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Sportsbooks Ready For More WNBA Betting Growth As 2024 Season Opens


This spring, the Caitlin Clark effect helped grow women’s college basketball betting markets immensely.

The carryover continued to last month’s WNBA Draft, as sportsbooks reported that betting was up significantly for the event.

Now, as Clark and the Indiana Fever open play Tuesday against the Connecticut Sun as part of a much-anticipated season debut for the league, sportsbooks are offering additional WNBA odds with more markets on the way.

WNBA betting was already gaining steam

According to DraftKings last week, the 2023 WNBA season had three-and-a-half times more bets and more than double the handle than the previous year. This considerable growth was aided by DraftKings offering nearly four times more betting markets.

Additionally, the 2023 WNBA Finals had 8.4 times more bets and 2.4 times more handle than the 2022 championship.

The league has been playing in Las Vegas since 2018, and the two-time defending champion Aces have been carrying the WNBA torch.

“The Aces were probably the most bet on team in the WNBA when we look back at the handles,” said DraftKings Director of Race and Sports Operations Johnny Avello last week. “Now, will the Fever take that over? There’s a good chance.” 

Fever pacing the market

This scenario is already a reality, as the Fever account for nearly three times more championship futures tickets than the Aces, per BetMGM last week. Indiana’s betting surge coincided with making Caitlin Clark the first overall pick.

Tuesday’s game is also the first home opener sellout for the Connecticut Sun since 2003.

Sportsbook growing WNBA betting markets for 2024 

2024 futures are up 78% by tickets and 145% by handle year-over-year, BetMGM shared last week.

DraftKings “expects probably another 50% growth this year” for the season, Avello said. That includes in-play betting, which saw a large increase in handle last season.

“One thing that was more popular in betting last year than the previous year — and it was astounding to me how much money it grew — was the live wagering. I think people want to be engaged in the game, watch it and bet, because live last year broke as much money or even more money as pregame betting. I look for that to also be very popular again this year.”  

Johnny Avello, draftkings Director of race and sports operations

More WNBA markets to come

The predicted boom has online sportsbooks ready to offer additional new ways to bet. However, opening night may not accurately reflect the magnitude of the additions.

DraftKings “will grow [the WNBA] like [they] grew the NBA. It will just take a little bit more time. [DraftKings] won’t throw all [new markets] up there. [They] will just do it slowly and see which ones are the most popular … [markets] will grow as the season goes … first three of the game, first scorer of the game, [DraftKings] will add all of that.” 

Johnny Avello, draftkings Director of race and sports operations

2024 WNBA championship odds and betting trends 

The following odds and public betting information are from BetMGM this week. 

Opening Championship Odds Current Championship Odds Ticket% Handle%
Indiana Fever +2500 +2000 45.8% 26.6%
Las Vegas Aces +115 +100 17.8% 41.3%
Chicago Sky +8000 +3000 11.8% 9.6%
New York Liberty +250 +225 6.8% 9.7%
Seattle Storm +1100 +1000 4.5% 4.5%
Los Angeles Sparks +8000 +6000 3.3% 2.5%
Connecticut Sun +1100 +1200 2.8% 2.9%
Phoenix Mercury +2000 +4000 2.8% 0.8%
Minnesota Lynx +5000 +6000 1.8% 0.7%
Washington Mystics +6600 +8000 1.3% 0.5%
Atlanta Dream +5000 +5000 1.0% 0.5%
Dallas Wings +1200 +3000 0.8% 0.5%

Nearly half the tickets are on the Fever to win the championship despite a 13-27 record last year before drafting Clark.

It’s not just BetMGM experiencing a wave of Fever title tickets. Per Fanatics Sportsbook this week, 48.8% of tickets and 43.1% of handle are on Indiana to win the championship.

Although the Fever are dominating the amount of futures tickets, the Aces are drawing 41.3% of BetMGM championship handle, easily leading the league.

Clark also dominating WNBA MVP handle

Clark is drawing about 68% of tickets and 74% of handle to win MVP this year, per BetMGM. She is by far the book’s biggest liability with odds dropping to +1000 at the site. Only Wilson (+110) and New York’s Breanna Stewart (+600) had shorter WNBA MVP odds on Monday. 

Not every bettor is buying the Clark hype. Per Fanatics this week, Indiana to finish with under 21.5 wins has drawn the most handle of any WNBA future.

The Fever pace the league in under tickets and handle for the book’s WNBA regular season win totals.

The post Sportsbooks Ready For More WNBA Betting Growth As 2024 Season Opens appeared first on Legal Sports Report.

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