WNBA Basketball Betting
Betting on the WNBA basketball is one of the least wagered markets offered by online sportsbooks. However, the vast majority of US-facing sportsbooks do offer WNBA markets, Bovada is a good example, even those that are firmly in the recreational category. Many bettors have never considered betting on women’s basketball, but there are several reasons to consider targeting this market for basketball sports betting.
Best WNBA Basketball Betting Sites 2018
WNBA Basketball – History and Season
The Women’s National Basketball Association was originally formed on April 24, 1996. The league’s inaugural season was held in 1997. NBA franchises owned their WNBA counterparts for years. However, in 2002, the league let put WNBA franchises up for sale after economic woes resulting from the dot-com bubble. Two franchises moved cities and became privately owned while another two teams folded.
Today, the WNBA season runs from June to September, fitting it in perfectly for the ‘dog days’ of summer where MLB wagering is the only major sport available for a few months. Eight teams out of the 12 currently in the league qualify for the playoffs.
The playoffs begin with a single elimination tournament in the first two rounds. In the semifinals, the format switches to a best-of-five games. The WNBA finals is a best-of-five series as well, which features the two champions from each conference.
Small Market For Sports Betting
We’ve gone over the difference between small and large markets at Safest Betting Sites extensively. WNBA markets certainly fall into the category of small market sports betting. If a sportsbook provides WNBA betting, you’re going to see, at a minimum, point spreads, moneylines, and totals. Further markets, such as propositions, futures, and live betting may also be available, but typically these aren’t offered at most shops.
One aspect that is a bit different from WNBA basketball betting compared to other small markets is that there is very little public betting action. In fact, the most money bet on the WNBA is done by sharp bettors.
Bovada WNBA vs BetOnline WNBA
For instance, Bovada WNBA has a maximum bet of only $500 for WNBA spreads, totals, parlays and teasers. They’re even lower on futures, capping it at $300. BetOnline offers double the amount of Bovada, but still not compared to major sports. At BetOnline, the max bet for spreads, WNBA moneylines, totals, WNBA odds and team totals is set at $1,000.
Large WNBA Line Movements
The women’s basketball betting lines move more rapidly than almost any other market, sans NFL preseason. Point spreads commonly move three or four points or more and the same goes for totals. When lines move this much in a particular sport or market, it’s almost always because the oddsmakers are unfamiliar with the spot and are posting a wildly inefficient number.
Remember, the goal of the oddsmakers is to move their odds as little as possible from their opening number. All managers know their odds that their odds will need some adjusting, but large movements, particularly when they are gradual are never a good thing for a sportsbook. It opens them up to all kinds of issues, such as steam chasing and middles. If the market is inefficient, you can rest assured that it will be exploited by someone out there.
That’s something that certainly may happen in WNBA markets. It’s not uncommon to find managers at some sites “asleep at the wheel” for whatever reason. Some sportsbooks are much too focused on larger markets to care and fall behind when it comes to updating their WNBA odds and other smaller markets.
Reverse WNBA Line Movement
We have to give a hat tip to SportsInsights.com for uncovering some interesting data when it comes to reverse line movements in WNBA markets.
First of all, we were unclear that there were even public betting percentages available on WNBA markets. Let alone that there were enough players betting the market to make some form of “fade the public” viable. Sports Insights offers more to players who sign up for their premium tools and content, but they give bettors a great starting point. Their spread and total system both showed ten years of profitability and went 9-5 ATS and 15-8 in the 2015, respectively.
However, it is important to note that sportsbooks do adjust to systems. What worked several years or a decade ago may not work now. Like any market, the longer the offer it, the more efficient their markets will get. Although, their recent data, which was from the 2015 season is still showing the systems working quite well.
Learn WNBA Basketball
This probably isn’t ideal as it may take a bit of your time up (and let’s be real, who wants to watch the WNBA?), but there is certainly money take time to watch and learn the teams, coaches and players of the WNBA.
The above methods are more about utilizing public betting percentages, steam moves, and system plays, but learning the sport itself is also an option. Remember, as we mentioned above, sportsbooks aren’t exactly experts when it comes to WNBA markets.
However, bettors should keep in mind that players who regularly max bet smaller markets like the WNBA may draw the attention managers. Max betting obscure or small markets, particularly from a player who is making a lot of +EV may end in your account being limited.