After a pair of days with only a single game on the schedule, the WNBA returns with a vengeance on Friday, June 9, with a monster five-game slate.
WNBA player prop bets for June 9
- Sabally Over 34.5 PRA
- Boston Over 14.5 pts
- Smith Under 25.5 PRA
Picks made on June 9 at 11:45 a.m. ET.
Read full analysis of each pick.
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Today's best WNBA player props bets
Satou Sabally is one of the breakout players of the WNBA season. After years of injuries and inconsistency, she’s quickly vaulted herself into the W’s elite as a do-it-all forward who can guard multiple positions, shoot, pass, rebound, and bully her opponents into the hoop.
She’s averaging 22.4 points, 10.6 rebounds, and three assists on a 54.1% effective field goal percentage — all career highs. Against the Phoenix Mercury team that has been a disaster defensively this year, I’m expecting her to produce more of the same on Friday.
The Mercury have the fourth-worst defensive rating in the W at 103.3, which is terrible given that they have one of the better rim protectors in Brittney Griner. Griner is left to clean up every mess on defense but can only do so much with the amount of dribble penetration Phoenix allows. That dribble penetration starts with their poor guard defenders, with Diana Taurasi among the prime culprits. DT is still asked to do a lot on offense and has little to nothing left to give on defense, and the Mercury do a poor job of hiding her. She dies on every screen and a savvy player like Sabally readily exploits such weaknesses.
But even more crushing is Phoenix’s jaw-dropping 23.1% turnover rate, by far the worst mark in the W. Coughing the ball up nearly once every four trips allow easy opportunities for guards and quick forwards to hit them in transition, and the Dallas Wings and Sabally killed Phoenix on such plays when they last played on Wednesday.
Sabally’s unique combination of size, speed, and skill makes her a matchup nightmare for all but a few teams. She’s too quick for the Mercury to do something radical like guarding her with Griner, but their other options like Sophie Cunningham aren’t strong or long enough to contain her.
I’m expecting Satou’s all-around game to flourish against this disorganized Phoenix squad.
And so, a star is born. Aliyah Boston was the No.1 overall pick in the draft this year, and it didn’t take long to cement herself as the future of the center position in the WNBA. Boston is coming off the best game of her young career, where she totaled 25 points and 11 boards in a nail-biter against the Chicago Sky.
Incredibly, she entered Tuesday’s game against the Sky shooting 68% from the field, and after her career-high performance, she increased her overall efficiency. On the season, Boston is now averaging 15.8 points per game on 70.9% from the field, leading the WNBA in efficiency among all players (minimum FGA per game). That is truly insane stuff for any player, let alone a rookie playing pro ball for the first time.
But Boston doesn’t play like a rookie. She has elite footwork already and has a great sense of positioning and how to get her opponent sealed inside. Once there, she simply spins, pivots, and uses her feathery soft touch to put the ball in. She can catch, turn, and shoot with remarkable speed and fluidity.
She’s also a solid offensive rebounder, and at 12.9 per game, the Minnesota Lynx allows the second most second-chance points per game. With Sylvia Fowles' retirement, the Lynx are one of the teams still searching for their center of the future. They have nobody to match Boston inside.
Boston should add to her already impressive rookie resume with another standout performance tonight.
When it comes to getting drafted and actually sticking in the league, the WNBA might be the hardest North American professional sports league there is. Countless talented players are drafted and never see actual playing time every year, and more shake out after just a few seasons as a more talented peer comes up in the draft behind them. I’m not expecting something quite so extreme for NaLyssa Smith, the No.2 overall pick from the 2022 draft for the Indiana Fever, but there has to be some concern in her camp due to the addition of Boston.
Boston and Smith don’t technically play the same position, as Boston is a center and Smith is a forward, but they’re similar heights with skill sets, and both like the ball in the same spots. Their talents are duplicative rather than additive, and with Boston having immediately established herself as the franchise cornerstone within a handful of games, opportunities for Smith are going to be less frequent than they were in her rookie season.
Smith began the year on a tear as well, which is why her points, rebounds, and assists prop has soared to an unsustainable 25.5, but she’s had a series of down shooting games that have seen her productivity and minutes reduced. She played just 19 minutes in her last game, probably to provide more of a spread floor for Boston, and that downturn could quickly become a trend.
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