WNBA Betting Picks and Player Props to Target for Friday 5/17/24

Aidan Cotter
Aidan CotterAidanCotterFD
WNBA Betting Picks and Player Props to Target for Friday 5/17/24

The WNBA is back, and fans and bettors alike can get into the action on FanDuel Sportsbook.

The W's 40-game season offers a wide variety of betting options, including point spreads, moneylines, and totals. While there's a lot to sift through, advanced stats from the WNBA can help us find an edge in the betting market.

Let's dive into the WNBA odds on FanDuel Sportsbook and find today's best bets.

Please note lines are subject to change throughout the day after this article is published.

WNBA Best Bets

Washington Mystics at Connecticut Sun

Brittney Sykes Under 14.5 Points (-108)

After holding the Indiana Fever to just 71 points in the season-opener, the Connecticut Sun are again looking like one of the W's top defenses. They've finished top two in defensive rating and points allowed each of the past three seasons, after all.

Over that span, Washington Mystics guard Brittney Sykes has faced them 10 times. She averaged just 10.8 points on 38% shooting, notching 15 points just three times.

It's been even tougher for Sykes at Mohegan Sun Arena where her points per game average dipped to 7.8 and her field goal percentage dropped to 34.1%.

Granted, that's a small sample. Sykes averaged a career-best 15.9 points in 2023, and she put up 14 on 7-of-17 shooting in the Mystics' season opener.

But, even in last season's career year, Sykes only notched 15 points in 23 of 40 games. She only did so five times in 14 games against the three teams that surrendered fewer than 100 points per 100 possessions.

The Mystics are going to be friskier than people expect this season; we saw that in their five-point loss to the New York Liberty on Wednesday. But the Sun are a different beast defensively, especially on the perimeter. They held Washington to 75.8 points per game across four 2023 meetings, and Sykes went over 14.5 points against them just once.

Washington only has a 74.75 implied total tonight, so points should be at a premium for the whole team. Coupled with Sykes' lackluster track record against the Sun, it's hard to like her chances of going over her point total.

I'll jump on Brittney Sykes under 14.5 -- currently at -108 odds on FanDuel Sportsbook.

Seattle Storm at Minnesota Lynx

Storm -2 (-108)
Skylar Diggins-Smith Over 5.5 Assists (-122)

The Seattle Storm and Minnesota Lynx square off for the second time in three days tonight.

The Lynx emerged victorious in Seattle on opening night, holding the Storm to 37% shooting en route to an 83-70 win.

It's not entirely surprising to see Minnesota play well to kick off the season. They rebounded from a 0-6 start to make the playoffs last season, but that didn't stop them from adding pieces in the offseason. Alanna Smith (22 points and eight rebounds) and Courtney Williams (14 points, five rebounds, and seven assists) -- acquired from the Chicago Sky prior to the draft -- both made their presence felt on Wednesday.

They were especially impactful on the defensive end with Smith blocking four shots and Williams picking up five steals.

That helped Minnesota cruise to a double-digit win despite Kayla McBride shooting an uncharacteristic 3-of-8 from the floor.

Of course, it helps when you have the best player on the floor. Napheesa Collier picked up right where she left off after finishing fourth in MVP voting last season, scoring 20 points and grabbing 12 rebounds.

So tonight, we have a Lynx team that finished with a better record than the Storm in 2023, added key pieces in the offseason, and beat Seattle on the road two days ago.

They're two-point home underdogs. What gives?

Well, Minnesota wasn't the only team that added players in the offseason, and you don't have to go out on a limb to say Seattle's additions were more noteworthy.

Four-time All-WNBA first teamer Skylar Diggins-Smith signed with Seattle after missing 2023 while on maternity leave and was followed by former MVP and eight-time All-Star Nneka Ogwumike joining the fold from L.A. Ogwumike led the team in scoring on Wednesday while Diggins-Smith led in assists.

With Jewell Loyd and Ezi Magbegor both coming off career-best campaigns in 2023, hopes are understandably high in Seattle. Even with their opening night loss, the Storm still boast the third-best odds to win the WNBA Championship at +1000.

I'm going to chalk Wednesday's loss up to a feeling-out period for the new-look Storm. They shot a putrid 1-of-9 from deep on Wednesday with Loyd in particular struggling to score. She didn't score fewer than 11 points in any game last season but managed just 10 points on 3-of-19 shooting against the Lynx.

It's just hard to imagine the Storm shooting that poorly two games in a row. We're getting a discount on the better team after Wednesday's result, so I'll happily grab the Storm -2 at -108 odds.

Considering Diggins-Smith dished out six assists despite Seattle's rough shooting night, we can look at her over 5.5 assists at -122 odds, too. When we last saw her in 2022, Diggins-Smith averaged 5.5 assists per game and went over 5.5 in 15 of 30 games.

The Lynx had the third-worst defensive rating, allowed the second-most points, and let up the third-most assists per game last season. Even if we assume their defense has improved in 2023, the Storm offense is in a nice spot to bounce back, and Diggins-Smith's facilitating should play a large role in that.

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The above author is a FanDuel employee and is not eligible to compete in public daily fantasy contests or place sports betting wagers on FanDuel. The advice provided by the author does not necessarily represent the views of FanDuel. Taking the author's advice will not guarantee a successful outcome. You should use your own judgment when participating in daily fantasy contests or placing sports wagers.