WNBA Betting Odds, Picks & Predictions: 5 Bets for Opening Night
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Professional basketball is back on Saturday. The WNBA tips off Saturday with three games as the “Wubble,” the women’s campus in Florida begins regular season play. While the NBA has a full other week before the men have a go at it, Saturday presents real opportunities for basketball bettors looking for value.
Three things to consider when betting WNBA:
- Not only are WNBA games often in front of smaller crowds, but most players have played overseas. The weird environment is not as much a concern as it is for the NBA players who get bothered by disruptions to routine.
- Opt-outs are a problem. Before you go in, make sure you have a good sense of who has opted in and out for the season.
- 3-pointers are still undervalued. The Aces have all the talent in the world, but are 29-36-1 (44.6%) ATS the last two seasons in large part because they are constantly fighting 3’s with 2’s. Meanwhile, the Storm, Mystics and Sun who were top 4 in 3-point rate the last two years have gone 105-92-5 (53%) in that span.
Here’s a look at both futures and opening day bets to make on the WNBA.’
WNBA Win Total Bets
Odds as of Saturday and via various legal sportsbooks. Find offers and reviews for the best online sportsbooks here.
Mystics Under 15.5 Wins (-162)
The Mystics are absolutely worthy of respect as the reigning champs. But this is in no way the same Mystics team from last year. Elena Delle Donne, you know, the MVP, Natasha Cloud, LaToya Sanders and Tina Charles are all out, and they lost Kristi Toliver in free agency.
This is putting them at a 73% win percentage for the 22-game season. That would have had them finish second last season, without most of the key players from that team.
I don’t enjoy fading this team, but even if Elena Delle Donne decided to move past her disagreement with the league over her diagnosis, even that wouldn’t move me to 16.
I’m fine with the juice on this, considering that even at a lower number of 12.5 at DraftKings and BetRivers, you still have to lay -140 or more.
Sky Over 9.5 Wins (-167)
Don’t love paying this juice, but there’s too much riding behind the Sky who led the league in ATS performance last season. They jumped from 12th in the league in defense in 2018, their biggest weakness, to 9th. Not a massive jump but enough to indicate real growth.
The Sky also have the capacity to bomb from deep with Allie Quigley and Courtney Vandersloot. Vandersloot in particular had a down year from 3 last season shooting just 29% from deep. That was the first time since her rookie season she had shot worse than 30% from 3 and the first time since 2013 she shot worse than 35%.
Throw in Diamond DeShields and this is unquestionably a team on the rise that you’re getting at a sub-.500 number.
Aces Under 11.5 Wins (+105)
The Aces are always a sexy pick based on their star power. But Liz Cambage and Kelsey Plum are both out for the season. Plum averaged 7 3-point attempts per 100 possessions for a team that was second to last in that category.
Cambage led the team in scoring and had the second-best on-court net rating of any player on the team. These absences are just greater. We’re going to see even more 3’s this season with the Storm and Mercury back at full force. That’s going to make it even harder for Aces coach Bill Laimbeer’s archaic offense to keep pace.
Plus money for a .500 record without two of their three best players. Even newcomer Angel McCoughtry can’t get me on board with the over. Be prepared to fade them game by game vs. the elite offenses.
WNBA Picks For Opening Day
Storm (-9, alternate line, -104) Over Liberty
12 p.m. ET
Sabrina! The phenom No. 1 pick Sabrina Ionescu makes her WNBA debut for the Liberty — tough break it comes vs. this sleeping juggernaut about to wake. The Storm won the title two years ago with one of the best offensive and net ratings we’ve ever seen. They bomb from deep and are led by the 2018 MVP Breanna Stewart and the living legend Sue Bird.
Stewart is coming off Achilles surgery and Bird is at the sunset of her career, but both can absolutely blister opponents. That’s all before we get to Natasha Howard and Jewell Loyd.
The Liberty were the worst defensive team in the league last season. The Storm have something to prove about a title they weren’t given a proper chance to defend. The Storm were 5-4 when favored by 9.5 or more. The actual line is 8 but the alternate line only bumps a half-point while putting you at -104.
It’s a lot of points to lay, but as sensational as Ionescu should prove to be, the Storm should create separation in the third quarter and coast.
Mercury +3 (-112) Over Sparks
3 p.m. ET
The team that had one of the all-time classic series in 2018 vs. the Storm also get their crew back. Diana Taurasi returns, Brittney Griner is a monster, and they added Skyler Diggins-Smith.
The Sparks, meanwhile, are without new addition Kristi Toliver and Chiney Ogwumike. Candace Parker has always been a legit star … but she was benched in the playoffs last season.
Getting points with a seasoned team with high expectations like the Mercury is a prime spot.