WNBA basketball at a preseason game at the Barclays Center. Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
- The betting public largely ignores WNBA, but sharps regard it as one of their favorite sports for finding value.
- Using the tools available at The Action Network, we've identified smart money coming down on tonight's Aces-Dream matchup (7 p.m. ET).
Believe it or not, WNBA is one the most beloved sports and best kept secrets for wiseguys (and gals).
First off, it’s all about timing and the sports betting calendar. During the dog days of summer when NBA and NHL are winding down and baseball is the only game in town, WNBA provides a oasis of value for pro bettors.
Because of the lack of active sports, Goodfellas can devote their extra time to breaking down stats, matchups and analyzing historical data through Bet Labs to locate an edge.
In addition, you have to take a step back and realize which types of bettors are wagering on the WNBA. An anti-WNBA stigma remains for the betting public. Many casual bettors don’t know the WNBA is even going on, let alone that you can bet on it.
If they do, they likely bypass it entirely because it isn’t “popular enough” and many games aren’t televised. If casual bettors can’t watch a game, they don’t want to bet on it.
But sharps don’t care if a sport is popular or if it’s on TV. If they locate an edge, they get down hard. Remember, wiseguys bet numbers, not teams or players.
WNBA has grown in popularity in recent years, but it remains an incredibly low-bet sport. As a result, the market is much easier to read. Since mostly sharps are betting these games, following line moves can be a profitable strategy because you know the move was caused by pros with an edge.
However, the one detriment is that lines move so fast that it’s easy to miss out. It’s common to see an over/under rise or drop 10 points, which is almost unheard of in other sports.
After analyzing Thursday’s three-game WNBA schedule using the betting tools available at Sports Insights and The Action Network, I’ve identified sharp action coming down on the Las Vegas Aces-Atlanta Dream matchup.
Las Vegas Aces @ Atlanta Dream
7:10 p.m. ET
Despite their 1-2 record to start the season, the Aces are one of the most exciting young teams in the WNBA, thanks in large part to the dynamic duo of sharpshooters A’ja Wilson (17 ppg) and new addition Liz Cambage (13.5 ppg).
Las Vegas also features a fast-paced, efficient offense. Through three games, the Aces are averaging 80.3 ppg, making them one of only four teams in the 12-team league averaging at least 80 ppg.
Meanwhile, the Dream (1-2) average only 72.3 ppg on offense, but they feature one of the league’s worst defenses, allowing 83.3 ppg –third-worst in the WNBA — to opponents thus far.
If this sounds like a perfect storm for over bettors tonight, you’d be right.
This total opened at 158. Fifty-nine percent of bets are taking the over, but they also account for a whopping 94% of dollars.
We’ve tracked only 386 bets on this game from our contributing books. And because the WNBA is such a niche sport, these bets aren’t coming from Average Joes or Janes.
As a result, we know that the 94% of dollars on the over are almost assuredly coming from sharps with an edge.
This overload of smart money has pushed the total up nearly four points from 158 to 161.5.
Sharp angle: Over