The WNBA was founded in 1996 as the female counterpart of the NBA and had its inaugural season in 1997. The regular season begins in May with a mid-season All-Star break in July and the WNBA Finals held in late September to early October.
To date, the league is composed of 12 teams with each team playing a total of 34 regular season games, 17 at home and 17 on the road. Each team will play one in-conference team four times and the remaining in-conference teams three times. They will play the teams from the other conference three times each.
At the end of the regular season, the teams with the eight best record in the league, regardless of conference affiliation, will advance to the playoffs. The Top two teams get double byes while teams 3 and 4 will get a first-round bye. In the first round of the playoffs 5 plays 8 while 6 takes on 7 in a single game elimination format. In the next round which is also a knockout stage, the lower seeded team advancing will take on #3 with #4 taking on the other team.
The top two seeds will only start to see action in the best of five semifinals where the top seed will play the lower ranked qualifier and the #2 seed playing the higher ranked qualifier. The semifinal winners will also play a best-of-five series with a 2-2-1 format to determine the champion.
The 2019 WNBA season is the 23rd season of the WNBA and it already began last May 24, 2019. Currently, the teams have played from 12 to 14 games. The Washington Mystics have the best record in the league at 9-5 while the Connecticut Sun have the West’s best record at 9-5. The Mystics are also the betting favorites to win this year’s title after finishing as runners-up to the Seattle Storm last season.
Here are the complete odds to win the 2019 WNBA title. Odds were taken from William Hill as of 7/9/19:
|Las Vegas Aces||+260|
|Los Angeles Sparks||+600|
|New York Liberty||+15000|
Who Are The Favorites?
The Washington Mystics are the basketball betting favorites to win the 2019 WNBA title. The Mystics won the Eastern Conference last season but were swept by the Seattle Storm in the 2018 WNBA Finals. But with Elena Delle Done and Kristi Tolliver back along with Ariel Atkins, Natasha Cloud, and LaToya Sanders, Washington is expected to be on top of the title hunt this year.
As of July 8th, the Mystics are on top of the WNBA standings with their league-best 9-4 record. Delle Done is currently listed as day to day with a broken nose but nothing is serious except that she and Tolliver have been spectacular for the Mystics to start the season. Washington has the best offense in the league right now but what’s more impressive has been their defense which is second in the league right now. If Delle Donne and Toliver continue this pace, Washington might just win their first ever title this year.
The Connecticut Sun are currently ( as of 7/8/19 ) tied with the Las Vegas Aces for the second-best record in the league. The Sun had the best record in the league at 9-3 entering their June 29, 2019 showdown with the Washington Mystics. Washington didn’t just beat Connecticut. They beat them up 102-59 in the fourth largest-winning margin of victory in WNBA history. The Sun are coming off a loss to the Minnesota Lynx and they now have lost four in a row.
The Las Vegas Aces finished dead last in the Western Conference last season but they added 2018 MVP runner-up Liz Cambage to a team that already has A’ja Wilson, Kayla McBride, and Kelsey Plum. As of July 8th, the Aces are in joint second place in the entire WNBA and have the best record in the Western Conference at 9-5. They are starting to put things together right now despite Plum shooting just 10-48 in her last seven games. If she hits her stride again, watch out for the Aces.
The Los Angeles Sparks are one game behind the Las Vegas Aces in the West and they now have won three in a row after four straight losses. In their last game, the Sparks proved their mettle by crushing the Washington Mystics 98-81. Nneka Ogwumike leads the Sparks with 14.9 points per game and she had 31 points and 10 boards in the win against Washington. Los Angeles has been up and down so far, just like most of the teams are, but if they continue to play like they are right now, they are going to be a team to watch.
The current WNBA season has been a season of streaks so far with the team blowing hot and cold without any consistency. But among the teams that are on the Top 5 of the odds board, the Washington Mystics are the ones that many experts are favoring. That’s because not only do they have the playoff experience, their top guns are playing very well right now.
Delle Done and Toliver are combining to score 30 points per game and their ability to shoot the deep ball has been the main reason why Washington owns the league’s best offense early in the season. If the Mystics can sustain this shooting all-season long, they will be tough to beat in any ball game. The loss of Kiara Leslie is a downer as she will be out 3-4 months. But Ariel Atkins, LaToya Sanders, and Natasha Cloud provide the Mystics’ stars with excellent support.
The Sun is currently playing well and the Aces and Sparks have put together intriguing line-ups. But I have reservations on whether those team can put their act together. The defending champions Seattle Storm would have been the ideal pick but with Breanna Stewart tearing his ACL in the Euroleague title game, there’s no question that Washington is the team to beat this season.
The Mystics made the 2018 WNBA Finals even with Elena Delle Done playing with an injured knee. Now that she’s healthy, the team is playing in peak form. The key to the Mystics will be staying healthy. All things considered, I’m picking the Washington Mystics to win the 2019 WNBA title. Prediction: Washington Mystics