The preseason results are in and DING DING it’s game time! The WNBA tips off today and like a kid waiting to open their Christmas stocking, I can’t wait!
Which team is going to escape injuries, have a stand-out season, and rise to the top?
We went through preseason rankings available online from the best WNBA reporters in the biz and compiled the results below, including the betting odds for the Championship ring.
It’s still early (day one today! 🙂 and really no one knows. So, if you are a bettor you might as well bet with your heart, because we don’t have a crystal ball (do you Mystics?) and it could result in a big pay day at the end of this short season.
|Las Vegas Aces||5||4||5||5||4||4||4||+250||+375||+360||4.5|
|Los Angeles Sparks||8||8||6||8||9||9||8||+3000||+2500||+3000||31.0|
|New York Liberty||10||9||10||10||8||8||9||+1500||+1600||+3000||31.0|
Top Three Teams
Chicago Sky, Connecticut Sun, and Seattle Storm have a lock on the top three spots across the board. Not surprising as the defending champion Chicago Sky returns most of their team from last year and picked up 2019 WNBA Finals MVP Emma Meesseman. The Sun finished last season ranked number one but lost to the Sky in the Semifinals and are also returning many of their players from last year, including 2021 WNBA MVP Jonquel Jones and Alyssa Thomas (back from an Achilles’ injury). Then there’s Seattle, who have their three all-stars Sue Bird, Breanna Stewart, and Jewell Loyd that have all signed short (1-2 year) contracts to make a run for the title this year.
As much as I love Seattle, they’re going to have a battle against better overall rosters in Sky and Sun but they could do it if Stewie (arguably the best player in the league) stays healthy. Seattle would be ranked #3 across the board if it wasn’t for the confidence in them from the Gaming Society and CBS who have them as #2 (CBS’ ranking is after free agency).
Fourth and Fifth place belong to Las Vegas Aces and the Phoenix Mercury. The bookies have the Aces even higher (home town bias?), so I’d wait to put any money down there and see how the season starts off. Although, it’s never bad to bet on Becky.
New coach Hammon comes with a lot of pedigree and experience from the NBA San Antonio Spurs and was a top player in the league. She’s here to shake things up and has a solid team to get her to the finals.
The Phoenix Mercury’s run will depend on Brittany Griner’s situation, but don’t count Taurasi out. She has been in this league a long time (39 yrs old) and took them to the finals last year. While not always consistent, she wants the ball in her hand with the game on the line and has proven she can deliver.
Sixth is a toss-up between Washington Mystics and Minnesota Lynx. A lot of Washington’s playoff success will be dependent on Elena Delle Donne being healthy. If the 2018 WNBA MVP is in top form, they could be an underdog you don’t see coming. The Lynx have center Sylvia Fowles playing in her last season and still one of the top players in the league. Her team may rally behind her to give her a trophy on her way out.
Just Women’s Sports has the Lynx at #4 and we love to see it with the two Canadians on the team (Achonwa & Carleton). Maybe you put a few loonies down on this team as a random shot in the dark to win it all and get a nice 11x payout.
For the teams ranked eight, nine and tenth (Sparks, Liberty, and Wings) it’s a tough road to get to the top. The LA Sparks may surprise with the addition of Liz Cambage and Sports Illustrated has them as high as sixth place, but as Michelle Voepel at ESPN rightly puts it, “they do have a lot chemistry-wise to figure out”. As for New York Liberty, we didn’t get to see them play in the preseason as new coach Sandy Brondello (coming over from the Mercury) wanted to focus on gelling as a team internally. Brondello did take the Mercury to the finals last year and they’ll most likely make the playoffs, but this will probably be a stepping-stone year to a better one next year.
The last team battling it out for a playoff spot in July might be the Dallas Wings. Just Women’s Sports says they appear to be on a precipice of breaking out after some rebuilding years, which may happen but like the Liberty, they’ll need more time to get to a Championship run with their young roster.
Rebuilding – Bottom Two
Speaking of rebuilding, Atlanta Dream has a whole new look. Starting with new ownership, first-year head coach Tanisha Wright, GM Dan Padover, and #1 Draft pick Rhyne Howard. They did well in building the foundation of the organization over the past couple years, but aren’t a playoff team this season. Neither is the Indiana Fever, although they will be fun to watch with the batch of rookies from this year’s draft. Excited to see what they bring to the league!
Here are the links to all WNBA preseason ranking sources highlighted above:
- ESPN – WNBA preseason Power Rankings: Connecticut Sun start at No. 1
- WNBA – 2022 WNBA Preseason Power Rankings
- Sports Illustrated – WNBA Preseason Power Rankings: How Every Team Stacks Up Heading into 2022 Season
- Just Women’s Sports – WNBA 2022 Preseason Power Rankings: Sky, Sun Early Title Favorites
- Swish Appeal – WNBA power rankings: Championship DNA gives Sky the edge
- Gaming Society – Who will win the 2022 WNBA championship?
- CBS Sports – WNBA Power Rankings: Sky, Storm and Sun lead list of contenders after 2022 free agency
LET THE GAMES BEGIN!!!!