Early-Season WNBA Betting Trend Good News For Home-Team Backers
Cover Photo: Getty Images
WNBA home teams have gotten off to a red-hot start this year. Through the first 18 games of the 2019 season, home teams are 13-5 straight up, with only one of those losses occurring as a home favorite. Home teams' ATS record is even more impressive.
There are a couple of possible explanations for home teams' early success. First, it's important to note that most of the players in the WNBA play in other leagues during the WNBA offseason as a way to stay in shape and supplement their income.
The down side of this, is that many of these players are either sidelined (2018 WNBA MVP Breanna Stewart rupturing her achilles in the EuroBaset Final Four and being ruled out for the 2019 WNBA season is prime example of this) or playing through nagging injuries early on. Additionally, the quick turnaround for players coming back to the US from their overseas teams allows for very little practice time before the WNBA season starts.
Due to the challenges of WNBA travel, both of these scenarios seemingly negatively affect road teams far worse than home teams. Most teams play multiple away games in a row, rather than flying back and forth between home games even when they have more than just a day or two in between games. Thus, it is more difficult for teams with heavy road schedules early in the year to have consistent practice time with their full teams.
Additionally, teams are more likely to leave their star players with nagging injuries at home for early road trips, as they'd rather have them rest and get closer to full health for the rest of the season.
In short, it is way easier for teams with mostly home schedules early in the year to get fully up to speed and put out lineups that are closer to full health.
The WNBA betting market will almost surely correct, and this trend should regress as the season moves forward. However there's a chance this trend could still be profitable, not only for the short term, but for the beginnings of WNBA seasons to come if this home team advantage is not reflected in future seasons' early-in-the-year lines.
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Leo Abbe-Schneider is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Leo Abbe-Schneider also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username leoabbe2. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.