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Caitlin Clark’s Betting on March Madness Women’s Games Increased by 540%: A Sign of Her WNBA Influence, According to Optimove Analysis

Results from more than 19 million bets placed during the 2024 NCAA March Madness tournament revealed that women’s games had more TV viewers but men’s games had more bets.

Optimove’s Analysis on NCAA March Madness

Optimove Insights, Optimove’s analytical and research arm, did a thorough review of the 2024 NCAA March Madness tournament, shedding light on the strong influence of standout player Caitlin Clark on betting behavior in women’s games. The survey indicated that she increased March Madness betting by an average of 540%, indicating her potential impact on the WNBA. The report was released during the SBC Summit North America.

Results based on 19 million+ bets

From March 29 to April 9, Optimove Insights evaluated almost 19 million bets on the 2024 NCAA March Madness tournament, which included both men’s and women’s games. This analysis focused on betting trends surrounding games starring Caitlin Clark, a well-known women’s collegiate basketball player and the first choice in the 2024 WNBA Draft.

Women’s Games: The Caitlin Clark Effect

Optimove Insights monitored betting activity on women’s NCAA games from the Elite Eight stage until the Championship game. The comparison baseline game, Oregon State vs. South Carolina, which was set to 100%, received the fewest bets of the games tracked.

The statistics demonstrated Caitlin Clark’s impact on betting activity, with games featuring her resulting in an average 540% increase in bets compared to the baseline. This implies that individual players have a major impact on the betting landscape, highlighting the importance of star power in increasing fan engagement and betting interest.

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Men’s Championship Game: More Bets; Women’s Championship Game: More Eyeballs

It is worth noting that the women’s Championship game had an average of 18.7 million TV viewers, while the men’s game had 14.8 million viewers, although the men’s game drew more than three times as many bets. This mismatch highlights potential disparities in spectator interest and betting activity between the two tournaments.

Men’s Games

The study also included betting patterns in men’s NCAA games. Despite a 139% rise in bets over the baseline, the men’s Championship game had a significantly lower percentage gain in betting than the women’s games. This disparity is most likely explained by the greater baseline of individual bettors in men’s games, which results in lower percentage rises. Nonetheless, men’s games routinely drew greater wagers throughout the tournament.

According to Rony Vexelman, VP of Marketing at Optimove, “The WNBA season begins on May 14 with a generational player. Caitlin Clark has significantly increased overall interest in women’s basketball. Her influence on betting, TV viewership, and other factors is already driving a new women’s basketball economy worth trillions.”