WNBA Betting Tip: A Contrarian Strategy for Mercury vs. Fever

WNBA Betting Tip: A Contrarian Strategy for Mercury vs. Fever article feature image
Credit:

Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: A general view of a basketball on the court

  • The Indiana Fever have lost five games in a row.
  • Using Bet Labs, we share a profitable against the spread system for WNBA teams on a losing streak.

The Indiana Fever are struggling. Pokey Chatman’s team is on a five-game losing streak — the longest of the season. The Fever have managed only one win in their past 10 games.

Oddsmakers opened Indiana as a 5.5-point road underdog in Tuesday’s game (10 p.m. ET) against the Phoenix Mercury. Unlike the Fever, the Mercury are trending in the right direction, having won seven of their last 10 contests and boasting the second-best scoring defense in the league at 73.2 points allowed per game.

All signs point to betting Phoenix, but is there value on the underdog? Using Bet Labs, I’ve found a profitable against-the-spread (ATS) system with a match for Mercury-Fever.

Casual bettors are often unwilling to wager on teams in the midst of a long losing streak, like the Fever. Oddsmakers understand this tendency and will shade their opening lines to account for public trends. This creates an opportunity for contrarian bettors that are willing to zig while the public zags.

Since 2005, WNBA teams on an extended losing streak of three or more games have gone 429-380-17 (53.0%) ATS in their next game. It has historically been profitable to buy low on teams during a skid.

Teams that have lost multiple games in a row are even more undervalued when on a road trip. In other sports, we’ve found home field advantage is overrated by squares and the same is true in the WNBA.

Teams that have lost three or more games in a row and are on a road trip (two or more games away from home) have gone 132-86-5 (60.6%) ATS since 2005. This system has been profitable in 13 of the past 15 seasons and a $100 bettor following this contrarian strategy would have returned a profit of $3,958.

The numbers back a play on Indiana but it can be difficult to pull the trigger on a bad team. The Fever (6-14) have the third-worst record in the WNBA but the team’s ATS is record is a respectable 10-10 ATS. We don’t care if Indy wins, we just need them to cover, which history suggests they’ll do tonight.