The Los Angeles Sparks are the sports betting favorite to win the 2017 WNBA season, scheduled to begin on Saturday, May 13th. Conversely, two teams from Texas are the biggest underdogs.
The Sparks are the current, reigning and defending WNBA champions after winning their third championship trophy in 2016. Were they to confirm their sportsbook favoritism, the Los Angeles would be winning their second back-to-back titles – having first achieved that feat in 2001-02.
The Lynx finished last season with the best record in the Western Conference and the league overall, but lost the finals to the aforementioned Sparks in five games. Minnesota will call the Xcel Energy Center its temporary home while the Target Center undergoes renovations.
The Mercury finished 2016 eighth in the Western Conference but went on to upset the Indiana Fever in the first round of the playoffs and the New York Liberty in the second. The Cinderella story ended in the semis when Phoenix was swept 3-0 by the Lynx.
New York Liberty
The fifth time might be the charm for the Liberty, who have the most appearances in the WNBA Finals without winning the championship. In order to finally get their hands on that elusive trophy, head Bill Laimbeer hopes this team will play at a quicker pace on offense as well as score more from the perimeter.
The Mystics underwent quite the makeover, going from last in the Eastern Conference to potential sports betting dark horse thanks to the offseason additions of Elena Delle Donne and Kristi Toliver.
The Dream has done the Liberty one better – or rather, one worse – failing not only to win the championship in three trips to the finals, but not even winning a single game while there. Atlanta will be looking to return to prominence and win their first conference title since 2013.
The Storm is in state of transition; while veteran Sue Bird is still very much active, the future of Seattle is in the hands of promising stars-to-be such as Jewell Lloyd. The versatile Lloyd provides the Storm with alternatives in a league where the leading scorers are post and wing players.
The Sky took a gamble worthy of any sportsbook when they traded away Donne – arguably the best player in the league – in exchange for Stefanie Dolson, Kahleah Copper, and Washington’s first round pick and second overall in the 2017 draft, which turned out to be USC center Alaina Coates.
This will be the Fever’s first season without mainstay Tamika Catchings, as well as the first with new head coach Pokey Chatman.
The Sun has not won a conference title since 2005 and it doesn’t quite look like that will change this season.
Dallas’ Wings were clipped by a string of injuries last season, but they hope for a clean slate this year.
San Antonio Stars
As far as sports betting goes, the Stars are the opposite of the Spurs.