The top two teams in women’s college basketball will face off in an early season showdown on Sunday as the No. 1 South Carolina Gamecocks visit the No. 2 Stanford Cardinal.
Both teams are undefeated and have yet to face a serious test this year. The Gamecocks are the defending national champions, while the Cardinal are looking to improve on their Final Four appearance last season.
While both schools should make deep tournament runs again, today’s game should give each team a better idea of where they stand and what they need to work on if they want to win a title. We’ll break down who has the edge in our college basketball betting picks for South Carolina vs. Stanford on November 20.
South Carolina vs Stanford best odds
|Spread||-2 (-110)||+2 (-110)|
|Total||Over 124.5 (-110)||Under 124.5 (-110)|
South Carolina vs Stanford picks and predictions
The last two times these teams played, both in 2021, they split a pair of meetings, with the Gamecocks taking an early season matchup before the Cardinal got the best of the battle in the national semifinals. This year, the two teams look to be the class of college basketball, and this once again could be the first of two meetings between the national powerhouses.
With neither team having been challenged yet, it’s hard to confidently say which squad is better. That’s probably why you can get either team as the underdog at various sites, depending on where you look. This opens up a great opportunity for bettors, as we can get whichever side we think is the better team with a couple points as an added bonus.
South Carolina (3-0) is definitely the most battle tested of the two teams. While they’ve never been in danger, the Gamecocks have at least played a ranked team in the form of the Maryland Terrapins, who they beat 81-56 earlier last week. Meanwhile, Stanford (5-0) hasn’t played a game decided by less than 38 points.
These blowouts are a product of elite talent on both sides. The Gamecocks are led by senior forward Aliyah Boston, who averaged 16.8 points and 12.5 rebounds per game last season. Boston has played fewer minutes in the runaway South Carolina wins, but is still averaging a double-double over the first three games of the year.
Boston will face a battle in the post with Stanford junior forward Cameron Brink. But the Cardinal are most reliant on their own future WNBA lottery pick, senior guard Haley Jones. Like Boston, Jones’ numbers are down this year due to limited playing time in the early going, but she averaged 13.2 points per game along with 7.9 rebounds and 3.7 assists last season.
As I said earlier, the biggest difference between these two teams in the early season is that South Carolina has had to play one serious game, which gave us a look at what it can do under pressure.
Maryland did play the Gamecocks tight for a half before South Carolina showed off both its talent and depth in the second half. Boston went 7-for-8 from the floor and scored 16 points, while Laeticia Amihere and Kamilla Cardoso both scored in double-digits off the bench.
With the defending national champions boasting a deep roster of weapons and having already shown they are a class above the merely good teams in women’s college basketball, the Gamecocks are my pick on Sunday. Since we can get our pick of lines, we’ll of course be going with one that grants us some points. After all, this will be a close game, and every little edge we can get will help us here.
My best bet: South Carolina +1.5 (-125 at FanDuel)
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South Carolina vs Stanford spread analysis
Sportsbooks only put up odds for this game a few hours before tipoff, and as a result, there’s no such thing as a consensus line here. While FanDuel has Stanford as a 1.5-point favorite, DraftKings lists South Carolina -2 as the line.
As I noted above, this sort of variance is due to the fact that neither team has played a truly close game yet, and both look to be stacked with talent in the still relatively shallow world of women’s college basketball. This game — along with a couple of other key matchups on Sunday, like the No. 5 Connecticut Huskies taking on the No. 10 North Carolina State Wolfpack — will help set the odds more consistently for games later in the season.
In what should be a tight battle on Sunday, point guard play could be critical. Both Stanford and South Carolina have been testing out new ballhandlers early in the season, and so far, I give the slight edge to the Gamecocks here.
Yes, freshman Talana Lepolo has looked good against weak competition for the Cardinal. But graduate transfer Kierra Fletcher gives South Carolina the experience edge. Fletcher started for four years with the Georgia Tech Yellowjackets, and should be able to bring stability in the tense, critical moments that are bound to come up on Sunday.
One last note: as I’ve already said a couple of times, the lines are all over the place in this game. No matter which side you want to bet on, be sure to shop around for the best line or price, as there’s really no reason to be giving points with either team with the options currently on the market.
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South Carolina vs Stanford Over/Under analysis
The totals are a bit more consistent in this game, with DraftKings setting the Over/Under at 124.5, while FanDuel lists the game at 122.5.
There’s no doubt that both of these teams can score. Stanford has scored at least 80 points in each of its first five games, including a whopping 104 against Cal State Northridge. South Carolina has been just as prolific, including going over 80 points against major conference opponents in Maryland (81 points) and the Clemson Tigers (85).
Again, we know that these teams haven’t really played much in the way of opposition just yet. But Maryland is at least a capable opponent, and it’s worth noting that not only did the Gamecocks score 81 points in that game, but they also gave up 56, combining for a total of 137 on the night.
Both teams are capable of pushing the pace and scoring in bunches. Neither is likely to shut down a high-powered opposing offense entirely, even though these will inevitably be two of the better defensive squads in the country as well. And both are still figuring things out at the point guard position, which should lead to some added turnovers and fast-break opportunities.
I’ve just seen too much offense out of both sides to do anything other than take the Over here. Since FanDuel has the lower total, we’ll bet there, getting -120 on Over 122.5.
South Carolina vs Stanford betting trend to know
The Cardinal are 5-0 to start the season. Find more College basketball betting trends for South Carolina vs. Stanford.
South Carolina vs Stanford game info
|Lease:||Maples Pavilion, Stanford, California|
|Date:||Sunday, November 20, 2022|
|Tip off:||12:00 p.m. ET|