Mystics Look to Defend Title
The WNBA season will begin in late July at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida. Instead of a 34-game campaign, the league will move to a 22-game slate in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Washington Mystics captured the WNBA championship last season in five games over the Connecticut Sun for the franchise's first title. The Mystics were co-favorites to begin the 2020 season along with the Las Vegas Aces at 7/2 odds (+350), but William Hill made Vegas the favorite at +300 in their most recent odds update.
The two biggest long shots for a WNBA championship are the Dallas Wings and Atlanta Dream, who each sit at 100/1 odds as both teams finished in last place of their respective divisions in 2019.
2019 Finalists Look Vulnerable After LossesAlthough the Las Vegas Aces were established as the betting favorite (+300) entering a WNBA season filled with unknowns, it’s not worth riding the ‘chalk’ entering the Bradenton bubble. Center Liz Cambage, one of the most dominant figures in the sport, won’t play in 2020.
The 6-foot-8 Australian holds the league’s single-game scoring record with 53 points but won’t be threatening her own mark this season, citing pre-existing factors that her doctors have determined make her high-risk should she be stricken with COVID-19. Cambage averaged 15.9 points and 8.2 rebounds in her first season with Las Vegas in ’19.
Kelsey Plum, a former No. 1 pick and one of the WNBA’s top shooters, is out for the season after tearing her Achilles. A’ja Wilson remains to lead the Aces and figures to be an MVP candidate, but she’ll command a lot more defensive attention this season.
As of the first week in July, defending champion Washington (+350) is still waiting to hear if MVP Elena Delle Donne will opt out, but most expect that will ultimately be the case given her injury history. Even if she suits up, the Mystics will still have a different vibe since guards Kristi Tolliver (Sparks) and Shatori Walker-Kimbrough (Mercury) are now elsewhere. Wing Natasha Cloud and forward LaToya Sanders opted not to play in the bubble, so repeating as champion is going to take a new recipe.
Pacific Northwest Looks for Sunshine State ResurgenceDiana Taurasi, the WNBA’s leading scorer, was only able to play in six games last season but is healthy and returning to action. The Mercury (+600) acquired Skylar Diggins-Smith in the offseason to pair with Taurasi and center Brittney Griner. Griner is still one of the league’s most feared shot blockers and affects the game at both ends.
Guards Shatori Walker-Kimbrough and forwards Jessica Breland and Nia Coffey join Diggins-Smith in a talent infusion that could yield a second championship for head coach Sandy Brondello if she pushes the right buttons inside the bubble.
Like Taurasi, 11-time All-Star Sue Bird is returning to action for Seattle (+400) after missing all of last season due to a left knee injury. Breanna Stewart is also returning after missing 2019 due to injury and will be one of the league’s top players so long as she can remain in healthy and works off the rust.
Forward Natasha Howard is a walking double-double and guards Jewell Loyd and Jordin Canada are quite capable, so depth may become a strong point for the Storm.
Backing Longshots Makes Most Sense Entering BubbleThe Connecticut Sun (+450) would be a live dog worth getting behind if not for the fact that its best player, forward Jonquel Jones, has also decided not to play in Bradenton. Jones, an All-Star who averaged 14.6 points and 9.7 rebounds last season, led Connecticut in those categories and blocks but didn’t feel comfortable playing in this current environment.
The L.A. Sparks (+650) acquired Tolliver from Washington but won’t see her until next season since she opted out. Chiney Ogwumike, who doubles as an ESPN basketball analyst, won’t be suiting up for L.A. either. The Sparks will still be a factor, but their absences are another reason to expand your horizons if you’re betting WNBA futures in 2020.
The Chicago Sky (+2000) look like an attractive option since Courtney Vandersloot and Allie Quigley will be back to form the backcourt. Center Stefanie Dolson was re-signed and new additions Sydney Colson and Ruthy Hebard should play major roles immediately.
Hebard’s more famous teammate at the University of Oregon, reigning National Player of the Year Sabrina Ionescu, will debut for the New York Liberty (+4000). She’s got some help in No. 9 pick Megan Walker out of UConn and 12th pick Jazmine Jones in addition to veteran guards Kia Nurse and Asia Durr.
While the Dallas Wings and Atlanta Dream (both +10000) are unlikely to rise up, the Minnesota Lynx (+4000) and Indiana Fever (+6000) could be threats that would pay off handsomely. The Lynx won’t have Odyssey Sims initially but expect the new mother to join the team at some point in the bubble. Center Sylvia Fowles and reigning Rookie of the Year Napheesa Collier will hold things down. Newcomer Shenise Johnson is also expected to contribute immediately, so if Sims can work the rust off quickly upon her return, Minnesota could be dangerous.
The Fever delayed their initial flight to Florida due to multiple coronavirus cases but expect to get healthy and compete under new head coach Marianne Stanley, who just won a title as an assistant with the Mystics. Veterans Tiffany Mitchell, Erica Wheeler, Natalie Achonwa and Candice Dupree are all on board to play in Bradenton and should get immediate help from No. 3 pick Lauren Cox (Baylor) and Belgian point guard Julia Allemand. If all the pieces come together, Indiana could be the sleeper to back.
How To Bet WNBA Futures
The “Odds to Win” wager in basketball is also commonly referred to as a future wager. Bettors must correctly select a team to win an event that takes place a later time. The money wagered will be tied up until there is an outcome and bettors will receive fixed odds when they place the wager. The future odds are normally updated on a weekly basis and wagers can be placed throughout the season.
To figure out your Win Amount, take the odds and multiply by the amount wagered. Ex. Chicago Sky (20/1) to win the championship. Chicago is listed as an 10/1 betting choice to win the WNBA Championship. If you wager $100 on Chicago to win it all and they capture the championship, then you would win $2000 (20 ÷ 1 x 100). You would collect $2100, which includes your win and stake ($100).
2020 WNBA Championship Odds to WinThere are several good teams and picks to wager on to win the WNBA Championship. The current betting choices to capture the WNBA title in 2020: