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NCAAW: Iowa vs. LSU predictions and odds for Apr. 1

Publish Date:04/01/2024
Fact checked by: Allan Howe
Key Points
  • LSU defeated Iowa 102-85 in last year's National Championship game.
  • LSU Tigers are underdogs by +1.5-point spread.
  • LSU and Iowa have the top two producing offenses in the nation.
  • LSU is 21-12-1 ATS this year.
  • Iowa is 19-15 ATS this season.

(Photo by Greg Nelson /Sports Illustrated via Getty Images)

Get your popcorn out, we have a highly anticipated Elite 8 March Madness matchup between the no. 1 Iowa Hawkeyes (32-4) and no. 3 LSU Tigers (31-5). Arguably the showdown of the year, tonight's game resembles significance in women's basketball. It signals a 2023 NCAA Championship rematch between Iowa and LSU.

While there's been much buzz surrounding Caitlin Clark and all of her achievements, look for the Hawkeyes to gain redemption. While many see this matchup as the most prolific scorer in college basketball history versus LSU star Angel Reese, there's much more to this game.

If you're betting on tonight's matchup, Iowa is favored to win the matchup by 1.5 points.

While only one of these teams will advance to the women's 2024 NCAA Final Four, Iowa will not go down without a fight. After losing to LSU 102-85 in the championship matchup last season, I expect this game to remain relatively competitive. No matter the outcome, the anticipation is making national headlines, which is excellent for the growth of women's hoops.


LSU, led by head coach Kim Mulkey, punched their ticket to the Tigers second consecutive Elite 8. The no. 3 seed for the second straight year, LSU has victories over Rice, Middle Tennessee, and UCLA in the tournament. With a 37-point differential in the first two rounds of March Madness, the Tigers upset UCLA in the Sweet 16, 78-69.

While they weren't able to cover the 28.5 point spread against Rice, LSU took care of business as 16.5-point favorites against Middle Tennessee. Perhaps their most impressive spread coverage was 3.5 points against UCLA.

With all the negative news surrounding LSU and coach Mulkey this season, this team has risen above the ashes. Although they conceded to South Carolina for the SEC Championship game 79-72, they remain the third favorite to win the NCAA Tournament at +700 odds.


The Iowa Hawkeyes are right back in the Elite 8, this time as a no. 1 seed. Fueled by Caitlin Clark, the basketball world has witnessed the Clark break several historical records. The all-time scoring leader in NCAA basketball, Clark is feeling the pressure as we get deeper into March Madness.

Favorited to win the NCAA tournament at +700 odds, the Hawkeyes had first and second round victories over Holy Cross and West Virginia. While their matchup with West Virginia was fairly tight, they cruised to an 89-68 victory over Colorado in the Sweet 16.

While LSU is 2-1 against the spread in the tournament, Iowa is 1-2. Unable to cover the 38.5 point spread against Holy Cross, The Hawkeyes failed to cover the 14.5 favored spread against West Virginia. Heading into the Sweet 16, they easily crushed a 7.5-point differential over Colorado.

Iowa and LSU will face off in the Regional 2 Final in Albany. With tipoff set to take place at 7:00 p.m. ET, one of these programs will punch their way to the Final Four in Cleveland. Can LSU repeat as the reigning national champions? With Caitlin Clark set to make her way to the WNBA, will this be the last time we see her in a Hawkeyes uniform?

In anticipation of this highly awaited matchup between two teams, I've analyzed all available statistics, analytics, and odds to provide my top betting predictions for tonight's game.


SJ's March Madness betting record: 22-9 +9 units



  • LSU TIGERS: +106


  • IOWA HAWKEYES: -1.5 (-106)
  • LSU TIGERS: +1.5 (-114)


  • OVER: 167.5 (-115)
  • UNDER: 167.5 (-105)


  • FanDuel currently has the best Iowa Hawkeyes money line odds at -130.
  • The Iowa Hawkeyes are 1.5-point favorites against the LSU Tigers. FanDuel currently has the best odds currently at -106.
  • The LSU Tigers are the underdogs by 1.5 points, to cover the spread this evening. Again, FanDuel currently has the best odds at -114 to cover.
  • FanDuel Sportsbook has the best odds for the game total, which is set at -115 for the over, and -105 for the under (167.5).
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  • G, Molly Davis: OUT (Knee)


  • None

*ATS = Against the Spread

*O/U = Over/Under

Category Statistics
Last 5 Games 5-0
Last 10 Games 9-1
ATS Record 19-15
Offensive Rating (Rank) 91.9 PPG (1st)
Opponent Points Per Game 71.1
Three-Point Percentage 37.7%
Rebounds Per Game 41.9
Assists Per Game 21.4
Turnovers Per Game 13.9
Scoring Point Differential +20.7

*ATS = Against the Spread

*O/U = Over/Under

Category Statistics
Last 5 Games 4-1
Last 10 Games 9-1
ATS Record 21-12-1
Offensive Rating (Rank) 85.9 PPG (2nd)
Opponent Points Per Game 62.5
Three-Point Percentage 32.7%
Rebounds Per Game 46
Assists Per Game 16.3
Turnovers Per Game 15.4
Scoring Point Differential +23.4


Last matchup:

  • NCAA Championship game: LSU 102, Iowa 85 (LSU +1.5, Over 162.5)

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  • +1.5-point spread (-114) on FanDuel

I've been covering women's basketball for a long time, and tonight is the most anticipated matchup I've seen in my career, aside from the 2023 national championship game. For the second consecutive game, the Tigers are +1.5 underdogs, similar to last season. As both teams fight for a Final Four spot, all eyes will focus on Caitlin Clark, the all-time NCAA scoring leader.

