Women’s basketball is one of the most thrilling sports any spectator or fan could hope to enjoy. The athletes who do make it to the WNBA are undeniably talented and relentlessly competitive. And like true students of the game, players in the Association are some of the most fundamentally sound athletes to take the court.
To watch their skill and determination evolve on hardwoods across the league is a privilege. And to be able to back some of these incredibly gifted players by wagering their teams’ odds adds an even more exciting angle to the game.
But betting women’s basketball, although fun, can be challenging. Those challenges arise because, like many women’s sports, it’s difficult to find sportsbooks that carry odds for WNBA games and futures odds.
Let’s dive into a quick guide for wagering on WNBA games.
Which book is best?
Whether it’s FanDuel or DraftKings, FOX Bet or Caesars, every gambler has a go-to book when it comes to placing sports bets. But as we noted above, finding books that carry updated WNBA odds can be tricky.
To be frank, it can be almost impossible.
So we did our due diligence in hunting for a sportsbook where you can bet your bucks on some professional women’s hoops next season.
So far, the only major sportsbook that we found that has actionable WNBA odds for 2023 is Caesars Sportsbook.
The sports landscape is bustling. Leagues like the NFL and NBA devour the energy and focus of fans and bettors alike, so calculating WNBA odds might not be top-priority for some bookmakers.
We do, however, look forward to updating you as more books add the WNBA to the board.
Take MaximBet for example — the relatively new sports gambling venture launched in 2017 by Carousel Group. MaximBet has partnered with global icon Nicki Minaj and hopes to use her influence to bring more women bettors into the fray. A book whose goal is attracting more women will almost certainly provide odds on women’s professional hoops.
So to answer the “which book is best” question — the best book is the one that has the odds on the games and teams you want to wager!
Now for the Fun
So you’ve decided which sportsbook you want to use to place your WNBA bets. In our case, we’re using Caesars for now. Awesome! But now what?
If you’re on the sharper side of the game, you probably have already considered every wager from the next WNBA champ to Rookie of the Year. But if you’re newer to the betting landscape, you might need a little help.
Here are some fun wagers that can get you in on the action when betting on the WNBA.
Note: Only WNBA Championship futures are live on Caesars as of 11/7/2022
Team Win Total Over/Under
Will the Las Vegas Aces eclipse 28.5 victories — winning at least two more contests than they did in their 2022 campaign? Or will the Dallas Wings underwhelm next year and win Under 16.5 games?
Decisions, decisions. And when it comes to teams’ win totals, that’s one of the easiest wagers you can make.
Oddsmakers will take the league’s 40-game season and project how many matchups each team will win. Often, you’ll see this number written as a half number and not a whole. That’s because half numbers on team win totals and betting in general don’t allow for pushes on the wagers. In other words, you can win or lose, but you can’t break even.
Other Futures Bets
A team win totals bet is a great example of a futures bet, but it’s not the only one. As the name suggests, a futures bet involves making a prediction about what will happen in an upcoming season as a whole, not just one game. The most common futures bets you will see are championship odds, which are currently the only WNBA odds available on Caesars Sportsbook.
Futures bets show up as numbers with either a plus or minus. Before a season begins, you will almost always see a plus. For example, you might see Seattle Storm +600. This means that a $100 bet on the Storm would yield a $600 payout (plus you would receive your $100 wager back as well.)
However, as the season goes on, and more information becomes available, the odds might shift. If the Storm suffer severe injuries, the odds could lengthen to something like +1500. However, as the playoffs near, if the Storm look like the clear favorite, you might see a number with a minus sign, such as -250. This means that you have to bet $250 to win $100. Bookmakers now believe that scenario is the most likely.
MVP odds are often another common futures bet, and they use the same plus/minus system.
When the season tips off, you’ll also be able to bet on individual games. One of the most common bets is a moneyline bet. The reason people love moneyline bets is because they are so simple. You pick a team to win or lose. That’s it.
Of course, you do get a higher reward for correctly predicting a big upset because there is a lot more risk involved. Betting on the conference leader to beat the last-place team is relatively safe, so it doesn’t yield much of a return. To show this to bettors, bookmakers use the odds numbers described above. For example, let’s say the Chicago Sky are playing the New York Liberty. You might see a moneyline that looks like this:
Chicago Sky -200
New York Liberty +185
In this case, the Sky are favored. You need to bet $200 on them to win $100 back. Since the Liberty are considered less likely to win, you get a greater return if you back them: a $100 bet will get you $185 if the Liberty emerge victorious.
Spread bets are also very popular. In this type of bet, the bookmakers have evened the odds by giving a number that the favored team needs to win by. So if you bet the spread, you double your wager if you are right (minus the sportsbook taking a small cut, called the vig or the juice.) For an example, let’s use that same game between the Sky and the Liberty. You might see a spread that looks like this:
Chicago Sky (-7.5)
New York Liberty (+7.5)
In this case, if you bet $20 and choose the Sky, Chicago needs to win by 8 points or more. If so, you receive a $20 win plus your $20 bet back (again, minus the sportsbook’s cut). If you made the same bet on the Liberty, you either want New York to win or to lose by 7 points or less. Either way, you cash your bet.
Total Points Scored Over/Under
Betting on the Over/Under (O/U) of how many points will be scored in games every night is another popular option.
Let’s say the Minnesota Lynx and the Atlanta Dream are squaring off halfway through the season, and oddsmakers have set the O/U of total points scored by both teams combined at 169.5 in their midseason matchup.
Are you betting that the teams’ total points scored exceeds 169.5, or are you taking the Under? To decide how you’ll wager your bucks on the O/U, you might consider factors like the point totals in past games and which players are listed on the injury report.
If the final score turns out to be 90-75 (note that it doesn’t matter which team wins or loses if you make a totals bet), the Under bettor would win because the total points add up to 165, below the 169.5 mark set by the book.
Another fun way to get in on WNBA betting is with player props. With player props, you bet on players’ chances to hit certain benchmarks. Will Candace Parker hit over or under her career average of 4.5 assists in the Chicago Sky’s first game of the year? Will Chelsea Gray get four boards or fewer in the Aces’ second contest of the season? Who will make the first basket of the game?
In-game player props make every matchup more intriguing for bettors as they wait for their wagers to hit.
Occasionally, you can also make season-long prop bets for players as well, especially as the season goes on and intriguing storylines develop. For example, if a player looked like she might break the single-season scoring record, a sportsbook might offer odds as to whether or not she will succeed.
Some books will also offer team props for an individual game (e.g. total number of rebounds by the Mystics vs. the Sun). And come playoff time, you can often find player and team props for the series as a whole.
Unfortunately, though, you rarely see prop bets available for WNBA games like you do for other sports. Hopefully this changes in the near future.
Betting in your State
Responsibly wagering WNBA games can be an entertaining way to keep up with your favorite professional hoopers while making some extra cash. That sounds like a win-win to us!
However, not every state has legalized sports betting. Read more below to find out if your state is one that allows sports gambling.
And if your state does allow fans to bet on sports, wagering on the WNBA next season can be so easy.
Just download your go-to sportsbook’s app on your mobile device, find the odds you like and get ready to win some green!