WNBA Win Total Bets: Midseason Picks for Liberty, Dream, Sparks, More
Ethan Miller/Getty Images. Pictured: Sabrina Ionescu #20, Breanna Stewart #30 and Betnijah Laney #44 of the New York Liberty.
With less than a month to go in the WNBA season, most teams have around 8-9 games remaining, just enough of a sample to be able to still look into the futures market and be able to find some value based on team’s remaining schedules, and how the teams themselves are playing.
For folks who don’t love tying their money up for long stretches (one of the biggest qualms bettors have with futures is how long it ties up their bankroll), this is a “Future Lite”, where your money will be tied up for less than a month!
This is the third time this season we have looked at the WNBA win totals betting market, so let’s take a real quick look at where we are in regards to previous picks to set the table for this piece, but know that even if you did not bet these previous win totals with us, there will still be plenty of value in this article.
Just a quick glance at that chart shows that we are in great shape! One bet has already hit (thanks AT and co.!), and we’re tracking for a 10-4 record on these, with three of those losses being leans not full best bets.It’s also worth noting that the three midseason bets are all tracking and we are looking at a few potential tasty middles if the Lynx get cold and the Storm play well (but not too well!) down the stretch.
Today we’ll have four more bets to take us down the stretch, but unlike last check-in, I won’t be covering the teams who we don’t have bets on. You can just assume that there was no value on the line set, or just too much juice to make it worth it.
Let’s dive in.
Under 20.5 (-120) | Bet 365
Of the four bets in the article, this is the one that is the biggest lean. And part of it is a hedge to the preseason over 19.5, with the (very real) potential for an awesome middle.
However, I do recommend this bet regardless of whether you are sitting on a preseason over for the Dream. Since the start of August, the Dream have, quite literally, the worst net rating in the league. At -9.8, they sit below even the Fevers and Mercurys of the world, and the culprit is one thing and one thing only: the offense.
The Atlanta Dream lead the league in blocks per game since the all star break.
Unfortunately in that same time span they are dead last in:
-FGM per game
-Assists per game
-True Shooting %
-Assist / Turnover Ratio
— Dano Mataya (@drmataya) August 14, 2023
That tweet is from a week ago, but most of those rankings remain unchanged.
So why is it a lean and not a hammer? Because we have seen this team perpetually flip the switch, including a run of seven straight wins right before the break after they had fallen three games under .500. They play the Aces on Tuesday, but after that, every game is winnable, depending on how healthy the Mystics are by the second to last game of the season.
They have games against all three of the bottom feeders still remaining, two of which are at home. They also have five of their final eight at home and while the offense has gone missing, their defense has been sturdy even in this rough patch. A 20-20 record would seem very fitting for this squad, and it would land an incredibly satisfying middle for preseason bettors as well.
Under 15.5 (+100) | Bet 365
The Sky were a preseason under that looked dead for a minute, but thanks to five straight losses (and a 4-11 run after an 8-9 start), the preseason under is very much still alive.
So much so that I don’t mind adding to it at the same number it was preseason. The Sky are tied with the Dream for the worst record in August (2-5), and when you zoom out, their three-game winning streak in which they totaled 104 points in each win in late July into early August, looks more and more like a fluke.
For tracking purposes, this will be a lean since it’s adding to a previous position, but if you aren't already on this number, I would recommend at full unit.
Los Angeles Sparks
Over 16.5 (-103) | BetRivers
This is another number that exactly matches the preseason line (this is where futures haters would say that you could have had you money available for betting the past three months, but you also would’ve missed out on the easy Sun win and several of the other edges we are sitting on!), and another that I am once again willing to double down on.
In many ways this is truly just the inverse of the Sky. In the past month, the Sparks have the third-best win-loss record (6-3) as well as net rating (+4.6) in the entire WNBA, trailing only the Aces and Liberty! They have the best defensive rating in the league during that stretch, and if you’ve been reading any of my WNBA previews lately, you know what I am going to say: Curt Miller finally has most of his toys to play with now that the Sparks have had at least a few key players back and healthy, and that’s a scary thing for other teams battling for the playoffs.
The Sparks have all the reason in the world to battle it out down the stretch run, as they sit a game and a half up on the Sky for the final playoff spot right now. The schedule is a bit tricky, with five of nine on the road and games against the Sun (x2), the Liberty (on the road), and a presumably healthier Mystics, but they only need to get four more wins to clear this total. If they hold home court against the Mercury, Sky, and Storm, they only need to steal one more game of their five road games, or the home game against the Mystics to get to 17 wins and this over.
Same deal as the Sky. This is a lean if you are already on this position, but a full unit bet if you have no previous position on them.
New York Liberty
Under 31.5 (+125) | Bet 365
This seems like a crazy play at first. The Liberty are by all metrics the best team in the W over the past month and have a pair of wins over the Aces that has folks wondering if this indeed the best team in the W after all. They have won seven of their last eight and 11 of their last 13.
However, there are a few reasons to look at this under. First, they have a bit of a tricky schedule down the stretch. There is, of course, the big final matchup with the Aces (at home), but they also have road tests against both the Sun and the Wings. They have another matchup with the Sun at Barclays and a road game against the Lynx who have given them trouble at times.
Maybe the biggest factor, though, is that if they get to the final two games of the season and aren’t going to be able to catch the Aces (who currently hold a 3.0-game lead on the Liberty, they may well rest players if not for the full game, for at least a half. Their final two opponents are the Sparks and Mystics, two teams in the heat of the playoff push and unlikely to also be resting starters.
All the Liberty have to do is drop two of these final eight games to hit this under, and we are getting big plus money on them to do so.
Finally, it does give us an incredibly juicy two-win middle (30, 31), which just so happens to be right where I project them to finish anyways.