Learn How to Bet on the WNBA: Tips & Strategies for 2023

Basketball betting is one of the fastest-growing sports gambling markets out there, with a global audience and superstar appeal drawing the attention of new fans learning how to bet on WNBA games.

Last Updated: May 15, 2023 7:21 PM ET Read Time: 5 min
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The WNBA is surging in popularity. The 2022 campaign was the most watched season in 14 years and Game 1 of the WNBA Finals saw a 171% increase in audience compared to the 2021 championship opener. That uptick also means a larger audience gambling on WNBA odds

WNBA betting is still a niche market over the summer months, but at its core, it’s just basketball. The same popular betting markets found in NBA or NCAA hoops are open for action with the WNBA odds as well.

Options like moneylines, point spreads, and Over/Under totals are the most common ways to bet on the WNBA but with “The Dub” growing in popularity, basketball bettors can find derivative lines, team totals, and a wider array of player props at most mainstream sportsbooks.

WNBA betting lines explained

Like most major sports, there are endless ways to wager on WNBA basketball. The most popular forms of basketball betting are the moneyline, point spread, and Over/Under totals.



WNBA moneyline odds ask bettors to pick the winner of the game. Based on the strength of the teams and other factors, oddsmakers calculate the implied probability of victory for both sides and set moneyline odds for each team.

Point spread

WNBA point spreads level the competition between two teams, with oddsmakers setting a handicap in points. One team is the point spread favorite – and has to win by more than the spread – while the other will be pegged as the point spread underdog – having to win outright or lose by less than the spread.


WNBA Over/Under totals are the estimated total number of points scored by both teams in a game. Bettors wager on whether the final score will go Over or Under that expected tally.

Moneyline: Just pick the winner of the game

Momma always said “KISS: Keep it simple, stupid” and moneylines are the simplistic way to wager on WNBA games.

Betting the moneyline is simply picking which team you think will win the game outright, regardless of the final score, but because not all WNBA teams are equal, neither are their corresponding moneyline odds.

Oddsmakers base moneyline prices on each team’s implied probability of winning. The better the probability of victory, the bigger the moneyline. You can use our WNBA odds converter to see the corresponding win probability tied to individual moneyline odds.

Moneyline odds are most often displayed in hundreds, with the favorite to win indicated by a negative value and the underdog indicated by a positive before their moneyline. 

For example, the New York Liberty have a -155 moneyline price with an implied win probability of almost 61%. Due to a lower risk betting the Liberty, a WNBA bettor would need to wager $155 to win $100. Their opponent, the Washington Mystics, have a +130 moneyline price with an implied win probability of almost 43.5% and because the risk betting the Mystics is greater, a $100 wager would win $130 if the underdog was victorious.

Team Moneyline
Lakers New York Liberty    -155
Raptors Washington Mystics    +110

Point spread: Even the game with a handicap

As mentioned, not all WNBA teams are equal and that’s where the point spread comes in. 

Oddsmakers will project a difference in points between the two teams and bettors can wager on whether the favorite will win by more than that margin or if the underdog will lose by less – also known as “covering the spread”. 

Just like moneyline odds, the favorite has a negative value with the point spread while the underdog is indicated by a positive value. Each spread has a price assigned to it, with the standard flat rate being -110. This value is known as the juice or vig and is the cost of placing the bet. A -110 spread would payout $100 on a $110 wager.

For example, the Las Vegas Aces have a spread of -8.5 (-110) versus the Phoenix Mercury, who have a spread of +8.5 (-110). A bet on the Aces needs Las Vegas to win the game by nine or more points while a bet on the Mercury needs Phoenix to lose by eight points or less or win the game outright.

Team Spread
Lakers Las Vegas Aces    -8.5 (-110)
Raptors Phoenix Mercury    +8.5 (-110)

Point spreads always have a second set of odds with them, known as the vig or the juice. They are the cost of placing a bet. Most point spreads have a vig of -110; to win $100, you need to risk $110. However, vig can be adjusted depending on current betting action and can vary from book to book.

Over/Under: How many total points will be scored?

Standard Over/Under odds or point totals in WNBA betting are the projected combined points scored in a game by both teams. 

Oddsmakers will calculate a point total based on the team’s abilities and WNBA bettors wager on whether the final score will go Over or Under that number. Just like point spreads, the Over and Under both have a price attached to the bet with the standard being -110 vig.

