The Letdown Factor in WNBA Betting

I took a few weeks off to get second editions of my two books out there on Amazon. I have to admit that I’m pretty happy with both. Books on basketball and football handicapping are up next. I’ll also work on getting the YouTube channel off the ground and some videos uploaded.

One thing I’m going to do is publish some sections of the football and basketball books here. Since I’m still working on outlines of those two, I’ll share a section from the WNBA chapter of the updated Becoming a Winning Gambler book.

WNBA Emotional Factors for Bettors

The traditional handicapping factors, such as revenge, look-ahead games, and letdowns are all there and some teams display them a bit more than others, as you would expect. But to see the emotional factors in action, it’s best to take a quick look at the 2019 season.

Eight of the 12 WNBA teams make the playoffs and the results were quite different when looking at how teams performed after playing one of the playoff teams or the four non-playoff teams. After playing one of the teams who qualified for the playoffs, teams went 115-151-9 against the spread, which is 43.2%, while teams were 77-53-1 after playing one of the non-playoff teams, which is 59.2%.

One reason for their dismal performance is that teams were just 8-24-1 ATS after playing Washington, who went on to win the WNBA title and were clearly the best team in the league when healthy. Teams were also 25-8 ATS after playing Atlanta, who was the worst team in the league and the lone team to not reach double digits in victories for the season.

After a straight-up victory over one of the eight playoff squads, teams were 44-56-5 (44%) against the spread and after a win against a non-playoff opponent, teams were 55-37 (59.7%), which shows teams had letdowns against the better opponents in the league, but not against the weaker teams.

I share that not so much as a system, but to show the letdown effect in action. It’s one thing to say teams are prone to letdowns but showing it in action makes it more clear and allows you to see it firsthand.

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