WNBA Betting Tip: Favorites Undervalued in Season-Opening Games
Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: The WNBA logo on a ball during the fourth quarter of game one of the WNBA finals
- The 2019 WNBA season begins with six games over Memorial Day weekend.
- Using Bet Labs, we share a profitable against-the-spread strategy for season-opening games.
The 2019 WNBA season opens Friday with a doubleheader featuring the Dallas Wings at Atlanta Dream (7:30 p.m. ET) and Indiana Fever at New York Liberty (8 p.m. ET).
The start of the WNBA’s 23rd season won’t get the same hype as Opening Day in baseball or the first round of March Madness. That’s fine.
Casual sports fans don’t follow women’s hoops, but savvy bettors do. To get you prepared for the upcoming season, The Action Network staff has shared its favorite future bets and eight tips for wagering on the WNBA.
Before I head to the lake to celebrate Memorial Day and the start of summer, I wanted to give out one more profitable betting strategy for Game 1 of the WNBA season.
Blindly betting favorites in the WNBA isn’t a sharp move. Since 2005, the chalk has gone 1,450-1,420-49 (50.5%) against the spread (ATS) in the regular season per Bet Labs. But in the first game of the season that changes.
In Game 1, betting the favorite has gone 50-34-1 (59.5%) ATS since 2005. Why is betting favorites a smart play to start the year?
My theory is that at the beginning of the season when teams are rested, healthy and prepared, the squads with the most talent (usually the favorites) have an advantage.
At no other point in the regular season is betting the favorite as profitable:
It is a small sample size, but we have a theory that explains why it works. As of Thursday morning, there are no lines available for the first games of the season. Be sure to check our WNBA live odds page for updates.
Remember, this is not a perfect system, rather a building block for your handicapping. Of course, if you don’t know anything about the WNBA and need some action this weekend, there are worse ideas than betting favorites in season-opening games.