WNBA Superteams Driving Betting Increase

Posted on: September 27, 2023, 03:04h. 

Last updated on: September 27, 2023, 04:22h.

The formation of two WNBA “superteams,” the Las Vegas Aces and the New York Liberty, is among the reasons more bettors are flocking to the women’s basketball league.

WNBA betting
Las Vegas Aces coach Becky Hammon. BetMGM says WNBA betting is on the rise. (Image: ESPN)

BetMGM, which is one of the largest domestic online sportsbook operators, said it’s experienced a 27% year-over-year jump in active WNBA bettors. That interest could accelerate over the near term as the league is in the semifinals of its playoffs, with the defending champion Aces and the Liberty both still alive. According to BetMGM sports betting trader Seamus Magee, that’s the desired championship matchup.

The New York Liberty and Las Vegas Aces is our dream matchup for the finals and could generate some serious action,” said Magee in a statement. “The worst outcome is anyone besides the two clear favorites, the Liberty and Aces, winning it all. Handle is steadily picking up as the playoffs progress.”

The Aces, led by coach Becky Hammon, have attracted 39.6% of bets to win a second consecutive title, while the Liberty lured 23.2% wagers to win the championship.

In addition to being superteams, geography may be assisting bettors’ interest in the Aces and Liberty because those are two of the 10 WNBA teams in jurisdictions that permit mobile sports wagering.

Betting on Women’s Sports on the Rise

Data confirm women are increasingly interested in sports betting. When many place bets on their mobile devices on the walk to the window at a retail sportsbook, they’re wagering on women’s sports.

BetMGM noted it’s experienced a 40% year-over-year jump in bets placed on women’s golf and tennis, well ahead of the 18% and 25% increases in handle notched by Major League Baseball (MLB) and the NHL, respectively.

The expansion of legalized sports betting and the WNBA’s most-watched regular season in over two decades are definitely key factors driving the increase,” Magee added.

Amid intense interest in the US Women’s National Team, the recently concluded Women’s World Cup was the most wagered-on female World Cup in BetMGM history. Data indicate bettors are also embracing women’s college basketball.

“The 2023 NCAA women’s basketball tournament earned strong betting interest, and BetMGM reported a 30% increase in handle compared to last year’s tournament,” according to BetMGM. “Active bettors jumped 22%. For the first time, betting action on the women’s NCAA tournament was comparable to an NFL game.”

Liberty Have Work to Do to Help Bettors

Unlike the NBA, which plays best-of-seven series throughout its playoffs, the WNBA semifinals are best-of-five tilts. On that note, Liberty has some work to do to help out bettors and create BetMGM’s dream championship matchup. The team is currently tied 1-1 with the Connecticut Sun, with game three slated for Friday in Connecticut.

The Aces have a 2-0 lead over the Dallas Wings, with game three scheduled for Friday in Dallas. The defending champions have won three of their four playoff games by at least 14 points.

Las Vegas’ WNBA team is owned by Raiders owner Mark Davis, who acquired the franchise from MGM Resorts International in 2021.