Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: A general view of the game ball during the preseason WNBA game
- Betting on the WNBA provides an opportunity to build your bankroll over the summer.
- Follow these eight tips to a profitable 2019 season.
The summer is a quiet time in the sports betting world. The NBA and NHL Playoffs are in the books and football season is still months away. While some gamblers are happy to take a vacation, others need action.
Enter the WNBA.
The league provides bettors an opportunity to build their bankroll during the dog days of summer. The season — which tips on 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) — runs through September, with the 12 teams playing 34 games each.
8 WNBA Betting Tips for 2019
Use the links to jump to each section.
- Don’t Bet Against the Public
- Follow Reverse Line Movement
- Bet Bad Teams Coming Off a Win
- Buy Low on Big Underdogs
- When to Bet the Under
- Moneylines Are Money Makers
- Knowledge Is Power
- Track Your Bets With Us
1. Don’t Bet Against the Public
Betting against the public is a popular strategy in other sports, but it does not work in the WNBA because there are not enough casual bettors to influence the line.
Here are the results of betting against the public since 2005 using data from Bet Labs:
2. Follow Reverse Line Movement
What is reverse line movement? This is when the betting line moves in the opposite direction of the betting percentages. For example: A team is only getting 40% of spread tickets, but their line moves from -3 to -4. This is often an indication of sharp action.
In the WNBA, it’s been profitable to wager on teams receiving 40% or less of spread tickets when the line moves in their direction by at least one point. By following this strategy, we can be on the same side as the professional bettors.
3. Bet Bad Teams Coming Off a Win
This is a simple contrarian strategy that we’ve seen be profitable in other sports like baseball. When a bad team wins a game, oddsmakers will expect them to regress and likely lose their next match. Why?
As Bill Parcells once said, “You are what your record says you are.”
The betting market has low expectations for teams with bad records and are more likely to inflate lines against underperforming teams, even if they might be playing well, which creates an opportunity for savvy bettors.
4. Buy Low on Big Underdogs
Big underdogs have been undervalued in the WNBA.
Since 2005, teams getting 10 or more points have gone 199-159-11 (55.6%) against the spread (ATS) in the regular season. Teams getting double-digit points are often undervalued because of poor recent performance, injuries or perceived matchup disadvantages.
It’s been more profitable to bet these big dogs in certain situations:
- On the road (home court is overrated): 178-135-11 (56.9%) ATS
- Receiving a majority of bets (don’t bet against the public): 72-44-3 (62.1%) ATS
- The line moves one or more points in their direction: 42-22-2 (65.6%) ATS
5. When to Bet the Under
No one wants to cheer for defense, shot clock violations and bricks. That’s why overs are the popular play, but unders can be profitable in the right situation.
Recency bias is the natural tendency to put too much weight on the most recent events. For example, if a team goes over its previous total, bettors are more likely to wager on the over in their next game as they assume the high scoring ways will continue. Oddsmakers anticipate this reaction from the betting market and will inflate the line, which can create value betting the under.
In the WNBA, when both teams have gone over the total in their previous game, it’s been profitable to bet the under.
6. Moneylines Are Money Makers
Again, the WNBA is not a heavily-bet market. So when the line moves, it’s because of sharp action. It’s been profitable to follow the line movement when betting on the moneyline, especially with underdogs.
Since 2005, moneyline underdogs have gone 311-583 (34.8%) straight up when the line moves in their direction (think +5 to +4). But don’t let the losing record fool you: Since we’re betting on underdogs, a $100 bettor would have returned a profit of $9,740 following this strategy.
Still, a 35% win rate isn’t for everyone. Bettors looking to win more often can improve their winning percentage by focusing on smaller underdogs with positive line movement.
7. Knowledge Is Power
NBA teams have multiple beat writers following their every movement. When a player has a cold, stubs a toe or eats some bad sushi, we know about it. That’s just not the case in the WNBA. With less media covering the league, information becomes more valuable.
Often oddsmakers are slow to adjust to news. Bettors who can stay on top of player information gain a big advantage against the sportsbooks. The Action Network’s Katie Richcreek created a list of teams and reporters to follow on social media for up-to-the-minute WNBA information. This feed is free to follow.
8. Track Your Bets With the Action App
Want to know how your bets are performing? Track all your plays using The Action Network App. Not only is the app free to download, but it allows you to follow expert picks, connect with friends, get insider analysis, live odds, win probability meter and more.
Good luck and remember to follow these eight tips to have a profitable summer betting on the WNBA.