It should be a defensive battle Sunday night when the Connecticut Huskies face the South Carolina Gamecocks in the 2022 Women's NCAA Tournament national championship game. The second-seeded Huskies (30-5) have won 11 national titles, while top overall seed South Carolina (34-2) has won just one, but UConn comes in as the underdog. Neither team has been in the final since 2017, when the Gamecocks won the title in their only appearance. The Huskies reached their last title game in 2016, which was the last time the storied program won the national championship. They knocked off defending national champion Stanford 63-58 on Friday night, while South Carolina eased past Louisville 72-59.
Tip-off at the Target Center in Minneapolis is set for 8 p.m. ET. The Gamecocks are a 4.5-point favorite in the latest UConn vs. South Carolina odds from Caesars Sportsbook, and the over-under for total points scored is 125. Before you make any South Carolina vs. UConn picks or 2022 Women's NCAA Tournament bets, you need to see what women's college basketball experts Calvin Wetzel and Aaron Barzilai are saying.
Barzilai is a Ph.D. from Stanford who served as Director of Basketball Analytics for the Philadelphia 76ers. Five years ago, he founded HerHoopStats.com -- a groundbreaking website that unlocks insights about the women's game. Wetzel, the site's lead betting writer, incorporates his mathematical background and strong knowledge of women's NCAA hoops to turn the site's prediction model into picks.
Barzilai and Wetzel got off to a fast start with SportsLine, as they went 13-7 on their first 20 picks. They are 590-430 overall (+127.40 units, +13.6 percent) in the 2021-22 women's college basketball regular season.
Now, Barzilai and Wetzel have broken down the UConn vs. South Carolina matchup, and just revealed their top picks and predictions. You can head to SportsLine now to see the picks. Here are the betting lines and trends for South Carolina vs. UConn:
- UConn vs. South Carolina spread: Gamecocks -4.5
- UConn vs. South Carolina over-under: 125 points
- UConn vs. South Carolina money line: Huskies +170, Gamecocks -200
- UConn: Connecticut is 9-2 all-time against USC but lost a November matchup 73-57
- USC: Aliyah Boston is averaging 18 points and 15 rebounds in the tournament
Why South Carolina can cover
Coach Dawn Staley will have her South Carolina squad amped up to face the Huskies. The Gamecocks have looked like the best team in the women's game all season, going wire-to-wire as No. 1. It also has the National Player of the Year in Aliyah Boston, who is a one-woman wrecking crew. She almost always gets a double-double and averages 17 points and 12.4 rebounds. She scored 23 and had 18 rebounds in Friday's Final Four victory. The 6-foot-5 junior blocks 2.4 shots and averages 1.3 steals for a South Carolina defense that allows 50.5 points per game, third-best in the nation.
South Carolina leads the nation in blocked shots (7.6 per game), and its 47.6 rebounds per game are almost nine more than UConn (38.7). It also is the best in Division I in opponent field goal percentage (32.7) and is 20th against the 3-pointer (26.9). Brea Beal, Victoria Saxton and Kamilla Cardoso play huge roles on defense, and each averages at least five rebounds. Saxton and Cardoso also combine for 2.8 blocked shots.
Why UConn can cover
UConn comes in on a massive surge of confidence, and it has been rolling since 2021 National Player of the Year Paige Bueckers returned from injury. The point guard had 14 points and five assists in Friday's victory while Evina Westbrook hit three of five 3-point tries to score 12. Eight Huskies players average at least seven points, with Christyn Williams sharing the team lead with Bueckers at 14.6. That duo combines for 7.4 rebounds, 6.4 assists and three steals per game, and Williams hits 35.4 percent of her 3-point tries.
The Huskies also have an excellent defense, and they have a far more prolific offense than the Gamecocks. Their 20.3-point scoring margin is the second-best in the nation, and the Huskies score 74.8 points per game while South Carolina averages just 71.1. Olivia Nelson-Ododa also is a player who can do it all for UConn. SHe averages 9.3 points, 7.6 rebounds and 3.6 assists. She also makes huge contributions on defense, getting 1.2 steals and 1.7 blocked shots per game.
How to make UConn vs. South Carolina picks
Barzilai and Wetzel have taken an in-depth look at the UConn vs. South Carolina matchup from all sides and made their top selections. They have a confident pick on the total and offer a strong lean on the spread, and you can only get the pick at SportsLine.
So who wins South Carolina vs. UConn in Sunday's Women's NCAA Tournament title game? And which side of the spread is a must back? Visit SportsLine right now to see which side of UConn vs. South Carolina you should be backing Sunday, all from the women's college basketball experts who are 590-430 on their picks this season, and find out.