The Women’s NCAA Tournament may not garner as many eyeballs or as much betting interest as the men’s edition, but there is still money to be made betting on women’s hoops. The 2022 Final Four field is set, and the festivities will go down on Friday, April 1st, in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Obviously, this is hardly UConn’s first rodeo. Geno Auriemma has his squad in the Final Four for the 22nd time in his career. The Huskies haven’t failed to advance to the national semifinals since 2007 in arguably the most dominant run we’ve seen at any level of college sports. The Huskies have won 11 national titles since Auriemma took over way back in 1985.
Oddsmakers at BetOnline have this one pegged as a tight one. The Cardinal are slight 1.5-point favorites over the Huskies, which amounts to a virtual toss-up.
Auriemma is a nine-time AP Coach of the Year and an eight-time Naismith Coach of the Year winner. Despite all of his success over the years, the Huskies have endured something of a championship drought over the past half-decade. UConn hasn’t won a national title since 2016, which is a pretty long dry period, by this program’s incredibly high standards.
The Huskies smoked No. 15 Mercer, 83-38, in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Getting past an upstart Central Florida side in the second round was no easy task, however, as UConn won by just five points. The Huskies shot a dismal 29 percent from the field in that one, but forcing UCF into committing 20 turnovers was ultimately the difference in the game.
Sophomore phenom Paige Bueckers is the straw that stirs the Huskies’ drink. The 5’11” guard has been limited to just 15 games all year due to injury, but she looks no worse for the wear now that she’s back to full strength. Bueckers averaged only 14.4 points per game this year after averaging 20 last year as a freshman. She was way too much for the Wolfpack to handle in the Huskies’ double-overtime win in the Elite Eight, scoring a game-high 27 points in a whopping 45 minutes of action.
Whether Bueckers ever leaves the floor will be one storyline worth following. Auriemma kept her out there for all 40 minutes in last year’s Final Four loss to Arizona.
Stanford is fresh off of an outstanding 32-3 season that culminated in a Pac-12 championship. The Cardinal’s three losses on the year all came against ranked foes in Texas, South Florida, and South Carolina. The most recent defeat came way back on December 21st, so it’s been quite a while since Stanford suffered a loss.
VanDerveer’s team will go into Friday’s clash against UConn riding a massive 24-game winning streak. So far in the NCAA Tournament, however, Stanford has been tested. After easy wins over Montana State and Kansas in the first two rounds, the Cardinal picked up back-to-back single-digit victories over Maryland and Texas. The Cardinal avenged their loss earlier in the year to the Longhorns with a 59-50 triumph in the Elite Eight.
Stanford is led by star sophomore Cameron Brink. The 6’4″ Oregon native is an incredibly difficult matchup for opposing frontcourts. Brink averaged a team-high 13.4 points per game during the regular year, along with 8.1 rebounds and 2.6 blocked shots. Brink has two double-doubles through four tournament games so far this year, and she blocked a game-high six shots in the Cardinal’s last game against Texas.
Stanford didn’t have to go through UConn en route to their national title a year ago. The Huskies fell in the national semis at the hands of Arizona before Stanford won it all with a victory over the Wildcats in the national title game.
Connecticut Huskies vs. Stanford Cardinal Women’s Final Four Game Pick
Stanford averages about 74 points per game so far this season, while UConn yields only 54.6. UConn, meanwhile, averages about 75 points per game for the year, while Stanford allows nearly 56.
The recent return of Bueckers makes UConn a formidable foe in this one, but Stanford is a deserving favorite. I have no idea what the Huskies are going to do about the size of Brink. Stanford has been able to consistently get to the free-throw line in this competition. If the Cardinal parade to the charity stripe again on Friday, it could be a long night for Auriemma and the Huskies.
It should be a fantastic matchup between a couple of true women’s basketball bluebloods, but this game is Stanford’s to lose. I like the value on the Cardinal to win this one outright at -130 on the moneyline.
UConn Huskies vs. Stanford Cardinal Betting Recap
- Moneyline: UConn Huskies +110, Stanford Cardinal -130
- Point Spread: UConn Huskies +1.5 (-110), Stanford Cardinal -1.5 (-110)
- Over/Under: Over 129 points (-110), Under 129 points (-110)
- Pick: Stanford Cardinal (-130)