North Carolinians Contribute To Record March Madness Betting At BetMGM Sportsbook

The men’s and women’s NCAA tournaments set a record for sports bets and combined to take in four times as many betting tickets as were placed on the 2024 Super Bowl, according to BetMGM Sportsbook NC.

In hoops-crazy North Carolina, sports fans could place bets legally on March Madness for the first time after NC sports betting launched on March 11.

Though the state has not yet released sports betting data for March 2024 , the unexpected run by North Carolina State in both tournaments will likely contribute to big numbers.

Women’s NCAA basketball tournament sets records, BetMGM says

The women’s title game on Sunday between South Carolina and Iowa wrapped up the most-bet women’s NCAA tournament in history and the most-bet women’s sports event ever, based on BetMGM betting activity.

“The 2024 NCAA women’s championship broke BetMGM’s record for the most-bet women’s sporting event of all time,” said Seamus Magee, trading manager for BetMGM. The unprecedented success of the women’s tournament, which drew more viewers for its title game than the men’s, is not limited to the popularity of North Carolina schools.

“Caitlin Clark and Iowa generated an unbelievable amount of interest, which translated into this being the most-bet NCAA Women’s Tournament in BetMGM history,” Magee said in a statement on Wednesday. The women’s championship game garnered 18.7 million viewers, compared to 14.8 million for Monday’s men’s final between Connecticut and Purdue.

The Iowa/South Carolina championship game, won by the Gamecocks, drew the most wagers and produced the largest total handle for a single women’s event in BetMGM sportsbook history. The game broke the record set only two days earlier when Iowa played traditional juggernaut Connecticut in the Final Four. The Hawkeyes’ previous game, in the Elite Eight against LSU, held the record before that. This means the last three games of Caitlin Clark’s career set the record for most bets on women’s sports. Speaking of Iowa’s No. 22 …

The Caitlin Clark effect: most BetMGM prop bets for any player in March Madness

Iowa superstar Caitlin Clark has attracted scores of new fans to her sport. In each of her last two seasons with the Hawkeyes, Clark’s fantastic long-range shooting and deft passing led her team to the championship game. Her popularity was illustrated in the gym and across the country with the tremendous surge in sales of her jersey (in February, Fanatics reported that Clark merchandise had become the top seller for men or women in college sports).

BetMGM reports that more prop bets were placed on Clark’s performance (based on betting tickets submitted) than on that of any other athlete in the NCAA tournaments.

The most BetMGM player props among competitors in the men’s basketball tournament were for Purdue center Zach Edey. But according to BetMGM, Clark attracted 80% more prop bets than Edey (the second most bet) and a staggering 380% more bets than DJ Burns Jr. of North Carolina State, who was third on that list.

Bets placed by women increased 29%

According to BetMGM, the wagers they accepted from female customers rose 29% compared to the 2023 NCAA women’s tournament. That represents a huge opportunity for BetMGM and other sportsbooks to gain customers from a demographic that previously was not this energized about sports betting.

Whether women’s college basketball fans will continue to watch and bet on the sport after Clark leaves for the professional ranks cannot be answered until this fall at the earliest. Clark is predicted to be the No. 1 overall selection in next week’s WNBA draft.

Though North Carolina hoops fans do not have a team of their own to root for, they will be able to follow Clark’s pro career, along with the WNBA careers of other female players from NC.


Image Credit: David J. Phillip / AP Images

About the Author

Dan Holmes

Dan Holmes writes about sports betting, sports media, and sports betting legislative matters. He's the author of three books, and previously reported for Major League Baseball, as well as the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.