WNBA Odds and Betting | How to Bet on Basketball

WNBA Odds and Betting

betJACK Training Camp
1 year ago
5 min read
Connecticut Sun guard Courtney Williams during game of WNBA Finals

WNBA odds and betting formats

The WNBA odds and betting systems are no different from any other sport. The American format odds are what you’ll come across most widely when betting from the USA, and these are quite simple to understand.

The minus (-) sign in front of the number indicates the favorite to win the game, with the positive (+) designating underdog. This system is also called the American one; odds are represented in other parts of the world as fractions or decimals, but all lead to the same payout figure.

Let’s take a game example:

Phoenix Mercury (-150) vs. Connecticut Sun (+300)

Here, the -150 for the Mercury means you must bet $150 to win $100 profit (or part thereof). Whereas the Sun are underdogs, and you will win $300 profit if you bet $100.

All you must remember is the negative number is the favorite and represents what you must bet to make $100, while the positive number is the underdog and represents what you win if you bet $100.

Types of WNBA Betting

Using the American odds presented above, we’ll show you the different types of bets you can place on the WNBA.


This is the most straightforward way to place bets in the WNBA and is also called a straight-up. It involves betting on who you think will win the game, a simple yes-or-no, and is independent of the margin of victory. The Pheonix Mercury and Connecticut Sun bet we showed above is an example of a moneyline bet.

Let’s consider another example: if the moneyline on Atlanta Dream is set at +135, and their opponents, Phoenix Mercury’s odds, are set at -150, we already know that the Dream have been given underdog status in this match. However, the higher the risk, the higher your reward. If you wager $100 on Atlanta, you will earn a net profit of $135 if they go on to win. Your total payout would stand at $235. Of course, the dangers of such a wager mean that you’re at a bigger risk of losing the entire amount.

Phoenix Mercury’s odds stand at -150, implying they are favorites to win. This means you would need to invest $150 to earn a payout of $100. So, if you bet $100 on Mercury and they win, your winnings would amount to $66.67, and your total payout would be $166.67. The same $100 would fetch you $235 if you placed your bet on Atlanta. The latter is the safer option, but remember you would need to spend more on the negative moneyline to earn the same payout.

Point spreads

Point spreads add an extra dimension to win-loss results in that now your wager will also factor in the margin of victory. Oddsmakers take away points from the favored team to ensure that both teams have a closer chance of victory. The underdog is given an advantage, while the favorites are put at a disadvantage - score-wise, that is. Consider the following example.




Dallas Wings

+10.5 (+125)


Seattle Storm

-10.5 (+187)


Here, the Dallas Wings have been given a score advantage that brings them closer to par with Seattle Storm, who are heavy favorites based on their moneyline odds. If you place your money on the Seattle Storm, they will have to win by at least 11 points for you to win the bet. You lose your bet if they still win, but with a lower margin. 

If you back Dallas, you’ll get your payout if they win or lose by a margin of no more than 10 points. You’ll only lose your money on Dallas if the deficit is higher than 10 points. The simplest way to understand this is to use the spreads and set the starting point of the match accordingly.

While a game in real life begins 0-0, the spread alters that. In this case, underdogs Dallas Wings would hypothetically start the game leading the Storm 10.5 to 0; essentially, you’d be betting on whether the Storm will still win the match from that deficit or whether the Wings will still be holding on to their initial margin when the game ends. 

WNBA prop bets

Prop bets, short for proposition bets, indicate short-term bets that can be placed on certain in-game events. Such events aren’t likely to alter the game’s result and are structured as specific yes-or-no outcomes. They’re generally the most popular bets because they happen during a game, and you don’t need to wait till the game has a result or worry about your team covering their spreads.

Prop bets involve betting on outcomes such as the number of field goals Sabrina Ionescu might attempt during the first quarter against Indiana Fever. You aren’t likely to find as many prop bets in the WNBA as in the NBA, but you’ll be able to wager on the performances of star players like Marina Mabrey who lead scoring charts regularly. You’ll also find WNBA Draft props, which are lines on which player will be selected with the first overall pick.

Outrights and futures bets

NBA futures are long-term bets that aren’t dependent on the outcome of a single game. For instance, you can bet on which team you think will win the championship or who will be the season’s MVP. As the name suggests, these are markets that are based on outcomes that will occur in the future, and they open as early as pre-season.

WNBA odds and betting parlays bets

A parlay is a multiple bet or a bet that involves the outcome of multiple events, propositions, or games. This can involve different types of bets, but you can only win the parlay if you predict all outcomes correctly. If even a single bet is off, you’ll lose the entire wager.

You can see that a parlay is, therefore, another high-risk, high-reward venture - you can win huge profits on a small wager, but the probability of this is low. 

For instance, a parlay bet might look like the following: Las Vegas Aces to win + Los Angeles Sparks vs. Washington Mystics Total OVER 35.5 + Chicago Sky to cover the spread.

Individually, the odds on these bets might be short, but when combined, the odds multiply and allow you to use smaller amounts of your wallet for a bigger reward compared to if you placed each bet individually. Your betting slip will automatically calculate potential rewards as you build your bet.

WNBA Odds and Betting Tips

There are differences between the WNBA and NBA that you need to keep in mind. There are 12 teams playing in the WNBA as opposed to 30 in the men’s league, and therefore fewer matches: 34 and not 82. The women’s team rosters are limited to 12, smaller than 15-player squads in the NBA, so injuries can have bigger consequences on teams.

The games are shorter as well, 40 minutes instead of 48, so this means fewer scoring opportunities. All of these indicate that there’s a much smaller margin for error in the WNBA than in the NBA, so a bit of research before wagering will go a long way.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Is WNBA betting legal in Ohio?

Online sports betting was set on the path to legalization by the Supreme Court in 2018 and has now been given the go-ahead in Ohio. 

Is betting on the WNBA profitable?

Like all sports betting pursuits, the WNBA requires research and diversification for it to turn profitable in the long run. If you’re off to a good start, make sure that it’s not a lucky pick and is part of a broader strategy. Nothing brings losses as much as using past luck as a marker for future success.

What format are WNBA odds and betting presented in?

WNBA odds will most often be presented in the American odds format if you’re betting from the United States. If that isn’t your preferred format, your sportsbook should give you options to toggle between American, decimal, and fractional odds.

What is +10.5 in WNBA odds and betting?

The +10.5 or -10.5 symbols in WNBA betting represent the points spread. These numbers, chosen by the sportsbook, will give one team’s score a handicap of the equivalent value. So, if your favored team has a -10.5 spread, they must win by a margin of at least that much for your bet to pay out.