Caitlin Clark’s WNBA Debut Brings Record Wagers

  • Former Iowa star Caitlin Clark made her WNBA regular-season debut against the Connecticut Sun on Tuesday night
  • BetOnline reports her debut is the most-wagered game in WNBA history, showcasing how her arrival could boost the league’s popularity.
  • Clark’s Indiana Fever lost 92-71 to Connecticut, after the Sun had five players scoring in double digits.

Caitlin Clark’s popularity from her college career is clearly translating to the WNBA! Popular bookmaker BetOnline reported a record gambling turnover in her regular-season debut; no WNBA game in history has attracted so many bets before.

The WNBA received a boost of support last season. From revenue to attendance and viewership, the league increased its profile across the board. The WNBA’s appeal from a betting perspective is increasing as well after Indiana Fever rookie Caitlin Clark’s regular-season debut was a massive night for the bookies.

Clark had some bright spots, but her debut was rocky, and the Fever lost in Connecticut. She has plenty of potential, but the WNBA is a different skill level from the college game. There will be plenty of eyes on Clark’s development on and off the court, and apparently, wagers placed.

Clark Causes A Stir At Online Sportsbooks

Clark’s debut with the Fever was big news across the sports world, and the betting world. BetOnline stated that her debut was the most-wagered game in the history of their company.

An article from the New York Post revealed that Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy wagered $25,000 on the Fever to cover their 8-point spread on the road in Connecticut on Tuesday night. The same article stated that there were “three times as many bets on the game between the Fever and the Sun than any other WNBA game” at BetMGM Sportsbook. 

Clark’s effect on the sportsbooks started ahead of the season. BetMGM stated that WNBA futures betting was up 106% from last season in wagering tickets, and 175% in money. The bookmaker also disclosed that almost 50% of their WNBA championship betting tickets came in on the Fever. Indiana is second in money wagered only to the Las Vegas Aces, who have won the last two championships.

All of this puts a lot of pressure on Clark, who won a slew of awards and honors during her time at Iowa. Her WNBA MVP odds were fourth in the league ahead of the season, behind Las Vegas’ A’ja Wilson and New York’s Breanna Stewart, who have both won two MVP awards already. Connecticut’s Alyssa Thomas is also ahead of Clark in the WNBA MVP odds.

Clark Has Tough Time In WNBA Regular-Season Debut

Thomas and the Sun welcomed Clark and the Fever to Connecticut to open the regular season. The Sun were the latest to feel the effects of “Clark Fever after Tuesday’s game was their first home opener to sell out since their very first game at Mohegan Sun Arena in 2003.

While Clark had 20 points, she also had 10 turnovers in a 92-71 loss to the Sun. She shot 5-of-15 from the field, including 4-of-11 from beyond the arc, and had just three assists.

On the other side, Thomas had seven turnovers, but she also had 13 points, 13 assists and 10 rebounds for her 12th career triple-double. The game was won in the turnover battle as Clark and the Fever had 25, to 15 for the Sun.

Clark has a bright future in the WNBA, but there is going to be a steep learning curve for the talented rookie. She dominated college basketball, but as most college athletes learn, there is a huge difference between playing in university, and playing professionally.

The defense will be tougher, and WNBA players are going to make her work harder when she is defending. Clark is good enough to figure it out, but it’s going to take time as she gets used to the speed of WNBA basketball.

One thing is for sure, however: Clark is a needle-mover for the WNBA, which looks poised to take advantage of as much coverage as it has ever had. The attendance has gone up, and you’re going to see more of it on TV. That also means you’ll have more betting options at the top WNBA betting sites!

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About the Author
Elliot Nield profile picture
Elliot Nield
Casino/Sportsbook Writer
Elliot Nield has worked in the online gambling industry for almost two decades, and while his focus is on sports, he doesn't mind a few hours on the poker felts and the blackjack tables. In his spare time, Elliot can be found cheering on Manchester United and the Kansas City Chiefs, and praying that Patrick Mahomes stays healthy forever.

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