Friday Women’s NCAA Tournament Odds, Picks, Predictions: How To Bet UNC-South Carolina, Texas-Ohio State, Maryland-Stanford

Friday Women’s NCAA Tournament Odds, Picks, Predictions: How To Bet UNC-South Carolina, Texas-Ohio State, Maryland-Stanford article feature image

Gerry Melendez/NCAA Photos via Getty Images

With the expansion of legalized sports wagering around the country, bettors shouldn't be surprised to find that their favorite sportsbooks are hanging lines on women's college basketball.

The reality is that if you're a fan of the sport like I am, you know you don't have to wait until March to place your first bet.

However, if you're someone who finds themselves in that category, here are some best bets to get you set for the Sweet 16 on Friday using my model projections.

Women's NCAA Tournament Predictions

UNC-South Carolina over 117.5

  • Spread: South Carolina -10.5
  • Total: 117.5
  • 7 p.m. ET on Friday
  • Line available at BetMGM

The fifth-seeded Tar Heels will take on the top-seeded Gamecocks in the battle of the Carolinas. After South Carolina hosted its first two games, this one will take place in Greensboro, N.C., about an hour from Chapel Hill and three hours from Columbia.

That should give the Tar Heels plenty of confidence against a stout Gamecocks team. I don't expect the Tar Heels to back down, and I suspect we'll get an improved performance from South Carolina after it managed just 49 points in the second round against Miami.

South Carolina's yet to post fewer than 60 points in back-to-back contests and has fallen short of that number just three times in 33 games this season. North Carolina should do its part, too.

BetMGM is offering a total of 117.5 points, which is a bit low based on my projections. I'll play the over.

Bet: Over 117.5

Texas -4.5 vs. Ohio State

  • Spread: Texas -4.5
  • Total: 136.5
  • 7 p.m. ET on Friday
  • Available at DraftKings

I've probably been more impressed with the Longhorns than any other team in the tournament because of their quality in the backcourt. Freshman guard Rori Harmon might already be the best player on the team as she's second in points (11.4) and leads the team with five assists per game.

Watch ya ankles around Rori Harmon y’all

— Longhorn Network (@LonghornNetwork) November 14, 2021

Harmon's a big reason why the Longhorns are on a 13-game winning streak. Texas has four starters who can handle the rock on the perimeter, and the team does an excellent job in moving without the ball. As a result, the Longhorns have an uncanny ability to generate plenty of uncontested shots, particularly in transition.

Defensively, Texas can guard the perimeter as it ranks 15th in allowing 4.2 3-point field goals per game. More importantly, it's 24th in allowing 14.9 3-point attempts. That means opposing teams often struggle to get clean looks beyond the arc.

The Longhorns' perimeter defense will be critical against an Ohio State team with an average of 8.4 3-pointers per game. However, I think the Buckeyes will struggle with the athleticism of the Longhorns. Texas ranks 14th in defensive efficiency, which should be enough to cover this number.

Bet: Texas -4.5

Maryland-Stanford over 144.5

  • Spread: Stanford -7.5
  • Total: 144.5
  • 9:30 p.m. ET on Friday
  • Line available at BetMGM

It's not often that I'm looking to play a total this high, but we could be in for a high-scoring affair given the matchup. Maryland and Stanford rank in the top 10 in offensive efficiency as both teams enjoy success from behind the 3-point line.

Maryland averages 6.8 3-point field goals per game, while Stanford is even better with 7.5 3-pointers. However, the Terrapins also give up their share of perimeter baskets as they're 324th in allowing 7.2 three-pointers per game. Maryland also plays an uptempo style as it averages 72.5 possessions per game.

This is really by design because the Terrapins thrive at that pace. For example, Maryland's scored at least 70 points in 21 of its 23 victories this season. In contrast, it failed to score more than 60 points in five of its eight losses.

You also probably won't find a team in this tournament with better floor spacing than Stanford.

Call that a game changer.

📺 » ESPN
💻 »

— Stanford Women’s Basketball (@StanfordWBB) March 21, 2022

This makes Stanford a formidable opponent for  Maryland. Not only are four of Stanford's starters at least six feet tall, but three of them are shooting at least 41% from beyond the arc.

Thus, this could be a recipe for plenty of points when these teams match up against one another.

Bet: Over 144.5

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Sean Treppedi
Jul 17, 2024 UTC