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Kamilla Cardoso of the South Carolina Gamecocks looks on in the first half during the NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament Final Four semifinal game. We're backing Cardoso in our Iowa vs. South Carolina prediction.
Kamilla Cardoso of the South Carolina Gamecocks looks on in the first half during the NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament Final Four semifinal game. Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images via AFP.

The Iowa Hawkeyes will face the South Carolina Gamecocks in the national championship, and we're offering our top Iowa vs. South Carolina prediction and pick based on the best national championship odds.

The stage is set for an epic showdown as the Iowa Hawkeyes (34-4) prepare to take on the undefeated South Carolina Gamecocks (37-0) in the women's national championship game at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in Cleveland, Ohio. This highly anticipated rematch of the 2023 Final Four is scheduled to tip off at 3 p.m. ET on ABC/ESPN, with the Gamecocks being favored by 6.5 points, according to our best sports betting sites.

In last year's thrilling Final Four clash between these two teams, Iowa's Caitlin Clark displayed her exceptional talent, leading the Hawkeyes to an upset victory. Now, following their win over UConn in this year's Final Four, albeit amidst controversy, Clark has the chance to shine once again. As the favorite for the women's Wooden Award odds, she faces the daunting task of knocking off the undefeated Gamecocks and dethroning South Carolina, who have maintained their status as favorites throughout the season, according to the women's March Madness odds.

To complement our Iowa vs. South Carolina player props, here is our best Iowa vs. South Carolina prediction for the women's national championship game (odds via our best March Madness betting sites; Pick confidence is based on a 1-to-5-star scale).

Iowa (1) vs. South Carolina (1) game info

  • When: Sunday, April 7
  • Tipoff: 3 p.m. ET
  • Where: Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse, Cleveland, Ohio
  • How to watch: ABC, ESPN
  • Favorite: South Carolina -6.5 (-110 via FanDuel)

Iowa vs. South Carolina odds

Iowa+240+6.5 (-110)Over: 160.5
South Carolina-310-6.5 (-110)Under: 160.5

Iowa vs. South Carolina prediction

Kamilla Cardoso Over 9.5 rebounds ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Best odds: +100 via bet365

While Clark makes the headlines as the most prolific scorer in women's college basketball history - she's already as short as +1400 by the WNBA MVP odds - Kamilla Cardoso is the best player on the nation's top team.

Known as "Killa Milla" among her teammates, Cardoso is the anchor of a Gamecocks team that's third in the country in points per game (85.4) and 17th in points allowed (56.1). 

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It's Cardoso, not Clark, who gets the opportunity to create the most significant mismatch in the national championship game with her size and physicality. At 6-foot-7, Cardoso doesn't just lead South Carolina in points (14.3) and blocks (2.5). She's the top rebounder (9.5) and the reason Dawn Staley's team is fourth in the country in rebounds per game (46.2).

For as dynamic as Iowa's offense is while leading the country with 91.4 points per contest, Lisa Bluder's lineup lacks size. The Hawkeyes don't trot out a player playing over 10 minutes per game who's taller than 6-foot-2. That gives Killa Milla a massive advantage when it comes to cleaning up the glass. Iowa ranks outside the top 100 in total rebounds allowed per game (34.7) and offensive rebounds (11.0).

That spells trouble for Clark and the Hawkeyes with Cardoso coming off an 11-rebound performance in the Final Four while playing only 23 minutes. The odds via bet365 are a fantastic value at even money, with a $10 wager leading to a $10 profit, and +100 implying a 50% probability Cardoso hits the Over, according to our odds calculator.

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Iowa vs. South Carolina spread & Over/Under analysis

Once Iowa secured its 71-69 win over the Huskies, South Carolina opened as a 5.5-point favorite and has since risen to a 6.5-point favorite across our best sports betting apps. We don't suspect much more movement with this line as the Gamecocks are undefeated, but the Hawkeyes boast the most significant X-factor in the sport with Clark.

The Over/Under varies at our best best sportsbooks, with bet365 and Caesars offering it as low as 160 and DraftKings as high as 161. While the Hawkeyes' offense is the best in the country, it's hard to imagine the game total ballooning above 161.5 given the effectiveness of the Gamecocks' defense.

Iowa-South Carolina prediction made Saturday at 10:20 a.m. ET.

Here are our best March Madness betting sites:

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