For online basketball betting junkies who can’t stand the off-season for NBA and NCAA basketball, maybe it’s time to take a closer look at the WNBA. When the WNBA first started, the skill level wasn’t anywhere near it is today. While those initial seasons weren’t the most exciting, they set the pace for future stars and better competition. Top college players now have somewhere to go after their college time is up, and a chance to make a living doing what they love.

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The game is much faster now, more athletic, and games are much more fun to watch. Better yet, handicappers have a lot of betting options during a time of year when the NBA and NCAA aren’t playing. If you haven’t been paying attention, watch a few WNBA games to see what we’re talking about. Preseason starts in late May, and the regular season runs from the beginning of June until mid-September.

WNBA Basketball Betting Options

Like NBA and NCAA basketball, the point spread is the most popular way to bet on the WNBA. However, money line bets, totals, props & futures bets are also available.

WNBA Point Spread Betting

As mentioned above, the point spread is the most popular way to bet on WNBA women’s basketball games. The point spread works the same as it does in NBA and NCAA basketball. To create more equal betting on each team, online betting sites give points to the underdog, and take points away from the favorite. If you’re a golfer, think handicap.

For casual handicappers, the spread makes the game more exciting. For professional handicappers, it allows you to get in the neighborhood of -110 for either side. A typical WNBA point spread would look something like this:

  • Los Angeles Sparks: +3.5 -110
  • Seattle Storm: -3.5 -110

In the example above, the Seattle Storm are favored to win by 3.5 points. For bets on them to win, the Storm would need to win the game by 4 or more points. An actual game score of Storm 90, Sparks 86, minus 3.5 points on the Storm would result in a score of 86.5 – 86, and bets on the Storm would win.

For bets on the Sparks to win, they would need to lose the game by 3 or fewer points, or win outright. A score of Storm 89, Sparks 86, plus 3.5 points added to the Sparks score turns into Sparks 89.5 – Storm 89.

When betting on the spread, reputable betting sites don’t ask for more than 10% juice (commission). This means you’ll get -110 on both teams, or -105 and -115, or Even and -120. Some betting sites have reduced juice on all basketball games, or on special days of the week. For example, offers -105 on all NBA, WNBA, and NCAA basketball games every Friday. For more information on how to read money lines, read the WNBA Money Line Betting section below.

Online betting sites set the opening odds, but handicappers move the point spread. This can cause situations where it’s best to place your point spread bets right as the line opens, or just before it closes. Fans and casual handicappers tend to move the line in favor of underdogs (because they bet favorites more than underdogs), but the key is to watch the early movement. Professional handicappers move the line as well, but their impact on a spread is generally made early or late.

More often than not, early line movements will tell you the direction a line will continue to take. If a line opens at -3 and soon moves to -3.5, then cappers betting on the favorite should do it right away, before it goes to -4. However, those taking the underdog will do better waiting it out, hoping to get +4 closer to game time.

Since WNBA lines are generally posted 12-24 hours before the game, it’s important to be close to the computer and make your moves on a dime when the time is right. To keep a close eye on the lines, many betting sites also offer mobile betting , and bets can be placed from your iPhone or other mobile device.

WNBA Money Line Bets

Money line bets are the simplest bets where a punters job is simple – pick the straight-up winner. Instead of a point spread, the capper receives greater odds for underdogs, and lower odds for favorites. Money lines use the $100 figure as a basis point for calculating payouts, but negative and positive money lines represent different payout calculations. Here’s a typical WNBA money line:

    • Atlanta Dream: -190 (Negative money line indicates the Dream are the favorites).
    • Chicago Sky: +170 (Positive money line indicates the Sky are the underdogs).
      • First team to score.
      • Alternative point spreads.
      • Will players X score over/under XX points?
      • Will player X or player Y score more points?
      • Atlanta Dream
      • Chicago Sky
      • Connecticut Sun
      • Indiana Fever
      • Los Angeles Sparks
      • Minnesota Lynx
      • New York Liberty
      • Phoenix Mercury
      • San Antonio Silverstars
      • Seattle Storm
      • Tulsa Shock
      • Washington Mystics

Negative Money Lines

A negative money line represents the amount of money required to wager in order to win $100 in profit. So, the Dream at -190 would require a bet of $19 to win $10 in profit, for a total return of $29.

