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Caitlin Clark Effect: ‘Heightened interest’ boosts WNBA betting

Updated May 6, 2024 - 6:58 pm

The “Caitlin Clark Effect” already caused the Aces to move their July 2 game against the Indiana Fever to T-Mobile Arena.

Clark, the former Iowa star who was selected No. 1 overall by Indiana in the WNBA draft, also has already impacted the betting handle, or amount of money wagered, on the league, which tips off its regular season May 14.

“We have a lot more tickets on the title odds than we ever did at this point in prior seasons,” Westgate SuperBook veteran oddsmaker Jeff Sherman said. “We have tickets on every team. The Aces and Liberty are leading the way, but there’s a lot of interest throughout on all the teams.

“I can tell already that it’s got a heightened interest due to her effect.”

The Fever are tied for the 25-1 fifth choice to win the WNBA championship. The Aces are the -110 favorites to win their third straight league title, followed by the New York Liberty at +225.

Clark is the 10-1 third choice to win the MVP award. Aces forward A’ja Wilson is the +110 favorite, and Liberty forward Breanna Stewart, the reigning league MVP, is the 5-1 second pick.

“Crazy for (Clark) to be the third choice in that pecking order because A’ja Wilson and Stewart have dominated in recent years,” Sherman said. “But that’s just the expected interest in her. If you have her much higher, that liability will add up quickly, just how popular she is.”

Sportsbooks saw three consecutive record handles for women’s basketball games in Clark’s final three college contests. Sherman expects betting interest to remain high on Clark, who scored 21 points, including 16 in the first half, in her WNBA preseason debut in Friday’s 76-73 loss to the Dallas Wings.

“As long as she continues to perform in the pros like she did, that will keep interest at a peak,” he said.

Clark props

The SuperBook has posted eight Clark props. The longest shot is 25-1 for Clark to break Wilson’s WNBA single-game scoring record of 53 points set last season. Clark to score 50 or more in a game pays 20-1, while making 10 3-pointers or more in a game is +750.

Clark is a -325 favorite to lead the Fever in scoring. Her first made basket is a 3-pointer is -175, and she’s even-money to make a 3 in all of her games.

Indiana, which finished 13-27 last season, has a season win total of 20½ after it opened at 21½.

The Aces will host the Fever on May 25 at Michelob Ultra Arena. Sherman said the SuperBook will post Aces player props for all of their games and Clark props for all Fever games.

Stanley Cup favorites

Edmonton entered Monday as the +425 favorite at the SuperBook to win the Stanley Cup. The Oilers are -260 favorites to win their second-round series over the Vancouver Canucks, who will be without All-Star goalie Thatcher Demko in Wednesday’s Game 1.

“They’re the largest favorite in the next round of the series prices,” Sherman said. “A lot of that has to do with the status of Demko not being available for the Canucks. That makes the path a little bit easier for the Oilers, from a price perspective.”

The Dallas Stars, who eliminated the Golden Knights in seven games Sunday, are -125 favorites over the Colorado Avalanche in their second-round series.

The Stars are +550 to win the Stanley Cup, and the Avalanche are +650.

Contact reporter Todd Dewey at tdewey@reviewjournal.com. Follow @tdewey33 on X.

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