Last October, the Seattle Storm finished off a three-game sweep of the Las Vegas Aces to win the 2020 WNBA Championship. Now, Seattle comes into the 2021 season as the favorite to win its third title in four years.
The Storm come into the year as the +175 favorites to win the title ahead of the Aces (+350), according to FanDuel Sportsbook’s WNBA odds.
Seattle brings back core of championship team
Seattle will open its WNBA season on May 15 when it takes on Las Vegas. The Storm will bring back most of its key pieces for 2021, including last year’s WNBA Finals MVP Breanna Stewart and 40-year-old Sue Bird, who will be the oldest active player in the league this season.
|WNBA Odds (via FanDuel Sportsbook)
|Seattle Storm: +175
|Las Vegas Aces: +350
|Washington Mystics: +450
|Los Angeles Sparks: +600
|Chicago Sky: +850
|Connecticut Sun: +1000
|Phoenix Mercury: +1000
|Minnesota Lynx: +1700
|New York Liberty: +7500
|Atlanta Dream: +10000
|Dallas Wings: +10000
|Indiana Fever: +10000
Bird missed most of the 2020 season with a bone bruise, but returned for the playoffs as the Storm swept both of its series en route to the championship.
“I definitely take care of my body. I do what I have to do to be playing at a high level as an athlete,” Bird told reporters. “Things happen sometimes, and that’s what happened to me in the 2020 season. Knock on wood, I hope things like that don’t happen to anybody on this team. But right now, my health is great.”
Aces reload for WNBA title push
Las Vegas expects to contend for a WNBA title this year. Like Seattle, the Aces are bringing back all of their core pieces, including reigning league MVP A’ja Wilson. Liz Cambage will also return to the squad after opting out of the 2020 season. Las Vegas also adds Chelsea Gray from the Los Angeles Sparks and Kelsey Plum, who missed last season due to injury.
“It’s going to be tough and especially for us. We’re going to have that target on our back,” Wilson told reporters at media day. “It’s there, it’s always been there. We’re going to get everyone’s A-game, so why not show up with our A-game?”
While the Aces are bringing in lots of new players, head coach Bill Laimbeer says the added depth and talent will only aid his team in its WNBA championship push.
“It’s going to take a little bit of time to learn how to play with each other,” Laimbeer told reporters. “But I think our team is positioned well. We still have to learn to play with each other, how we mesh with each other.”
The Washington Mystics (+450) slot in right behind the favorites. The 2019 WNBA champions get two-time league MVP Elena Delle Donne back after she sat out the 2020 season. However, Delle Done is still rehabbing from three herniated discs, and the Mystics say she may not be ready for next week’s season opener. It’s also unclear if Emma Meesseman will rejoin the team after the Summer Olympics.
The Los Angeles Sparks (+600) and Chicago Sky (+850) also enter the season as WNBA Championship contenders. The WNBA season begins on May 14.