How to Bet on Women’s College Basketball: Your Ultimate Betting Guide 

• Basketball
• Betting

Women’s College Basketball has seen a surge in popularity over the last decade especially with sports betting sites. This momentum continues to grow each year especially during March Madness when the ladies of College Basketball provide fans with thrilling on-court action, buzzer beaters, superstar players and potential dynasties.  

With that in mind, sports bettors are trying to stay on top of this growing sport. If you are looking to start betting on this sport or improve your handicapping skills, then keep reading our how to bet on Women’s College Basketball guide below. 

History of Women’s College Basketball 

Basketball was first created in 1891 by James Naismith. When first introduced, it was only men playing. However, by 1892, women joined in on this new sport that quickly captivated residents of Springfield, Massachusetts. Senda Berenson was the first female credited with teaching basketball to students at Smith College.  

Basketball became an intercollegiate activity for women by the late-1890s. However, it was always overshadowed by men’s basketball. It really wasn’t until the 1970s that women’s basketball truly became recognized. In the early 1970s, the International Olympic Committee added women’s basketball to the 1976 Olympic Games.  

At the time of this landmark moment for women’s athletics, basketball was already starting to gain popularity at the collegiate level under the AIAW. The first professional women’s basketball league also formed in 1978, called the Women’s Basketball League. Unfortunately, the WBL only lasted for three seasons. 

With the tumultuous credibility and sustainability, women’s College Basketball seemed to be forgotten in the grand scheme of the sport. However, in 1982, the NCAA stepped in and began supervising the sport including holding the first NCAA Women’s College Basketball Championship.  

The 1980s would continue to provide women’s basketball with many wonderful and historic moments like the first induction of women into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1984, the three-point field goal being introduced to the game in 1986, and women attempting to play in men’s professional basketball leagues.  

The 1990s saw even more success for women’s basketball as a whole, not just on the collegiate level. The WNBA was formed in 1996 by the NBA and it took the sport to a new level. Also, the NCAA Women’s Final Four was first televised in 1991, Sheryl Swoopes got a NIKE shoe named after her in 1995, and the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame opened in 1999.  

By the 2000s, NCAA Women’s Basketball saw its popularity rise to new heights. Stars were born, dynasties were created and the sport was thriving like never before. The future was bright and the ladies of College Basketball stepped into a national spotlight that delivered with compelling hardwood action and high television ratings.  

Growth in Interest  

The growth in interest for Women’s College Basketball has really boomed over the last few years. Although Men’s College Basketball still has some advantages, the NCAAW has closed the gap. In fact, the NCAAW has overtaken NCAAM in some key areas. One of these key metrics is that the 2024 NCAA Women’s Final Four tickets are an average price of $474 per ticket compared to men’s at an average price of $342.  

The growth of NCAAW Basketball can also be seen in television ratings as well. ESPN touted that the 2023-24 NCAA Women’s Basketball season had its highest ratings since 2009. Average viewership saw a 37% year-over-year growth as roughly 272,000 viewers tuned in on a regular basis. Exclusive matchups on ESPN and ABC saw an average of 476,000 viewers.  

Lastly, another massive area of growth for Women’s College Basketball can be found in the sports betting market. Compared to last year, BetMGM saw 2.5x more bets on NCAAW basketball and Caesar’s Sportsbook saw almost a 2x in their total handle for betting on Women’s College Basketball.  

Season Structure and Schedule 

The NCAA Division I Women’s College Basketball season began on November 6, 2023, and lasts until a National Champion is crowned on April 7, 2024.  

The regular season culminates with each of the 32 Division I Athletic Conferences having a single-elimination tournament beginning in early March 2024. For the most part, winners of each conference earn an automatic spot in the Women’s College Basketball Bracket to determine the National Champion.  

This season also saw a 2024 Women’s Basketball Invitation Tournament (WBIT) which is a consolation tournament like the Men’s NIT (National Invitation Tournament). The WBIT extends invitations to teams in the Women’s College Basketball Rankings that didn’t make the NCAAW Basketball Tournament.  

The NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament begins on March 20 and ends on April 7 as the sport crowns their National Champion for the 2023-24 season. 

Past NCAAW Winners  

2023 LSU Tigers (34-2)  

2022 South Carolina Gamecocks (35-2)  

2021 Stanford Cardinal (31-2)  

2020 Cancelled due to Covid-19   

2019 Baylor Bears (37-1)  

2018 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (34-3)  

2017 South Carolina Gamecocks (33-4)  

2016 Connecticut Huskies (38-0)   

2015 Connecticut Huskies (38-1)  

2014 Connecticut Huskies (40-0)   

2013 Connecticut Huskies (35-4)   

2012 Baylor Bears (40-0) 

Rising Women's College Basketball Stars 

By now, everyone has heard of Iowa’s Caitlin Clark as she has become the face of NCAA Women’s Basketball. In fact, her popularity has transcended even NCAA Men’s Basketball. Not one male collegiate player is on the same level of national fame as Clark.  

However, Clark is a senior and will soon move on to the next level – the WNBA. With that in mind, Women’s College Basketball appears to be in a great spot even with Clark’s pending departure. There are numerous rising stars that will take the baton from Clark and continue the sport’s ascension over the next few years. Some of these rising stars include the following players: 

JuJu Watkins, USC Trojans 

JuJu Watkins’ incredible season has only been surpassed by the legendary Caitlin Clark. Watkins ranks second is scoring at a clip of 28.2 ppg. She’s a slam dunk to win the National Freshman of the Year. Watkins has led the USC Trojans to a resurgence in success, which can be seen by their participation in the NCAA Women’s Basketball tournament. Watkins is a star and will most likely be the face of the sport next season. 