For example, the Connecticut Sun and Dallas Wings have an Over/Under number of 148.5 total points. If you bet on the Over 148.5 (-110) you need 149 or more points to be scored between the two teams. If you bet the Under 148.5 (-110), you need 148 or fewer combined points in the game in order to win your wager.

Team Total
Lakers Connecticut Sun   Over 148.5 (-110)
Raptors Dallas Wings    Under 148.5 (-110)

Like point spreads, both sides of the total — Over and Under — have attached vig, often set at -110. This value can adjust to betting action and may vary from book to book.

Parlays: Pairing together bets for bigger payouts

Parlay betting is popular among many casual fans and WNBA parlays are picking up steam. Parlays allow you to combine two or more bets on one single risk amount with the promise of a bigger return.

However, these require all individual bets within the parlay to be correct, so there is a larger risk involved. The more bets added to a parlay, the larger the risk and the bigger the potential payout. Even if you win four of the five bets included in your WNBA parlay, the entire parlay is a loser.

For example, you could bet $110 on the Aces -8.5 (-110) and $110 on the Over 148.5 (-110) in Sun-Wings for a potential profit of $200 on $220 risked if both bets are correct. However, these two wagers are not parlayed and can win with the other losing.

A $100 parlay of Aces -8.5 (-110) and Over 148.5 (-110) carries a potential payout of $264.46 should both bets win. But if even one is incorrect, the entire parlay is graded as a loss.

If you're solely betting the Milwaukee Bucks, you're getting them at -120. By parlaying the Bucks with the Warriors at +140, the bet turns into plus money. Now the parlay is listed at +340 odds.

Prop betting: Wagering on a team and player performance

Player prop betting is still relatively new to WNBA markets, as most books didn’t offer odds on individual player performance for a long time. But with the popularity of props, most mainstream books will at least offer Over/Under props on teams’ top players.

Props – also known as proposition bets – allow WNBA bettors to wager on a player’s total points, assists, rebounds, 3-pointers made, and a number of individual statistics. Props can also extend to the entire team with markets like team totals for points.

Just like standard Over/Under odds, sportsbooks will set a projected total number for those stats and bettors can wager on whether the player or team will have Over or Under that total. And just like standard Over/Under odds, there is vig attached to both sides.

As an example, Aces guard Chelsea Gray has a points prop of 13.5 points (Over -110) in Las Vegas’ matchup with the Seattle Storm. Bettors who believe Gray will score 14 or more points would take the Over 13.5 (-110) while those who think she’ll put up 13 or less would wager on the Under 13.5 (-110).

Player Over Under
Aces Chelsea Gray 13.5 points (-110) 13.5 points (-110)

There's no way this bet can be a push because of the half-point. If the game goes into overtime, the prop still counts as well. 

Futures: Win totals, MVP, and season win totals

Futures odds are long-running betting markets that offer wagering on events like the WNBA Championship, the Commissioner's Cup,  Eastern and Western Conference titles, WNBA MVP and Season Win Totals – betting on a team to go Over or Under a project amount of wins.

Futures odds open before the start of the season and are constantly adjusting to outcomes as well as the betting action coming in at the sportsbooks, as operators will shift odds to help balance any liability building on one team. Injuries and trades can also influence futures markets in the middle of the season.

For example, the Washington Mystics are priced at +1,400 in WNBA Championship odds before the start of the season. A $100 wager on Washington at those odds would return $1,400 if the Mystics did win the league title.

As the season goes on, Washington is playing well and jumps into first place in the East, increasing its chances of winning the WNBA Championship. This success adjusts the Mystics’ title futures odds to +700. A $100 bet placed at that time would win just $700 compared to Washington’s +1,400 odds before the start of the season.

WNBA betting tips and strategies

Keep these basketball betting strategies in mind when looking to handicap NBA odds. 

Shop for the best odds Have multiple books

When betting, it's always good to get the best bang for your buck. Line shopping is something all the experts do and takes very little time. If you want to bet the Aces at -140 at one book, but they're -125 elsewhere, there is a ton of value on the latter. Missing out on the best lines long-term will affect your bankroll, especially if you're betting larger sums of money. 

You can use our odds comparison tool to find the best lines for each game and a huge variety of online sportsbooks.

Basketball Factor in current form

Oddsmakers base their odds on current form more than season-long results, so you should be weighing the most recent games more heavily than contest from earlier in the season. Teams can go on winning and losing streaks, so get a good grasp on how a team is playing now and don’t fall in love with what you see in the season-long standings.

