2024 WNBA Team-by-Team Season Preview

2024 WNBA Team-by-Team Season Preview article feature image

Pictured: All WNBA logos for Action Network’s 2024 season preview.

The 2024 WNBA preseason begins today, Friday May 3, with the regular season right on its heels, tipping off with Liberty-Mystics on Tuesday, May 14.

This is the 28th season of the league, and it feels like the league is about to truly arrive. Of course, it’s already been here for the die hards through the Houston Comets, through Lisa Leslie, through the rough and tumble mid 2000s, through the Diana Taurasi-Sue Bird arrivals, through Sparks-Lynx rivalry, through the emergence of A’ja Wilson and the next new superteam—but now it’s poised to build up its casual fanbase.

This has been called the "Caitlin Clark Effect", and while Caitlin may well be drawing some extra eyeballs, she’s far from the only draw to the league right now. The W, which is sitting on 12 teams, has about as much depth of talent as the league has ever had in its history. One could make the case for four superteams right now—with at least two budding superteams—while a collection of teams at the bottom of the league are stacked with young talent who are hoping to prove themselves worthy of being the superteams of the 2030s—if not sooner.

The league moved to a 40-game regular season last year, with eight of the 12 teams making the postseason. Last year’s playoffs saw the two big-name superteams meeting in the Finals, with the Las Vegas Aces prevailing over the New York Liberty, 3-1, making them repeat champions in Becky Hammon’s first two seasons at the helm.

So should we expect an Aces 3-peat? Do the Liberty, or newly formed superteams in Seattle and Phoenix have what it takes to take them down? How about lower down in the standings? Will Aliyah Boston and Caitlin Clark click in their first year together and make the playoffs if not more? How will WNBA legend Teresa Weatherspoon’s first season in Chicago go? There are a million fun questions entering this season.

We ran through the league after free agency, and while not a ton has changed in terms of the actual rosters, we now have actionable bets to make, thanks to win total or make/miss playoff market up at DraftKings and FanDuel. (Although, please don’t get me started on the insane discrepancy between the futures offerings available for the WNBA vs. sports like NBA, MLB, etc. As a futures sicko, I would die for bets like team head to heads, league leader markets, individual player season futures, the full awards slate, etc.)

Here is an analysis for all 12 teams in the league, sorted by my favorite bets down to the teams I am mostly staying away from—at least in the futures market, right now.

Best Bets

Los Angeles Sparks

Under 11.5 wins (-120)

If this team is smart, they will see the state of the league this year and be perfectly content with a season in which they throw their young core (Aari McDonald, Rickea Jackson, and Cameron Brink) into the fire and secure the top pick in next year’s draft, who will likely be Paige Bueckers. Because a team with those three, plus Bueckers and Azura Stevens/Dearica Hamby holds some fun long-term potential, but for this year they just aren’t going to be able to hang.

The last-place team in the W has averaged 8.3 wins per 40 games over the past 10 seasons, and the Sparks look to be, pretty handily, the worst team in the league this season.

That is not to say the team is bereft of talent. I’m really excited to see what Aari McDonald can do with the full keys to an offense. Azura Stevens, Dearica Hamby, and Cameron Brink have the makings of an elite interior defense. And Layshia Clarendon has been the absolute perfect veteran stabilizing force in recent seasons (it’s part of the reason I think they end—and maybe even start—the season somewhere other than L.A.). But new bettors have to realize just how stacked rosters are in the W right now, with expansion not having arrived just yet. 

It’s all going to add up to what I see as a single-digit win total for the Sparks this season.

From a day-to-day perspective, I will reiterate my take from my post-free agency article and say that unders are likely going to be the angle for folks looking to bet Sparks games this season.

Seattle Storm

Over 23.5 wins (-110)

If Gabby Williams somehow returns to the W and decides to return to Seattle, people are going to have to physically restrain me to keep me from recklessly betting large sums of money on this Storm team to win the title at the prices we’re currently getting.

But even if Gabby (who is technically an unrestricted free agent and might not even play in the W this season) doesn’t make her way to Seattle, I absolutely love the construction of this team. The natural hesitation with any newly minted superteam is how quickly it can all come together. And it’s a fair concern. Just last season, we saw the Liberty post a net raing nearly five points better in the second half of their first season together. Here’s the thing, though—they had a +7.6 net rating before the break! That’s about a 27-win pace.

In some ways, I think this Seattle team could be even better than New York. Nneka Ogwumike isn’t quite at Breanna Stewart’s level, but she isn’t far behind, and the backcourt of Jewell Loyd/Skylar Diggins-Smith has a higher two-way ceiling than Courtney Vandersloot/Sabrina Ionescu. Jonquel Jones is clearly better than Ezi Magbegor, but Ezi is an absolutely perfect rim protector next to Nneka. 

