WNBA 2018: Basketball Preview, Odds, Pick, Title Predictions, Dark Horses - 5/18/18
WNBA Title Dark Horse Betting Contenders
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We’re a week away from another WNBA season, and we’ll once again have every individual game covered here at Sports Chat Place. But before we get into the daily picks, it’s time to look at some of the future odds and lock in some bets. Those who have followed me over the years know I like value with my futures, so I won’t be betting on the Los Angeles Sparks or the Minnesota Lynx to win the title. There’s little value in betting under +200 odds when you consider your money is tied up anywhere from four to five months. I want a chance at a larger payout and possibly even hedging room once we get into the playoffs.
Here are three dark horse teams to bet on to win the WNBA Finals before the season begins.
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Phoenix Mercury - That championship window remains open for the Phoenix Mercury, who still have possibly the best 1-2 punch in the league in Brittney Griner and Diana Taurasi. That duo is good enough to carry the Mercury much of the way, and the return of DeWanna Bonner, who missed all of last year due to child birth, doesn’t hurt either. The last time we saw Bonner, she played 34 games and averaged 14.5 points and 5.4 rebounds per game. The Mercury also added depth by trading for Briann January and snagging Sancho Lyttle in free agency. The Phoenix Mercury are a much more balanced team than they were in past years and are simply loaded on paper. The fact you can still get the Mercury at +1200 odds to win the title is a downright steal.
Las Vegas Aces - We’ve seen just how quickly sports can takeoff in Las Vegas with the Golden Knights, and the fans are more than willing to support. So the Mandalay Bay Events Center could be one of the few arenas in the WNBA that is packed nightly. That’s a nice advantage to have in this league. As from a talent standpoint, Las Vegas has a promising young core in Kayla McBride, Moriah Jefferson, Kelsey Plum and the newly drafted A’ja Wilson. If those players grow up quickly and form chemistry, you’re talking about an exciting and dangerous team as early as this season. Las Vegas also has a proven head coach in Bill Laimbeer, who has three WNBA Championships under his belt and has won no less than 21 games each of his last three seasons. If there’s one coach who is going to get these girls to play defense and bring that competitive spirit out of them, it’s the former Detroit Pistons bad boy. The Las Vegas Aces are a sleeper playoff contender, which gives you hedging room later with +2500 odds.
Dallas Wings - The Dallas Wings may be the most exciting team in the league and are undervalued by the betting market. The Wings should not be +3000 to win the title, the same odds as the Connecticut Sun. The Wings already had one of the best players in the world in Sklyar Diggins-Smith, who is fully recovered from her injury and ready to put the league on notice, but the addition of Liz Cambage is massive. In three years in China, Cambage averaged 30.5 points and 10.8 rebounds while shooting 74.1 percent from the field and 30.3 percent from three. Cambage is a 6’9” walking double-double and is going to take pressure off of everybody. The Wings also have two promising players in Allisha Gray and Azurá Stevens, who are going to contribute and have all-star potential. The Dallas Wings are an offensive powerhouse and capable of running teams into the ground. The defense and depth are still questions, but the Wings are a playoff caliber squad, and having a +3000 ticket in your pocket will come in handy when its time to hedge or let it ride.