Breanna Stewart and Jonquel Jones holding down Barclays, Candace Parker lacing up for the Las Vegas Aces, Brittney Griner returning to the desert, Aliyah Boston debuting in Indiana — the 2023 WNBA season is going to be like nothing we’ve ever seen before. 

The super teams in New York and Vegas loom heavy at the top, but the league has so much depth, nothing would be too surprising. The Seattle Storm are reimagined with Jewell Loyd as the focal point, Kahleah Copper is ready to lead the Chicago Sky into its next era, and a star-studded rookie class will make its impact, too. 

As we visualize what this season can be for our favorite players or teams, Gaming Society is here to provide everything you need to know to feel confident placing a bet at the sportsbook.

How to bet the moneyline 

The short: The moneyline is the simplest bet in sports. It’s a bet on who wins the game; which team scores the most points and comes away with the victory. Can’t be any simpler than that!

Dig a little deeper: The odds for a moneyline bet determine how much money you will win should you pick the correct team. Odds with a minus sign (-) show you how much money you would need to wager in order to profit $100. Odds with a plus sign (+) show you how much profit you would make if you wagered $100.

Example: Let’s use a matchup between the Sky and Lynx from the 2022 season as an example. At the buzzer, Courtney Vandersloot knocked down a deep 3-pointer to stun the Lynx, 88-85. Because the shot went down, the Sky won the game, and, in turn, were the moneyline winners.

How to bet the spread

The short: The point spread is the expected number of points that a team will win or lose by in a certain game. 

Dig a little deeper: If a team has a minus sign (-) in front of their point spread, then they are the favorite and are expected to win by that many points. If you bet on the favorite to win on the point spread, you are betting that they will not only win the game, but win by more than the point spread.

If a team has a plus sign (+) in front of their point spread, then they are the underdog and are expected to lose the game by that many points. If you bet on the underdog to win on the point spread, you are betting that they lose by less than the point spread or pull off the upset and win the game outright.

Example: You probably remember that time the Las Vegas Aces won it all for the first time in franchise history under first-year head coach Becky Hammon. Let’s say for Game 4 in that series, the spread was Aces -6.5, meaning to win the bet on Las Vegas’s spread, they’d have to win by seven or more points. 

In the final 10 seconds, Courtney Williams from the opposing Connecticut Sun launched a two-pointer that, thankfully for Vegas spread bettors, did not go down, meaning Las Vegas won the game, 78-71. That’s a seven-point victory and a win for the Aces’ spread bet. Had Williams’ shot gone down — even though the Aces still would have won the game — a spread bet on the Aces would’ve lost because a 78-73 score means a five-point differential. A spread bet on Connecticut +6.5 would have won.

How to bet the over/under  

The short: Don’t want to pick a winner between two teams? Then a point total bet is the bet for you!

Dig a little deeper: The point total is the combined number of points scored by both teams at the end of the game. If you bet the Over, you are betting that both teams will combine for more points than the point total. If you bet the Under, you are betting that both teams will combine for less points than the point total.

Example: Ok, Sky fans. Y’all got the Vandersloot buzzer-beater, so forgive me for this next example. Let’s say the Aces-Sky 2019 single-elimination matchup had an over/under of 184.5. You know what happened next. 

The “Hamby Heave” won the game for Vegas, 93-92. That means the total combined score was 185 points between both teams. A bet on the Over would have hit. Had Hamby missed the shot, the final score would only have been 182 points, meaning the Under would have hit. 

How to bet on player props

The short: The WNBA is a players league, so why bet on teams when you can bet on the individual players?

Dig a little deeper: Player props are similar to Over/Under bets, where you bet on a player’s individual stats. You can bet how many points a player gets, how many rebounds or assists they grab or even how many three-pointers they hit. Just like the Over/Under, you are betting they will get more or less than the listed prop, and then rooting for them to succeed or fail.

Example: A few ways you may see these odds listed include: Breanna Stewart points O/U 25.5, meaning you can wager for her to score 26 or more points (Over) or 25 or fewer points (Under). Another example could be Chelsea Gray assists O/U 7.5. Likewise, you are betting on Gray to dish eight or more assists (Over) or seven or fewer assists (Under).

How to place a parlay

The short: A parlay is when you take multiple individual bets and combine them together. Each of these individual bets is called a leg. You need to win every leg of your parlay in order to win the whole thing. If one leg fails, then the whole parlay fails.

Dig a little deeper: Parlays lead to very juicy odds, where you can bet a small amount of money and potentially win a boatload. However, parlays are extremely tough to win. The best bettors in the world only win 55% of the time. Combining a bunch of coin flips into one big parlay is a recipe for losing.

Example: Let’s take two player props and parlay them! I’ll pick the Over on Breanna Stewart to score more than 25.5 points and the Over on Chelsea Gray to dish more than 7.5 assists. For this bet to cash, Stewart has to score 26 points or more AND Gray has to finish with eight or more assists. If only one of those events comes true, the bet loses.

How to place a futures bet

The short: A future bet is just like it sounds, a bet that takes place far into the future. Future bets are very fun to make if you enjoy rooting for or against a certain team/player as season long futures tend to have large odds and the chance to give you a rooting interest in something month after month.

Dig a little deeper: A popular futures bet is a team’s win/loss total. A team will be projected to win a certain amount of games and your job is to predict whether they will win more or less games during the season. You can also make a futures bet on which team wins the WNBA Championship, with the odds varying for every team in the league.

Example: Think Aliyah Boston is going to win Rookie of the Year? You can place a bet today on Boston at +130 (bet $10 to win $13) to win the award at the end of the season. 

Want to learn more about sports betting?

Check out Gaming Society’s Betting Academy for more frequently asked questions.

(Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)

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