WNBA Season Opens Tuesday Night

The most anticipated WNBA season since its inaugural season in 1997 is here. Tuesday night, eight of 12 teams in the league have their season openers, including the game and player everyone will keep an eye on, Caitlin Clark and the Indiana Fever at the Connecticut Sun.

The other four teams tip-off on Wednesday.

Indiana Fever at Connecticut Sun (-7)

The Fever should be a much-improved team this year, but there is a reason why they were in position to draft Clark. They were terrible last season.

The Connecticut Sun is the third betting favorite to win the WNBA championship, paying +1200, and they are 7-point favorites to beat Clark and the Fever in their season opener. The Sun were in the semifinals last season, and they spent most of the year without two-time All-Star Brionna Jones. She is returning from a torn Achilles, and this team is stacked.

Clark is going to generate a lot of action – the over/under on her points on Tuesday is 21.5 – but the game’s smart money is on Connecticut. Indiana will be better as the season goes on, but the Sun are an excellent team right now.

New York Liberty (-11) at Washington Mystics

The biggest challenger to the dominance of the Las Vegas Aces is the New York Liberty. They have the reigning MVP in Breanna Stewart, three-point specialist Sabrina Ionescu, and four-time All-Star Jonquel Jones.

They were in the WNBA Finals last year, and there is every reason to think they will get back to the championship series this year. They are an excellent team, and will have very little trouble against a Washington Mystics team that is rebuilding.

Player props to consider are Stewart’s point total, which has an over/under of 22.5. Ionescu’s combo of points, rebounds, and assists has an over/under of 28.5. Aaliyah Edwards is one of the dark horses for Rookie of the Year, and she is also in this game. She was the fifth overall pick out of UConn, and she is paying +3500 to win Rookie of the Year.

Phoenix Mercury at Las Vegas Aces (-16)

The Las Vegas Aces are the overwhelming favorite to win another WNBA title, paying -105. And that march to the title begins with an easy first game against the Phoenix Mercury. The Mercury are longshots at +6000 to win the title, and they are 16-point underdogs on Tuesday night.

Aces star A’ja Wilson is the MVP favorite at +120, and her over/under on opening night points is 22.5. Diana Taurasi, the outspoken Phoenix veteran who was the No. 1 overall pick in 2004, has a point total over/under of 14.5. A combo bet on Taurasi – points, rebounds, assists – has an over/under of 22.5.

Minnesota Lynx at Seattle Storm (-8)

The final of the four opening night games is the Minnesota Lynx at Seattle Storm. Both of these teams have undergone off-season makeovers. Minnesota has added Courtney Williams, Natisha Hiedeman, and Alanna Smith. The Storm have added Nneka Ogwumike and Skylar Diggins-Smith, who have a combined 14 All-Star appearances.

Seattle was not good last year in their first season without Sue Bird. But this is a revamped roster to go along with the returning Jewell Lloyd, who led the WNBA in scoring in 2023.

Lloyd is expected to get off to a good start, with her over/under on opening night points at 22.5. Diggins-Smith, who missed all of last year after the birth of her second child, is at 17.5. 

Chicago Sky at Dallas Wings (-10.5)

Not a lot is expected of the Chicago Sky this season. They are paying +8000 to win the WNBA title, and they are +400 to make the playoffs. But after their haul of draft night, which included LSU’s Angel Reese and Kamilla Cardoso from South Carolina, they are one of the more intriguing teams to watch this season.

Cardoso will miss the beginning of the year because of a shoulder injury, but Reese will begin her rookie season in Dallas on Wednesday night. As for the game itself, the Wings were a playoff team last year, losing in the second round to the Aces, and they should have little trouble with Chicago.

Atlanta Dream (-5.5) at Los Angeles Sparks

According to oddsmakers, if there is going to be a real challenge to Caitlin Clark and Rookie of the Year, it will most likely come from Cameron Brink. The Stanford star was the No. 2 overall pick in last month’s draft, and she is paying +1400 to win Rookie of the Year.

Joining her in L.A. was the No. 4 overall pick, Rickea Jackson from Tennessee. Adding Brink and Jackson to last year’s best Sparks rookie, Zia Cooke, has this team headed in the right direction. L.A. last made the playoffs in 2020.

The Atlanta Dream did make the playoffs last year, but were bounced by Dallas in a first-round sweep. Atlanta is led by 2022 No. 1 overall pick Rhyne Howard, who was an All-Star in her first two WNBA seasons. They also recently traded for 2020 Rookie of the Year Crystal Dangerfield.

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