2021 WNBA Season Opening Night Odds and Picks


Diana Taurasi dribbling

Phoenix Mercury guard Diana Taurasi sets up a play during the second half of a WNBA basketball first round playoff game against the Washington Mystics in Bradenton, Fla., in this Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020, file photo. Taurasi is staying in Phoenix while Alysha Clark is heading across the country to join the Washington Mystics. Both signed on Monday, Feb. 1, 2021, the first official day that WNBA free agents could officially ink deals. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack, File)

  • The 2021 WNBA regular season begins Friday, May 14th
  • Late arrivals will impact games throughout opening weekend for all 12 teams in the league
  • See below for the latest odds and the best bets for opening night

The start of the 2021 WNBA season is officially here, with the 32-game regular season schedule set to tip off on Friday night around the league.

As teams begin the journey to capitalize on their WNBA Championship odds at year’s end, the opening night slate will feature four games with teams  playing in their home markets after spending the entirety of the 2020 season in Bradenton, Fla.

The remaining four WNBA teams will begin their seasons on Saturday, with two more games taking place Sunday to finish up the opening weekend’s slate of games.

Celebrating its 25th season in 2021, the WNBA will have games available for viewing on national broadcasts as well as on social media and other streaming services throughout the summer. The regular season schedule will feature 100 nationally televised games on ABC, ESPN, ESPN2, CBS Television Network, CBS Sports Network and NBA TV.  Streaming platforms to watch games through will include Twitter, Facebook, Amazon Prime Video and WNBA League Pass, among other platforms.

May 14th WNBA Odds

Team Spread Moneyline Game Time (Eastern)
Indiana Fever +2.5 (-110) +118 7:00 p.m.
New York Liberty -2.5 (-110) -144 NBA TV
Team Spread Moneyline Game Time (Eastern)
Connecticut Sun -2.5 (-110) -144 7:30 p.m.
Atlanta Dream  +2.5 (-110) +118 Twitter
Team Spread Moneyline Game Time (Eastern)
Phoenix Mercury +1.5 (-106) +106 9:00 p.m.
Minnesota Lynx  -1.5 (-114) -130 CBSSN
Team Spread Moneyline Game Time (Eastern)
Dallas Wings +4.5 (-108) +164 10:30 p.m.
Los Angeles Sparks -4.5 (-112) -205 Facebook

Odds as of  May 14th at FanDuel

Late Arrivals Are Early Storyline to Watch

Early on in the regular season, one common theme and major thing to watch that will impact the betting lines are the late arrivals of some players to their WNBA teams.

Basically every team in the league is dealing with one or more players either on their way to join the team or wrapping up their seasons overseas, which is something that happens annually for players when they aren’t playing in the WNBA.

The other thing players and teams are dealing with is the quarantine and testing process once players do arrive from overseas to their WNBA market. But a common theme throughout opening weekend will be the absence of some key players throughout the WNBA.

Big Names Missing from Fever vs Liberty

For the four games on Friday night to begin the regular season schedule, every team playing will be missing at least one player, with a few teams missing some key pieces that should be monitored closely when betting on who will come out on top.

The game that this could have the biggest impact on is the Indiana Fever vs New York Liberty. The Liberty, who are an improved team following some offseason moves made, should take care of business of this game, but the absences of Natasha Howard, Kiah Stokes and a few others will make it a little bit more difficult. Indiana will also be without a few players, notably Julie Allemand.

The game between the Connecticut Sun and Atlanta Dream will be without Jasmine Thomas for the Sun and Tiffany Hayes for the Dream. The game between the Phoenix Mercury and Minnesota Lynx will be without Kia Vaughn for the Mercury and Kayla McBride and Napheesa Collier for the Lynx.

Finally, the nightcap between the Dallas Wings and the Los Angeles Sparks will be without Satou Sabally, Bella Alaire and Awak Kuier for the Wings and Maria Vadeeva for the Sparks.

This topic will likely go away in the upcoming week or two for sure, but just make sure you check to see who will all be available for teams and who will be absent before placing your bets.

Overview of the Schedule

The Fever vs Liberty game will be closer than many people think, mainly due to New York still working through some late arrivals and also trying to work former No. 1 overall pick Sabrina Ionescu back into the fold after suffering a season-ending ankle injury in her rookie campaign last year.

The Sun vs Dream game could be competitive as well, with Connecticut returning a bulk of its roster and Atlanta incorporating a few veteran players acquired this offseason to go along a younger team.

The Mercury vs Lynx game is always an entertaining matchup and one that oftentimes takes place in the postseason, so this could once again be a playoff preview between the two teams. Minnesota is missing Collier, who is a late arrival, but is likely to at least get McBride back after she was left off the team’s injury report in advance of the game.

Then you have the Wings vs Sparks game, which will be in Los Angeles’ favor at home, since the Sparks still feature a talented roster — yes, even with Candace Parker now in Chicago — while going up against a Dallas team that is still trying to figure things out but is an upcoming team.

Best Bets on the Board

As far as the best bets from a betting line standpoint, let’s go with the Dream vs Sun and the Mercury vs Lynx.

Even without Jasmine Thomas, the Sun are hoping to have everyone back for the season opener to go up against a Dream team that will be without Tiffany Hayes.

For the Lynx, they could take the game by more than the 1.5 points with an improved roster and the recent addition of McBride into the rotation, if she indeed does suit up for the opener.

The picks: Sun -2.5 (-110), Lynx -1.5 (-114)

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Mitchell Hansen

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