But this doesn’t need to be a direct comparison to New York. Because while the Liberty see their regular season win total at 30.5 after a 32-8 season last year, the Storm see their win total at just 23.5 right now. I have them projected around 27 wins, and with a win band where 24 is right on the low end. The biggest question mark is the health of SDS returning from a full season off, but I love both the floor and ceiling of this team. Their title odds were even a best bet in my post-free agency column, and that has not changed.

Indiana Fever

Under 21.5 wins (-120) | To Miss +196

I talked through the case against the Fever in depth in my Caitlin Clark article in March, and much of that long-term love but short-term fade remains the same. 

Clark and Boston are going to be absolutely amazing for a long time together—you almost couldn’t draw up a more perfect long-term fit for each other in every sense. However, the transition from the college game to the W is just not one that goes smoothly—especially for guards. Now Caitlin has the potential to be different than any other guard that has entered this league, however, the far more likely case is that she hits some speed bumps in her rookie season. Even at the college level she sometimes struggled with the truly elite defenders when she was their singular focus. Guess what, the elite defenders of the college level are all there is in the WNBA

I prefer betting them to miss the playoffs at +196 to the actual win total, because I do think there’s a possibility that she’s just different than any previous prospect so let’s grab the longer number, but the long history of the league suggests there’s going to be a lot of value fading the buzz surrounding the Fever this season.


Minnesota Lynx

Over 16.5 wins (-120)

This number has already jumped a bit, but there’s still room as far as I am concerned.

Let me start with the case against, because when I am looking at these bets, I always want to make sure I make the case against in my head to make sure it’s truly a worthy bet. 

The case against rests on point differential. The Lynx went 19-21 last season, but they had the point differential of a 12-win team. For those unfamiliar, point differential tends to be more predictive season-to-season than a team’s actual win-loss record, and it’s likely part of why the 19-win Lynx see their 2024 win total set at 16.5. The fact that the only two teams below them in the league by point differential (Seattle and Phoenix) got notably better also likely plays a factor.

However, betting markets are very aware of the predictive nature of point differential, and it’s actually offering us a potential chance to zag off a tool I am often relying on. In this case, you have a coach (Cheryl Reeve) and a star (Napheesa Collier) who I am willing to give the benefit of the doubt to in regards to closing out close games. 

Then there’s their offseason. While it was not nearly as flashy as those in Phoenix and Seattle, it was quietly very impactful. In Courtney Williams and Natisha Hiedeman, the Lynx brought in two ball handlers who are arguably better than any point guard the franchise has had since the Lindsay Whalen days. Williams in particular really took a leap forward in her playmaking last season.

They also brought in Alanna Smith who had a breakout to near-All-Star level last season in Chicago, at least if you believe her advanced metrics, and Alissa Pili at least intrigues me with Cheryl Reeve at the wheel. 

But this all comes down to Collier. She’s a top 10 player in the league right now, with a case for top five. She’s about to enter her age-27 season and is maybe the easiest superstar in the league to build around. This team is being slept on, but I have them projected sixth in the league this season right around 20 wins.

Chicago Sky

Under 11.5 wins (-111)

Another team that is likely to be near the bottom of the league that I am looking to fade, albeit not as strongly as L.A.

Once again, it’s a situation where it’s not as if the team is bereft of talent. Elizabeth Williams is one of the most underrated centers in the league—a legit rim protector and underrated offensive post player who I have as the 25th best player in the league. Marina Mabrey seems poised for a big season both as a shooter, but more so as the creative hub for the Chicago offense. Angel Reese and Kamilla Cardoso form a rookie combo that holds lots of intrigue. Dana Evans is arguably the front-runner for Most Improved.

But to repeat the line from L.A.: Bettors have to realize just how stacked rosters are in the W right now. 

Chicago just doesn’t have the top end talent or roster depth to hang even in the postseason range for a full season in 2024. I have them just ahead of L.A. but well below this number.

Las Vegas Aces

Under 33.5 wins (-120)

Bet against the Aces at your own risk, of course. I have missed out on both of their titles because I didn’t ever get around to liking the number where it was, so weight that as well.

But here’s the case against. Last season, the Aces just barely cleared this total, going 34-6, with a pythagorean win-loss of 35-5 (pause to lol at how absurd that is). But now they are without Candace Parker for good, as she announced her retirement this week (shouts to a GOAT). The Aces were 16-2 with a +17.6 net rating with Parker in 2023; they were 18-4 with +13.5 net rating after she went down with what would be her season-ending injury. A record of 18-4 with a net rating of +13.5 is still bananas good. BUT, it doesn’t project to a 34-win season. It’s closer to a 31.5-win season. 

