. 4 Kansas State or No. 5 Colorado, neither of whom the model sees as being serious threats to the Hawkeyes.

Seed Team Round of 32 Sweet Sixteen Elite Eight Final Four Championship Title winner
1 Iowa 99.2% 77.9% 59.2% 37.7% 21.6% 9.7%
2 UCLA 90.1% 63.4% 34.5% 16.4% 9.1% 2.8%
3 LSU 93.4% 68.0% 40.5% 23.2% 11.8% 4.2%
4 Kansas State 85.5% 51.9% 18.2% 7.2% 2.9% 0.7%
5 Colorado 61.8% 29.9% 9.0% 3.6% 1.1% 0.2%
6 Louisville 57.5% 20.5% 8.1% 2.6% 0.8% 0.2%
7 Creighton 52.5% 19.5% 7.8% 2.6% 0.9% 0.2%
8 West Virginia 56.5% 14.1% 6.7% 2.4% 0.8% 0.2%
9 Princeton 43.5% 8.0% 3.3% 0.9% 0.2% 0.0%
10 UNLV 47.5% 15.3% 5.0% 1.6% 0.4% 0.1%
11 Middle Tennessee 42.5% 10.2% 3.7% 0.7% 0.3% 0.0%
12 Drake 38.2% 15.1% 3.3% 1.0% 0.2% 0.0%
13 Portland 14.5% 3.1% 0.4% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
14 Rice 6.6% 1.2% 0.2% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
15 Cal Baptist 9.9% 1.9% 0.3% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
16 Holy Cross TBD TBD TBD TBD TBD TBD
16 UT Martin TBD TBD TBD TBD TBD TBD

There are no upsets projected to happen in the first two rounds of the bracket, but No. 10 UNLV and No. 11 Middle Tennessee are underdogs in near coin flips to No. 7 Creighton and No. 6 Louisville, respectively. The model even seems some room for No. 12 Drake to potentially be a surprise team to reach the Sweet Sixteen.

Portland 3

Unlike the Albany regions, both the Portland regions appear to be wide open. No. 3 seed Connecticut is the favorite with No. 2 Ohio State and No. 1 USC not far behind in odds. Even No. 4 Virginia Tech at +10000 isn’t too far off from the three leaders in title odds.

Seed Team Title winner
1 USC +3000
2 Ohio State +2500
3 Connecticut +2000
4 Virginia Tech +10000
5 Baylor +30000
6 Syracuse +50000
7 Duke +30000
8 Kansas +50000
9 Michigan +50000
10 Richmond N/A
11 Arizona +50000
11 Auburn N/A
12 Columbia +50000
12 Vanderbilt +50000
13 Marshall +50000
14 Jackson State +50000
15 Maine +50000
16 Texas A&M CC N/A

No. 7 Duke appears to be the sleeper to watch in this region. At +30000 odds, the Blue Devils are still long-shots to come out of the region, but those are decent chances for a No. 7 seed.

While oddsmakers see this region as fairly open, the model has Connecticut as the second-largest favorite to reach the Final Four behind only South Carolina. After that, Watkins’ USC squad has the next-best odds. Given Connecticut’s path to the Elite Eight means beating No. 2 Ohio State, it’s safe to say the model likes the Huskies to win the rematch that eliminated them a year ago.