Many sharp bettors bet on heavy favorites early, before casual bettors come in and move the line against them. Fans tend to bet on their favorite team, and casual bettors bet favorites with less regard to the odds than professional handicappers. So, if the favored team also has a larger fan base than the underdogs, this is usually a sign to get your bets in early.

Positive Money Lines

Positive money lines represent the amount of money that would be won from a $100 wager. So, the Sky at +170 would require a $10 bet to win $17 in profit, for a total return of $27.

Sharps generally wait until closer to game time to bet on underdogs, especially when the favored team has a larger fan base. More bets will be placed on the favored team, offering better value on the dog closer to the start of the game. For professional cappers, it’s all about value.

Cappers looking to profit from WNBA basketball need to watch line movement and get their bets in at the right time. This is one way to get an edge that adds up over the course of a long season. They also need to have accounts at several online betting sites, giving them the ability to compare odds and get the best prices available. This is how you become a winning WNBA capper.

WNBA Total Betting

WNBA total bets are wagers based on the combined score of both teams. If the final score is 90-84, then the total is 174. If the score is 85-81, the total is 166. Along with the point spread and money line, the total is one of the three bets that almost every betting site offers as soon as their lines open.

So, betting site X sets the total at their predicted number, and your job is to figure out if that number is too high or too low. If you think that number is too high, you’d bet the under. If you think their number is too low, you’d bet the over.

Most sports betting sites get 10% juice on their total bets. This means you’ll generally pay -110 for either side. However, when betting is heavy on one side, either the total will change, or the site will adjust the odds to encourage betting on the opposite side. For example, if a large portion of the bettors are taking the over, the site might adjust the odds to -115 or -120 on the over, and -105 or even-money respectively on the under.

Although this should go without saying, always check team stats before placing total bets. Check offensive scoring versus points allowed for each team, and make sure all of the big offensive players are in the lineup that night. If a great defensive player is out for the night, of course that needs to be figured into the equation as well, considering the opponent is likely to gain a few extra points without that player in the lineup.

WNBA Basketball Futures Bets

A futures bet on the WNBA is a wager on the winner of the WNBA championship. These bets are available well before a season begins, with odds reflecting popular expectations. Teams that are expected to win have lower odds, and those who aren’t receive greater odds. Simple stuff.

Some betting sites end their WNBA futures bets just before the season begins, while others run them for most of the season. At sites where futures bets stay open, of course the odds are adjusted as the season goes along. This affects how you should bet.

If you’re taking an underdog to win the WNBA championship, it’s best to get those bets in before the season begins. If you turn out correct and your team starts winning, the odds on them will go down.

If you’re picking a favorite to win, many professional handicappers like to wait until 2-4 games have been played. This gives them a chance to see the teams in action and make sure their team is as good as they thought they were. Since their team was an early favorite anyway, the odds generally won’t go down much after just a few games, so it’s worthwhile to see them play a bit before placing a bet.

In the WNBA, top draft picks can make an impact on a team’s success early on. In the NBA, it normally takes a couple of years until a rookie makes enough of an impact for the team to see a noticeable improvement, but that’s not the case in the WNBA. Since the WNBA draft takes place in early-mid April, it’s smart to wait until the draft is over before placing your futures bets. While the worst teams get the best players, a team who is close to the top and one player away could see instant results from the draft.

WNBA Basketball Prop Bets

Prop bets are wagers that don’t fit into any of the standard betting categories listed above. For the WNBA, they’re pretty straight-forward bets, with less creativity than you’ll find in the NBA. Some typical WNBA prop bets include:

Sports betting sites that focus more on American sports will tend to offer more WNBA prop bets than those that don’t.

Since prop bets tend to have a larger vig (juice) than standard bets, serious handicappers need to shop around for the best price. Also, we recommend keeping your prop bets to a maximum of .5% of your bankroll.

WNBA Basketball Teams

The WNBA consists of 12 teams across the United States.