Hannah Hidalgo, Notre Name Fighting Irish 

Hannah Hildalgo is Notre Dame’s best player and another highly talented freshman. She’s one of the top scorers in the country and is the D1 leader in steals per game. Hildago has helped transform Notre Dame into a title contender and she will be one of the best players in the sport next season.  

Differences in the Men’s and Women’s NCAA Tournament  

Although the Men’s and Women’s NCAA Tournaments are structured very similarly, there are still some key differences between the two: 

Game Times 

Both the men’s and women’s basketball games have the same total duration of 40 minutes. However, they’re structured very differently. Men’s games have two halves of 20 minutes each. Women’s games have four 10-minute quarters.  

Host Sites for Tournament Games 

Putting aside for now, the gender pay gap in sports, the biggest difference between the two basketball tournaments is how the games are hosted.  

The Men’s NCAA Basketball Tournament is played at selected sites throughout the country for each major round. The NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament is formatted differently. Let’s compare the two: 

The First Two Rounds (Round of 64 and Round of 32)  

The men play the first two rounds at eight different cities that are previously selected before the season begins to host these games. The only uniformity for this selection process is that these cities fit within the Tournament’s Regions. 

The women play their first two rounds at the schools that were ranked as the Top 16 seeds of the tournament. Basically, these 16 schools have home games for the first two rounds. This outdated philosophy was done to generate interest and attendance for the opening round games. However, with the rise in popularity, this is one major area that needs to be addressed moving forward.  

The Sweet 16 and Elite Eight 

For the men, each region has a selected city to host the Sweet 16 and Elite Eight games. An example is the East Region where the TD Garden in Boston, MA, was selected to host this region’s Sweet 16 and Elite Eight games. Each region’s host city will have four teams playing there  

The women will play their Sweet 16 and Elite Eight games at one of two selected host cities: Albany, NY, or Portland, OR. Each city will host eight teams.  

The Final Four and Championship Games 

Both the men and women will play their Final Four and Championship games at one host city. For the men, they will play the final two rounds at the State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. The women will play their final two rounds at the Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in Cleveland, Ohio.  

Smaller Basketballs 

Women play with smaller basketballs than their male counterparts. A standard women’s tournament basketball is 28.5 inches and 20 ounces in weight. A standard men’s tournament basketball is 29.5 inches and 22 ounces in weight.  

Variations in Rules 

The most notable variation in rules is in regards to backcourt violations. For men, they have 10 seconds to cross half-court. Women’s basketball does not have this 10-second rule and can take up as much of the shot clock as they want before crossing halfcourt.  

Types of NCAAW bets 

Like men’s College Basketball, women’s College Basketball also has the following traditional types of bets: 


Moneyline’s are the simplest of women’s College Basketball betting lines. You simply place a wager on which team you think will win the game outright.  


The spread is where you bet on the margin of victory or defeat. It’s the difference in points that a team or is predicted to win or lose by in a women’s basketball game.  


Totals, also referred to as Over/Under wagers, is a bet on the total combined score of a basketball game. This means you are betting on the combined total points for both teams playing against each other.  


Whether it’s the beginning of a season, the offseason, or the beginning of the NCAA Women’s Basketball tournament, Futures bets are a type of prop bet where you can wager on a future event or occurrence. 

For example, South Carolina was a -160 betting favorite to win the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament before it started. You could’ve wagered on these Future odds any time during the season.  

However, they do change throughout the year due to Women’s College Basketball rankings, team success and injuries.  

NCAAW Betting Strategy 

Just like with men’s College Basketball, there are various College Basketball betting systems and strategies that you can use throughout the year for betting on Women’s College Basketball. Not only can you follow the betting systems from other handicappers or experts, but you can also create your own.  

Check out our tips for betting on Women’s College Basketball and incorporate some of them into your NCAAW betting strategy or system. 

Tips for Betting on Women’s College Basketball 

✔️ Pay attention to injuries, suspensions and other extended absences.  

✔️ Monitor a team’s conference record and out-of-conference schedule. 

✔️ Research a team’s home and away record.  

✔️ Look at the Women's College Basketball Rankings that are updated each week.  

✔️ Keep an eye on the NCAA NET Rankings which measures the strength of schedule, quality of wins, and other key metrics. 

✔️ Look at a team’s betting trends against the spread, win-loss record, Over/Under trends and more.  

Women's College Basketball FAQs 

🔎 What's the difference between men’s and women’s college basketball?  

The biggest differences between Men’s and Women’s College Basketball are: 

Game Time: Men play two 20-minute halves and Women play four 10-minute quarters. 

Tournament Host Sites: For men, they play at a variety of host cities throughout the entire NCAA Tournament. Women play at home courts over the first two rounds and then the same two cities in the Sweet 16 and Elite Eight.  

🔎 Is there a gender pay gap in Women’s College Basketball? 

There is a gender pay gap when it comes to Women’s College Basketball. The male basketball athletes make more in NIL deals and men’s basketball coaches make more on average than coaches for women’s basketball teams. However, both areas are seeing the gap shrink with each passing season. 

🔎 Do sportsbooks offer good lines and odds for women’s college basketball? 

Yes, sportsbooks are offering plenty of betting value and betting options for Women’s College Basketball. NCAAW basketball continues to increase in popularity with sportsbooks and it’s reflected in the high quality of Women's College Basketball betting lines. 

🔎 Where can I find the best women's college basketball betting lines? 

For the best Women’s College Basketball betting lines, check out our top online sportsbooks.