Seed Team Round of 32 Sweet Sixteen Elite Eight Final Four Championship Title winner
1 USC 95.6% 71.5% 45.9% 20.4% 10.1% 3.4%
2 Ohio State 92.5% 63.2% 28.1% 15.6% 7.6% 2.6%
3 Connecticut 95.0% 81.6% 57.0% 40.8% 24.1% 11.0%
4 Virginia Tech 76.9% 42.3% 19.7% 7.1% 2.7% 0.6%
5 Baylor 73.1% 41.6% 18.8% 7.5% 2.8% 0.7%
6 Syracuse 51.4% 9.1% 2.7% 1.1% 0.1% 0.0%
7 Duke 66.3% 26.6% 7.5% 3.4% 1.3% 0.3%
8 Kansas 59.3% 18.5% 8.4% 1.6% 0.5% 0.1%
9 Michigan 40.7% 9.5% 3.2% 0.7% 0.2% 0.0%
10 Richmond 33.7% 8.8% 1.8% 0.5% 0.2% 0.0%
11 Arizona TBD TBD TBD TBD TBD TBD
11 Auburn TBD TBD TBD TBD TBD TBD
12 Columbia 26.9% 9.2% 2.4% 0.3% 0.1% 0.0%
12 Vanderbilt 26.9% 9.2% 2.4% 0.3% 0.1% 0.0%
13 Marshall 23.1% 6.9% 1.5% 0.2% 0.0% 0.0%
14 Jackson State 5.0% 1.4% 0.2% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
15 Maine 7.5% 1.4% 0.2% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
16 Texas A&M CC 4.4% 0.4% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%

The Blue Devils have nearly a two-thirds chance of winning the first round and over a 1-in-4 chance to reach the Sweet Sixteen despite a possible matchup with the Buckeyes looming in the second round. 

Portland 4

Another region less clear than either set in Albany. Texas and Stanford share the same odds to win the national championship, with NC State sitting at third at +5000. No. 5 Utah (+10000) and No. 4 Gonzaga (+15000) aren’t all that far behind considering how lopsided some of the other regions are.

Seed Team Title winner
1 Texas +1500
2 Stanford +1500
3 NC State +5000
4 Gonzaga +15000
5 Utah +10000
6 Tennessee +30000
7 Iowa State +50000
8 Alabama +50000
9 Florida State +50000
10 Maryland +50000
11 Green Bay N/A
12 South Dakota St. +50000
13 UC Irvine +50000
14 Chattanooga +50000
15 Norfolk State +50000
16 Drexel +50000

Of course, what is hindering all the championship odds for these teams is that the Final Four foe would be the winner of Albany 1, which could wind up being South Carolina. 

But there are some intriguing picks in here, with all the 1-5 seeds having no worse than +15000 odds to win the national championship. 

The model also views this as an open region, with all three top seeds having double-digit chances to reach the Final Four and even Gonzaga and Utah coming in at over 5 percent odds of reaching the semifinals. Still, Texas is the clear favorite, with nearly a 40 percent chance to arrive in Cleveland for the Final Four.

Seed Team Round of 32 Sweet Sixteen Elite Eight Final Four Championship Title winner
1 Texas 97.8% 80.3% 58.4% 39.1% 16.9% 9.5%
2 Stanford 95.8% 70.9% 45.2% 24.2% 8.4% 4.6%
3 NC State 91.9% 62.7% 31.1% 14.7% 3.8% 1.8%
4 Gonzaga 89.8% 51.4% 19.2% 7.2% 2.2% 0.7%
5 Utah 84.2% 43.9% 14.7% 5.7% 1.2% 0.4%
6 Tennessee 67.2% 27.4% 9.7% 3.1% 0.7% 0.2%
7 Iowa State 55.8% 17.7% 7.9% 2.3% 0.5% 0.1%
8 Alabama 53.1% 10.7% 4.3% 1.3% 0.1% 0.1%
9 Florida State 46.9% 8.7% 3.0% 0.8% 0.1% 0.0%
10 Maryland 44.2% 10.5% 3.6% 1.1% 0.2% 0.1%
11 Green Bay 32.8% 8.1% 2.1% 0.3% 0.1% 0.0%
12 South Dakota State 15.8% 3.0% 0.3% 0.1% 0.0% 0.0%
13 UC Irvine 10.2% 1.7% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
14 Chattanooga 8.1% 1.9% 0.3% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
15 Norfolk State 4.2% 0.8% 0.1% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
16 Drexel 2.2% 0.3% 0.1% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%

No. 10 Maryland is an intriguing sleeper pick at having a 10.5 percent chance to reach the Sweet Sixteen — and even a 1.1 percent chance of reaching the Final Four.

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