WNBA Betting Preview: Finals Picks, Caitlin Clark Props & More

WNBA Betting Preview: Finals Picks, Caitlin Clark Props & More article feature image

Cooper Neill/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Caitlin Clark of the Indiana Fever.

The WNBA starts tomorrow, and I’m ready to dive into the two biggest questions: who will win the title, and how will Caitlin Clark’s rookie season go?

Last season, the WNBA had two heavy favorites to make it to the championship: the New York Liberty and Las Vegas Aces.

Neither team disappointed, finishing as the top two seeds in the WNBA and going 10-1 in the first two rounds before the Aces prevailed in the finals for back-to-back championships for the first time since 2002.

Can the Aces three-peat? Or is there another team we should be looking out for?

Who Will Win the WNBA Finals?

As mentioned in my MVP piece, the WNBA is still young — but that doesn't mean we can't glean trends from what's happened in the past. Two trends stuck out to me from the past 20 champions:

  • Eleven finished with the most wins in the WNBA, and six finished with the second-most. The most recent team to win as a lower seed was the Chicago Sky, the lowest-seeded champions ever (No. 6), who started 2-7 and finished 14-9 in one of the strangest playoffs.
  • Twelve of the champions had someone who won WNBA MVP in a previous season. Of the other eight, five did not have someone who won MVP previously and three had their first MVP on the team that season. The last 10 champions have had an MVP from that season or a previous season.

We're looking for a team with a former MVP — or someone who has a great chance to win it this year — and will finish top-two in wins.

Three teams meet this criteria: the Aces, Liberty and Storm. The Aces and Liberty met in the finals last year, have the two MVP front-runners and an abundance of talent. They also both had great health last year, for the most part.

The Storm added Nneka Ogwumike, a former MVP who was one of the most impactful players last year and brought in Skylar Diggins-Smith, who finished sixth in MVP voting in 2022.

This team is loaded and ready to compete for a title right off the bat.

I’m betting a half-unit on the Storm to win the title at +1400 at DraftKings and would bet them down to +1000. I see almost no way the odds stay this long all season and want to invest in a clear top-three team at long odds.

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What to Expect From Caitlin Clark

It's almost here! Caitlin Clark's WNBA debut is right around the corner.

Since she lost in the national championship, the world has been waiting to see what she's like in the WNBA and how her game translates. Plus, tickets to her games are some of the hottest in sports.

How good will she be? Spoiler: she's going to be really good.

Books have set all sorts of props for her and even posted odds for Rookie of the Year. I think she's going to run away with that, but -700 is even too much juice for me.

However, there are still some bets I'm looking to make:

Caitlin Clark

To Score 10+ Points in Every Game (+1000 · 0.25 Units)

The downside here is this has only been done by a rookie once in WNBA history — A'ja Wilson in 2018, another first-overall pick. Wilson had one of the greatest modern rookie seasons in WNBA history, and she's the best comp for Clark in a few ways (play style notwithstanding).

Like Clark, Wilson started on a team with some players who had some experience, but it was still an average team looking for a primary scorer. Clark is going to touch the ball every possession, be given the green light and score in bunches.

Clark never scored under 20 in a college game, and while she won't be shooting it as much, it's hard to imagine her not getting here in each game. I think there's at least a 20% chance she cashes this, which is why there's value here.

Caitlin Clark

Under 21.9 PPG (+100 · 0.4 Units)

This number is huge. Only 19 times in WNBA history has a player averaged over 21.9 points per game. It's never been done by a rookie.

In many seasons, an average of 21.9 PPG would have led the WNBA, but Clark's odds of leading the league in scoring are much longer (around +800, which is still generous).

She's going to have an amazing career. But guards in the WNBA often take a while to find their groove and score in bunches. Kelsey Plum struggled when she first entered the league with lower expectations despite a similarly impressive college career.

I think Clark could get close to this number, but it's ultimately just too high. At even-money, it's better than odds elsewhere.

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