June is close, and the NBA Playoffs are close to ending. However, if you are still in the need for hoops action, WNBA season tips on June 5. This will be the WNBA's 17th season, and the summer ladies of basketball will be looking to provide some excitement and betting action. The Phoenix Mercury are the defending champs, and they look to repeat. But not so fast, because we believe there are a handful of teams that will be in the hunt for the WNBA Championship.
Here is my breakdown of some of the odds I found most interesting:
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The defending champion Mercury open the 2015 season as the betting favorites to repeat at 7-5, but a repeat this year is going to be very tough for this team. They will be without Diana Tuarasi, who will be playing in Russia, while center Brittney Griner is suspended for the first seven games of the season. The Mercury will be an above-average team in the league and in the Western Conference, but the loss of Tuarasi in the end will be too much for them to overcome.
The Minnesota Lynx (odds 8-5) in my eyes should be the favorites, and this Lynx team should run away with the Western Conference and look to win their second championship in three years. During the last four years the Lynx have a record of 105-31 and have won 25 or more games every year during that stretch. The reigning WNBA Most Valuable Player Maya Moore had a ridiculous 2014 season for the Lynx, and she alone is the reason why they are the team to beat in the Western Conference and for the championship. Getting the Lynx at 8-5 in my eyes is outstanding value, and I would jump on this number quickly before other sharps dig in.
The Atlanta Dream and Chicago Sky are expected to battle for the Eastern Conference title this season, and I believe these two teams could give the Lynx some trouble in the playoffs.
The Sky get back a healthy Elena Delle Donne this season, and her play last year in the playoffs was nothing but magic. When healthy, Donne is one of the most difficult matchups in the league because she is 6-foot-5 and can score in the post, shoot the 3-ball, and she has the court vision of a point guard. Getting the Chicago Sky at 8-1 seems so tempting, but with the trade demand from Sylvia Fowles I would wait to see how this distraction plays out.
The Atlanta Dream will have a small edge over Chicago, and if they can get a point guard that can run the floor this team could be a nice sleeper at 7-1 to win it all. The Dream star Angel McCoughtry probably can't wait for the season to start as the Dream are coming off a heartbreaking Eastern Conference Semifinals loss to the Chicago Sky last year. Because of the distractions Chicago has right now and the focus I'm hearing coming out of Atlanta, I see the Dream being big contenders in the Eastern Conference to give the Minnesota Lynx a battle for the ship.
The Los Angeles Sparks are 15-1 to win it all because they have no clue when Candace Parker will return because she will sit out at least the beginning of the WNBA season to rest. Here is a quick Los Angeles Sparks scenario: it's no secret that Chicago Sky All-Star Sylvia Fowles has requested a trade, and she only wants to be traded to one team -- I'm hearing that team is the Los Angeles Sparks. If the Sparks get Fowles and a well-rested Parker this team could be a threat in the WNBA. I don't know who the Sparks would have to give up if this trade happens, but again the Sparks are 15-1 to win it all.
Other long shots are the Washington Mystics in the Eastern Conference at 15-1, and the only reason why we talking about Washington is that they are bringing back the same team from last year, and that team won 16 games. I see them having a better year this coming season.
Before you call me crazy -- I'm not saying this team is going to win it all -- but the Tulsa Shock (odds 50-1) will be an improved team. Sklyar Diggins will be in her second year in the league, and I think she will have a breakout year for the Shock. Diggins is the best scoring point guard in the WNBA, and with a solid supporting cast returning this team will not be one of the worst teams in the league but rather one of the most improved .
The Western Conference winner will be the Lynx and the Eastern Conference winner will be the Dream. Your 2015 WNBA Champions will be the Lynx.
2015 WNBA Championship - Odds Provided by William Hill LV
Phoenix Mercury 7-5
Minnesota Lynx 8-5
Atlanta Dream 7-1
Chicago Sky 8-1
Indiana Fever 15-1
Los Angeles Sparks 15-1
Washington Mystics 15-1
New York Liberty 18-1
San Antonio Silver Stars 20-1
Connecticut Sun 40-1
Seattle Storm 40-1
Tulsa Shock 50-1
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