There’s also the fact that, in Seattle, there’s a third team that is nearly in the same tier as New York and Las Vegas in my opinion, making some of those top tier showdowns a little tougher.

But the final piece of this is why this isn’t a full hammer, but if you see an update, it could turn into a best bet. We don’t have much word on Chelsea Gray right now. She had to exit the Finals with a foot injury that we have not seen many updates on. It could be that she is ready to hit the ground running, but she’s also entering her 10th season in the league and finished eighth in the league in minutes last season. In fact, the Aces had three of the top 11 and four of the top 18 by minutes last season on a team that secretly had really strong health and not so secretly doesn’t have great depth. The one big injury they suffered was Parker who: A) won’t be around this season regardless, and B) was arguably the least harmful position to suffer an injury, with Kiah Stokes the Aces best bench player.

If Gray misses any time with either this injury or a different one, the Aces will be hard pressed to win 34 games. (Yes, I am well aware the Aces literally won Game 4 of the Finals without her, but in a larger sample size, they will 100 percent miss her.)

As such, I like this under pretty much regardless, but if we get news that Gray maybe isn’t ready to start the season, this jumps up to an absolute must bet.


This is a very weird tier. In all three cases, I am leaning towards an over, while also eyeing the team’s odds to miss the playoffs—those aren’t typos. I am lumping the three teams together since we are already 2,000 words into this article, and they all fit the same pattern, more or less. 

Phoenix Mercury

Over 18.5 wins (-115) | To Miss Playoffs +280

Atlanta Dream

Over 16.5 wins (-115) | To Miss Playoffs +164

Dallas Wings

Over 20.5 wins (-113) | To Miss Playoffs +350

So, how can you like a team’s over while also liking them to miss the playoffs?

Let’s lead with the Mercury, who are by far the weirdest, because they are somehow both my favorite over but also my favorite bet to miss the playoffs at their current odds. For Phoenix, it makes sense though. They have one of the widest ceiling-floor splits, with the potential for a top-four seed, but also a very distinct possibility of missing the playoffs.

In Natasha Cloud, they brought in what on paper looks like a perfect fit to allow Diana Taurasi to be the no-defense, no-conscious gunner she has wanted to be the last few seasons. However, the analytics haven’t always loved Cloud’s actual impact on the court. I think those numbers undersell Cloud a bit, especially in the postseason, but there’s the chance for this to be an incredibly inefficient backcourt.

Then we get to the 3, and it’s Kahleah Copper. Copper is both literally a former Finals MVP, but also yet another player who advanced stats seem to pour a little cold water on; and for similar efficiency issues.

It really does feel like this team could go 27-13, or 15-25. As you see, the win band lives farrrr more in the over, but I think the actual win spread is not a bell curve here, and lives closer to the lower end of the spectrum. 

And I definitely think they are live to miss the playoffs at +280. There are potentially going to be a big glut of teams fighting for the postseason, and with as high as I am on the Lynx and Storm, I see value on several of the other teams missing.

The Dream I have projected as my ninth place team, so I see value in +164 on them to miss the playoffs, but I think they have a really high floor, and that the two bottom teams in the league are going to soak up A LOT of the potential losses out there, so I can get to both an over and a miss.

The Wings are the trickiest team right now. Satou Sabally looks like she’s going to be out until at least the Olympic break, and as someone who thinks she is the best player on the team, that’s clearly a big deal. (Also, hopefully you’re reading this in addition to some other WNBA betting previews out there that appear to be unaware that Sabally is going to miss almost half the season and are recommending their overs as a hammer play as a result…)

But I still do lean slightly to the over. Arike Ogunbowale is fresh off her best season as a pro, and the Natasha Howard/Teaira McCowan frontcourt was as much of a beast to handle as you’d imagine. They also have lots of fun, young talent ready to get their feet wet while Sabally is out, and then potentially be key contributors for a postseason run. I still love the ceiling for this team if they hit the postseason healthy, but there’s no rush to get in on that front just yet. Just wait and see if Sabally is indeed able to return and how the youngsters play in her stead. 

Stay Away

Here are the final three teams, but I don’t really see much value here. I was vaguely intrigued by the Sun to miss the postseason, and the Mystics to make the postseason if we got crazy numbers, but the numbers weren’t high enough to demand it, and I have all three teams projected within a half win of their win totals in the market.

Connecticut Sun

24.5 Wins

Washington Mystics

11.5/12.5 Wins

New York Liberty

30.5 Wins

We’ll have tons and tons of day-to-day previews here once the seasons starts, and be sure to download the WNBA Buckets podcast, which is getting its own feed this season and will be out twice a week, hosted by Maria Marino.

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