Matchups matter Matchups matter

Big. Short. Fast. Slow. WNBA teams are a mixed bag. Take a dive into how current opponents match up and which one can impose its style of play on the other. Will a high-powered offense be put on ice by a methodical opponent that likes to limit possessions? Can a taller team grind down a shorter lineup on the glass and score extra-chance points inside?.

Covers Global Two Color Bandage Injuries and lineup changes

Knowing who’s in and who’s out is important no matter the sport you’re betting on. But with less media attention for WNBA games, injuries aren’t always as widely reported and are sometimes missed when oddsmakers release the latest game odds. Team beat reporters are a great source for injury updates as well as any lineup moves made by the coaches game-to-game.

Watch the lines move Follow the line movement

As mentioned, WNBA betting is still a niche market not as widely wagered on as NBA or college hoops. That means that most people putting down action on women’s league are informed bettors and professionals.

Sportsbooks respect the early WNBA action and use those sharper bets to help mold their numbers as tipoff closes in. Operators will make major adjustments to their opening numbers if they draw one-sided play from respected players and it’s common place to see line moves of five points or more in the early workings of the WNBA schedule.

While “steam chasing” may be frowned upon among the tight-cheeked betting purists, it’s absolutely a strategy in WNBA betting. Having multiple books and wagering into lines that are slower to adjust than other is proven way to get excellent closing line value without even knowing a single WNBA team.

Don't forget about derivatives Dive into derivatives

Chopping a game into halves and quarters is a great way to find hidden value in the WNBA odds. Due to the lack of knowledge or oddsmaking energy, you can often find derivative spreads and totals that are simply the full game lines halved and quartered – without adjustments for how the teams involved tend to play.

Some WNBA teams are quick to come out swinging while others are slow starters in the opening minutes of action. Getting to know these tendencies allows you to spot softer odds in those segmented markets.

Scout The Schedule Scout the schedule

The calendar can sometimes dictate a team's performance on the court, depending on rest spots, travel, and motivation. Situational betting – also known as spot bets – is a valuable tool to find underlying value betting on or against a team.

Chunks of the schedule could have a team playing multiple games in a short window, leaving them running on empty for the final outings of that stretch. The schedule can also allot an extended break from the action, allowing players and coaches to adjust their game plan and get injured bodies back. And as always, be mindful of "letdown" and "lookahead" spots around important matchups and big wins.

How to make a WNBA bet 


Research available games matchups on our scores and matchups page.

Our WNBA scores and matchup page lists the day's games and upcoming days, but you can also sort by spread, total size, and line movement. 

Each game gives a snapshot of the opening odds, current odds, team records straight up and against the spread, as well as the percentage of picks calculated by our Covers Consensus

From there, you can dive deep into our detailed matchup pages for each game. Track line history, view the most popular spread and total picks and analyze unique betting trends.


Find the best WNBA odds using our odds comparison tool.

Making intelligent bets on WNBA basketball isn't always about betting the best team, but betting the best odds. 

Find current spreads, totals, and moneylines for every WNBA game from the top legal sportsbooks in your area using our odds comparison tool. Compare across the industry and shop for the best odds for your WNBA bets.


Login/Sign up for a sportsbook in your area.

Signing up for a new sportsbook is simply a few clicks away. Once you find a legal book in your area, sign up for an account and quickly deposit using various banking methods, such as credit cards and e-transfers. Most sportsbooks also offer great bonuses and sign-up promotions to new users.


Make your bet

After researching your best WNBA picks on Covers.com, you can place those bets at the sportsbook by selecting WNBA basketball from their menu and searching for the game or market you want to bet. 

From there, select the wager to add it to your bet card and enter the amount of money you wish to risk. After that, click submit, and you'll get a receipt or e-ticket for that bet, showing you the odds you bet and the amount you can win.

Best basketball sportsbooks for beginners

Covers’ team of betting experts have thoroughly researched the internet’s vast collection of online sportsbooks so you don’t have to. Here are the best basketball betting sites so you can get your WNBA betting underway.

These sportsbooks are licensed and trusted sites and offer great sign-up bonuses, plenty of convenient and quick banking options, and great odds for rookie bettors.

Best basketball sportsbooks for beginners

Covers’ team of betting experts have thoroughly researched the internet’s vast collection of online sportsbooks so you don’t have to. Here are the best basketball betting sites so you can get your WNBA betting underway.

These sportsbooks are licensed and trusted sites and offer great sign-up bonuses, plenty of convenient and quick banking options, and great odds for rookie bettors.

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