New Playoff Format Raised the Stakes For WNBA Betting

October 2nd, 2019 WNBA Basketball

The 2016 WNBA betting season set forth a new era in women’s professional basketball as it introduced the new playoff format that the league would be adopting. After various complaints were made about a lack of competitiveness in the postseason, the WNBA adopted a new playoff format for the 2016 postseason. Although it had mixed reviews, there’s no doubt that the new system raised the stakes for the coaches, players, and basketball betting lines. In years past, the top 4 seeds from each conference would advance to the playoffs, regardless of their records.

But now the 8 teams in the league with the best record advance to the postseason, regardless of which conference they are in. Since more teams can qualify for the playoffs, the top two seeds earn double bye weeks to the semi-final round. The No. 3 and No. 4 seeds each receive one bye week, and then the No. 5 seed faced off against the No. 8 seed in the first round as well as NO. 6 facing off against No. 7.

No online sportsbook was sure how this new playoff system would play out, but generally speaking the reception was positive. Especially if you are a Los Angeles Sparks fan. The Sparks came into the 2016 season as the 2nd WNBA betting favorite to win the title and they did not disappoint. The Minnesota Lynx were the team the odds had picked over Los Angeles, and as the odds would have it both these teams would earn the No. 1 and No. 2 spots in the playoffs.

Furthermore, as fate would have it, these two would go on to face each other in the WNBA Finals and both teams put on a spectacular showing. Through the first four games of the Finals, both the Lynx and the Sparks swapped a pair of wins and losses. Heading into the fifth and final game, with both teams tied at 2-2, Minnesota and Los Angeles laid it all on the line and delivered one of the most memorable finishes in WNBA Finals history. After a dramatic finish, the score was 77-76 and the Los Angeles Sparks became the new champions.

Even though the WNBA offseason has barely begun, WNBA betting fans are looking ahead to the future wondering what kind of chances Los Angeles has of repeating in 2017. Given the current scene in the WNBA, Los Angeles faces pretty good odds at repeating in the coming year. In fact, it would be at all surprising to see both the Sparks and the Lynx in next year’s finals. Both of these teams steamrolled their competition and there isn’t a fan in the world who wouldn’t love the chance at seeing a rematch of this year’s finals.

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