While tonight's matchup is expected to be a dog fight, we can't remember Angel Reese's gestures towards Clark in last year's championship game.

LSU had quite the tumultuous season, especially with star Angel Reese's four game absence. While coach Mulkey is one of the most scrutinized, she's one of the best to ever coach the game. After losing their season opener 92-78 vs. Colorado, the Tigers went on to capture their next 16 victories. 31-5 on the season, the Tigers have a drastically different squad than last year.

Angel Reese is back for another season, leading the team with 18.7 points, 1.9 steals, and 13.2 rebounds per game. A double-double machine, she has a ton of talent around her.

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Although Mulkey and the Tigers lost LaDazhia Williams, and Alexis Morris, LSU gained much talent both in the transfer portal and recruitment side. While we'll never know the full details regarding Kateri Poole's exit from the program, she was a starting five in last year's championship game.

While many say LSU wasn't the best fit for Louisville transfer Hailey Van Lith, she arrived under coach Mulkey to win a championship. If we want to discuss the talent depth, Van Lith, is the 6th highest scorer on LSU. If you look at her statistics last season, the guard averaged 19.7 points at Louisville.

While the Tigers scored high with Van Lith, they also acquired junior guard Aneesah Morrow from Depaul. Averaging over 25 points last season, she ranks second on the team in points with 16.5 per game.

While Reese and Clark remain the headline performers tonight, we need to take a look at freshman Mikaylah Williams. The top recruit in the Class of 2023, Williams put up 14.4 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 2.9 assists on the season. A guard that can excel on both ends of the floor, Williams is averaging 14 points and 4.3 rebounds in the NCAA tournament.

Now it's time to discuss breakout sophomore star, Flau'jae Johnson. Averaging 14.7 points in her second season with LSU, the guard has taken over the tournament. Averaging 22.5 points through the first two rounds of March Madness, Johnson has been stellar on both sides of the ball. Her 12 rebounds and 2 block performance to knock off no. 2 UCLA was eye opening.

The Iowa Hawkeyes are +700 odds to win the 2024 NCAA Tournament

For the Hawkeyes, coach Lisa Bluder has the pleasure of having Clark on the roster. While the guard averaged 31.7 points this season, she accounted for nearly 35 percent of the team's total offense.

Set to rematch with LSU, the Hawkeyes kept a large portion of their core in,

  • Clark
  • Kate Martin
  • Sydney Affolter
  • Gabbie Marshall
  • Molly Davis
  • Hannah Stuelke
  • Sharon Goodman

If there's one part in Iowa's favor, it's team chemistry, and the fact this team not only has final four experience, but against LSU.

Unfortunately, for the Hawkeyes, they will be without Molly Davis, who suffered a knee injury on Senior Day. Luckily for Iowa, Affolter has stepped up nicely in her place. While Clark poured in 30 points in the title game last year, the question remains, how consistent can the offense remain around Clark?

Stuelke, who's 6'2, game has exploded, providing that paint presence Iowa so badly needs against Angel Reese. Although the Hawkeyes average significantly less rebounds than the Tigers, it will ultimately come down to the two-player game with her and Clark.

It's obvious Clark has undeniable chemistry with Martin and Marshall. Speaking of Marshall, she often performs well in areas that don't always reflect in the box score. Kate Martin is a reliable scorer, next to Clark, that will hustle on the boards. While the Hawkeyes are the top scoring team in the nation, they been inconsistent on the offensive end at times.

Although they stomped all over Colorado, Clark poured in 32 of the teams 64 total points against West Virginia. While Clark struggled, she did finish 5-14 from the three-point line. Her teammates finished 0-8 from deep in that matchup, which is a cause for concern. Ultimately, it will come down to the performance of Marshall and Martin tonight.


19-15 against the spread this season, it's their defense that is worrisome at times. Although they held West Virginia to just 54 points, they allow nearly ten more points a game than LSU. The Iowa Hawkeyes are favored in this matchup, and I can see why with the seeding. Overall, LSU is 21-12-1 against the spread, and proven they can perform even under such scrutiny.

LSU's +23.4-point differential is among the best in the nation, and they have hoopers that can take over the game at any given time. While Iowa is one of the nation's shot three-point shooting team, it's been LSU's defense that's been overshadowed by other headlines. Limiting opponents to just 29 percent from deep, Clark will have to work for her shots tonight.

These are two top teams in the nation, who both deserve national recognition. However, we all know how elite Clark's court vision and passing skills can be.

Bottom line, I trust LSU to perform on the brightest stage over the Hawkeyes role players. I simply don't trust the Hawkeyes defense, who allow over 71 points per game, 26 field goals per game, and 7.9 three-pointers made. Their perimeter defense lacks, which could be a problem against Johnson, Williams, and Van Lith. I'll take LSU's size, given they average 46 rebounds per game.

LSU may not be the most efficient three-point shooting team. However, with the emergence of Johnson, this is an LSU team that's 2-0 when underdogs by 2.5 points. Even with Van Lith struggling to fit into Mulkey's scheme, I'm riding with the Tigers tonight.

 OVER 167.5 (-112)

As far as the over, these are the nation's two top scoring teams in the country. Putting up a combined 177 points per game, look for Clark to continue to make headlines as the NCAA women's leading scorer.

While I expect Clark to ball out, look for Johnson to continue her hot streak. With a low prop line of 15.5 points, I expect LSU to rack up a portion of their points from the charity stripe. In fact, they lead NCAA women's basketball with 27.3 free-throw attempts per game.

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