Like a tree falling in the forest, the WNBA will shut off the lights and lock the doors for five weeks during its Olympic break – but is anyone around to care?
The women’s pro basketball league is officially on hiatus until August 17 with the top talent in the WNBA headed to play for their respective countries at the 2012 Summer Games in London.
The break makes sense from a marketing standpoint. The fans that are going to WNBA games aren’t going to reach deep into their pockets (or purses) if the stars, who are best – if not only – reason to watch, are away at the Olympics.
For sports bettors, the WNBA serves its purpose. It’s a break from the day-to-day grind of the baseball season, which can quickly make a Sunday afternoon women’s hoops matchup seem like March Madness. And for those cappers who dive into the “Dub” head first each summer, it’s a major wrench in their wagering plans.
While this stoppage may seem like a pain in the ass right now (hey, you can always wager on the Olympics), it may be a blessing in disguise when the WNBA restarts in mid August.
Unlike the other sports which take breaks during the Olympics, the WNBA will not be limited to how much teams can practice. In fact, there is a league mandate that states teams can’t go more than seven days without a practice.
That means toilet teams like the Washington Mystics or Tulsa Shock can work out the kinks while top squads like the Minnesota Lynx, who send stars Seimone Augustus, Lindsay Whalen and Maya Moore to London, won’t have their full squad to practice with. The extra work in the gym could pay off in pointspread payouts for these underdogs in August.
The five-week break is also a huge boost to teams that have been bitten by the injury bug. The Phoenix Mercury may have Candice Dupree and Charde Houston ready to roll for the home stretch of the season, along with Diana Taurasi (who says she’s healthy enough for the Olympics), thanks in big part to the extended time off.
So, while we may take the WNBA for granted, there is plenty to look forward to in women’s hoops from a betting value perspective.
At least pay attention to the WNBA for the first couple weeks once they restart. Then you can go back to forgetting it even exists.