The Minnesota Lynx won the 2017 WNBA Championship and sports books are betting they can defend their crown. BetOnline has them as a 5/4 selection to win their fifth title in the organization’s history.
It was the same odds the Westgate LV SuperBook had the Lynx at when they opened on Dec. 14. The facility has since upgraded them to 6/5.
The next team is Minnesota’s main rival, the Los Angeles Sparks. The Sparks lost to the Lynx three games to two. It was the same margin Los Angeles had when they took down Minnesota in 2016.
Dominant Two Teams
The Lynx’s slogan of Roar to Four came true for them when they defeated Los Angeles on Oct. 3. The team was down 1-0 and facing elimination 2-1, but won the next two games to clinch the title.
Minnesota has won in every odd year since 2011, but has been unable to defend their title in even years. They came close in 2016, but were thwarted when Nneka Ogwumike put-back the ball for the game winner in the final seconds.
Los Angeles could again prevent the Lynx from repeating. The team announced last week that they had resigned Tiffany Jackson, The guard came off the bench last year and should help give the team depth in the backcourt.
“We are glad that Tiffany will be playing with us again this season,” said Penny Toler, Los Angeles Sparks’ Executive Vice President and General Manager. “Her aggressive defense and rebounding will continue to add to our front line presence.”
The guard position will be a problem for the Lynx when the season begins in Mid-May. The team lost two reserves in the offseason. Renee Montgomery signed a free-agent contract with Atlanta and Jia Perkins retired.
The starting lineup will stay the same, but if the team is going to repeat it will need to get more help at that position. The draft is probably not the answer since the team holds the last pick in the first round. Free agency will probably be the best solution.
How Will Vegas Fare?
The former San Antonio Stars were purchased by MGM Properties and moved to Las Vegas in the offseason. They are now the fourth professional sports team to join the city, following the NHL’s Vegas Golden Knights, the Raiders of the NFL and the United Soccer League’s Lights. The move is widely rumored to be a precursor to the city trying to land an NBA team.
The newly named Aces finished last of 12 teams last year and opened as a 100/1 shot to win the championship. That was the highest odds and they joined the Indiana Fever as the biggest long shots to win.
But the Westgate moved them up the board three weeks ago. They are now at 50/1to win and have jumped over three teams. NBA Hall of Famer Bill Laimbeer will be the head coach and general manager. As the coach of the Detroit Shock he led the team to three titles.
Laimbeer acknowledged the team’s struggles but doesn’t think it will take too long to be competitive.
“Well, the team hasn’t been the best and that’s been quite the challenge,” he said. “It’s easier actually when it comes to dealing with the players. There’s not going to be a lot of player movement.”