Should Bettors Just Skip Thursday’s WNBA Games?

Written By Derek Helling on July 7, 2022

The WNBA usually gives bettors at least one opportunity on game days that look promising, but it’s like the teams know that they’re about to get a few days off on Thursday. It’s a rare convergence of undesirable circumstances for betting.

Two of tonight’s games feature reasons why bettors might want to avoid them and injuries could mess with the trends on the third. Given that the All-Star break starts tomorrow, WNBA bettors might want to start their breaks early.

How to watch, schedule, and the lines for Thursday

All times below are Eastern Daylight Savings. The lines are from BetMGM and valid as of 7 a.m. EDT on Thursday.

  • Chicago Sky (-9.5) at Indiana Fever, 7 p.m., WNBA League Pass (total of 169.5)
  • New York Liberty at Phoenix Mercury (-5.5), 10 p.m., Facebook (total of 163.5)
  • Seattle Storm (-5.5) at Los Angeles Sparks, 10:30 p.m., Twitter (total of 161.5)

Indiana’s Lexie Hull (9.2 minutes per game) and New York’s Rebecca Allen (21.8 mpg) remain questionable for Indiana Thursday. Los Angeles has listed Chennedy Carter (14.9 mpg), Brittney Sykes (27.7 mpg), and Kristi Tolliver (21.6 mpg) all as out for tonight.

Chicago-Indiana is a possible stay-away game

Chicago lost its five-game winning streak yesterday and Indiana has been kind of a nuisance for the Sky this season. These teams played in this same venue on June 19 and the Fever got an 89-87 win, covering the spread that cast them as an eight-point underdog.

Indiana also covered a spread that had them as a 13.5-point underdog on May 24 in Chicago. The Sky won that game outright, however, 95-90. Although Chicago doesn’t have anyone listed on its injury report, it’s still worth considering how many minutes the normal rotation will see given that they just played yesterday in a different city.

The Fever have yet to cover a spread at home when an underdog by at least 9.5 points, given two chances. The Sky, however, haven’t been road favorites to this extent yet on the season. As a road favorite by any margin in 2022, the Sky have covered just once in six opportunities.

If you think those numbers aren’t convincing either way, the trends on the total for this game are really not much better. In a combined 36 games these teams have played in 2022 for which the pre-game totals were 169.5 or lower, the over cashed 18 times, the under hit 16 times, and there have been two pushes.

The June 19 meeting of these teams was total was 171.5 while on May 24, the total was 162. Thus these teams have pushed the over both times, but Thursday could be a different game.

New York-Phoenix might be another avoid game as well

For the second day in a row, New York will see an opponent for the first time in 2022. The Liberty embraced that fact yesterday, pushing their record ATS as a road underdog up to 5-4. As a road dog by 5.5 or more points, New York has gone 4-1 ATS.

Phoenix has been a home favorite by at least 5.5 points on three occasions, covering twice, though. Once again, the trends don’t give much of an indication on which way to bet this game on the total.

In a combined 44 games between these teams, the over has hit 22 times and the under has cashed 22 times. While the under has cashed in 13 of 23 games in that sample in which the totals were 163.5 or higher, the over has hit in 13 of 24 games in which the totals were 163.5 or lower.

Check out the over on Los Angeles-Seattle

Los Angeles hosts Seattle for the first time this season after playing on the Storm’s home court on May 20 and June 25. The teams split those games outright but the Sparks won both games ATS, covering as 7.5-point and 6.5-point underdogs.

Seattle has been a road favorite by at least 5.5 points on three occasions, covering just once. Los Angeles has been a home underdog by this margin or greater just twice so far, splitting those results ATS.

This game finally presents bettors with what looks like a solid opportunity on its total. In a combined 24 games between these teams when the totals were 161.5 or lower, the over cashed 17 times. However, Los Angeles’ injury situation is an important consideration here.

Photo by Butch Dill/Associated Press
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Derek Helling

Derek Helling is a lead writer for PlayUSA and the manager of BetHer. He is a 2013 graduate of the University of Iowa and covers the intersections of sports with business and the law.

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