Iowa -2.5 Spread Bettors Got Their Clocks Cleaned By Caitlin Clark’s Missed Final Free Throw

Caitlin Clark
ESPN

The Dallas Cowboys may claim to be America’s Team, but Caitlin Clark and the Iowa women’s basketball team has staked that claim. They actually advance in the playoffs and win big games nowadays, something the Cowboys can’t relate to since the mid-1990s or whatever it is. Been so long I’ve lost count, and my memory is a little shabby before I turned double-digit years old.

Anyway, as you might expect, with sports betting erupting all across the nation, many people were dying to bet on Clark and the Hawkeyes in Friday’s Final Four showdown against UConn.

Although Iowa ultimately prevailed, and those who took the juice to bet on the moneyline are happy, the bettors who rode the widely wagered upon Iowa spread of -2.5 points took a figurative two-by-four to the chin.

As a resident in the greater New York City area, I’m tempted to take the train into the Big Apple from Jersey, track down one of the more entertaining sports betting personalities out there in MSG Networks’ Alex Monaco, and make sure he’s OK. Our man was videoing the fallout in real time that probably rocked him harder than the (minor) earthquake that hit earlier in the day.

Can you believe it? Caitlin Clark, who I’ve frequently compared to Steph Curry for her pure shooting ability, missed a free throw that would’ve given the Hawkeyes a late three-point lead. No more points were scored after this. Iowa beat the Huskies by a score of 71-69.

Betting on basketball ain’t for the faint of heart, that’s all I can say. The bookmakers are scarily spot on when it comes to Over/Unders for the NBA in particular that I’m almost permanently scared away. In case y’all didn’t know or are thinking about dipping your toe into the gambling world, it’s damn near impossible to be profitable with it. Some beginner’s luck might suck you in. Don’t take the bait and start pressing. Colin Cowherd frequently claims that the average bet, at least from what he hears at DraftKings, is $4. So most people bet responsibly. Allegedly. Stick to that range. Or use one of the free apps where you can fake bet.

Any hoops game is far from a sure thing betting-wise. Basketball is such a fast-paced sport, where five-point swings can happen in the span of mere seconds off the clock. Caitlin Clark makes it feel like her winning is an inevitability. And win the Hawkeyes did. Alas, they did not cover the spread. The sportsbooks have to be doing cartwheels right now.

Meanwhile, those who rode Iowa -2.5 are licking their wounds.

You can bet with 100% certainty — well you can’t, but you know what I mean — that any Clark-related wagers/props and the vast majority of public money is going to come in hard on her and Iowa for the national championship game on Sunday against South Carolina.

Iowa is a pretty big underdog. All the better for the sportsbooks to tug on Americans’ heart strings and suck them in for some action.

But oh lordy, if Hawkeyes spread bettors hit, sprinkle some on the moneyline and hit that, and Clark goes bananas after a relatively off night in the first game of the Final Four? We’ll be talking about one of the greatest storybook endings in all of sports — and one of the best wins by the greater betting public in the young history of U.S.-based legalized gambling.

Enjoy tonight’s highlights, dubious offensive foul on UConn and all!

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