Iowa sportsbooks may have underestimated the Chicago Sky and Minnesota Lynx this year — or at least bettors’ fervor for them. The WNBA championship futures market has seen a lot of movement for both teams at Iowa online sportsbooks.
Those who bet on these WNBA teams early will be happier than those who waited if their bets pay off. Given how things look with the 2021 season ongoing, those wagers aren’t airballs.
WNBA championship futures odds on the move
Odds as of May 24:
|Las Vegas Aces||+275||+275||+300||+300||+275|
The Sky have started out the season by winning their first two games. They lost that undefeated record Sunday afternoon in their home opener against the New York Liberty. When lines for the 2021 league title first dropped on DraftKings Sportsbook, the Sky were +1100.
As of Friday afternoon, that line had shortened to +600. Only the teams that played in the WNBA Finals last season – the Seattle Storm and Las Vegas Aces – have shorter odds to win the title.
BetRivers Sportsbook COO Mattias Stetz revealed how heavily the book’s customers have gone in on the Sky. According to Stetz, the Sky rank first at the book in WNBA futures in terms of handle, occupying over 60% of the money.
Winless start not scaring bettors off Minnesota
The other team of local relevance has seen even greater movement, despite an 0-3 start. William Hill Sportsbook has the Minnesota Lynx odds down to +800 from +4000. However, that has more to do with the public betting than the Lynx’s performance.
William Hill took a bet of $1,000 on Minnesota to win it all in Nevada. DraftKings reports that a bettor in Pennsylvania put $900 on a Lynx championship this year.
William Hill US director of trading Nick Bogdanovich said:
“We definitely lose big with the Lynx. That’s the only team we have any liability with, even though the Aces have about twice as many tickets and dollars as anyone else. The Lynx went from 40/1 down to 20/1 and are now at +800. Someone definitely likes Minnesota, professional money I would imagine.”
Stetz echoed Bogdanovich’s sentiments:
“Minnesota is also now sitting at +600 after opening the season at 11/1, an indicator the market remains bullish on the Lynx despite their slow start — which is at least partly attributable to the return of All-Star Napheesa Collier from overseas. The significant movement underscores how aggressive we need to be with a smaller market like WNBA, which attracts a good deal of sharp action.”
For bettors considering futures odds on any sport, these situations provide good lessons. Futures betting is just as much about timing as anything else.
When you place your bet is part of the gamble
If the Lynx do turn it around and prove that professional money right, then the people who got in on the market early will get a better payout than those who jump on the bandwagon now. The same thing goes with bettors who staked the Sky early.
It’s impossible to predict player injuries and public betting that can lengthen and shorten odds on these markets drastically. If you do put down your bet at the first opportunity, you risk not being able to get a better idea of how these teams are going to perform.
At the same time, waiting can cost you a better payout if you are in fact correct with your prediction. WNBA championship futures this season are a great opportunity for IA bettors now, but you might have already missed the best opportunities to back the Lynx and/or Sky here.