The WNBA Draft is here.
This year’s draft will be the first time that the event is taking place remotely. It also has the distinction of being the first virtual professional sports draft, coming a week before the NFL Draft on April 23.
The draft normally takes place at Nike’s New York City headquarters. However, COVID-19 has made that impossible this time around.
Since NYC has been the epicenter of the pandemic in the US, WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert elected to move things to a remote setting. This will be Engelbert’s first draft as commissioner of the league.
Betting on the top two WNBA Draft picks
The format for the draft is different than how the NBA runs things. The WNBA Draft has three rounds with 12 total picks, rather than two rounds with 30 total picks.
Indiana’s sportsbooks have a pretty limited selection when it comes to WNBA Draft wagers. BetRivers, FanDuel, and PointsBet are the three with betting options.
Right now, betting is only available on the first three picks of the draft.
Oregon guard Sabrina Ionescu is the overwhelming favorite to be the first overall pick. She likely would have been the first pick in last year’s draft, but she decided to return to school for one final year.
Here are the odds for the first pick, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.
- Sabrina Ionescu:-20,000
- Lauren Cox: +1,000
- Satou Sabally:+1,000
- Chennedy Carter:+2,000
- Megan Walker: +3,000
- Ruthy Hebard:+3,000
- Tyasha Harris:+3,000
BetRivers also has Ionescu at -20,000, while PointsBet is the outlier at the -25,000 mark. The New York Liberty own the draft’s first pick.
The Dallas Wings have the second overall pick in the WNBA Draft. Satou Sabally, also from Oregon, is the favorite to join the team.
Here are the odds for that second overall pick, according to BetRivers sportsbook.
- Satou Sabally:-182
- Lauren Cox:+155
- Chennedy Carter:+2,000
- Tyasha Harris:+2,000
- Megan Walker:+2,400
- Dana Evans:+4,000
- Ruthy Hebard:+4,000
The Indiana Fever need to strike gold with the third pick
The Indiana Fever have come a long way since their championship in 2012.
The 2020 draft will be the Fever’s third-straight year drafting in the top three.
Despite having the third overall pick in 2019 and the second pick in 2018’s draft, the Fever still finished with the league’s fourth-worst record last season.
Those picks turned into center Teaira McCowan and point guard Kelsey Mitchell, who have both been productive players so far.
However, if the team is going to turn things around and escape the bottom of the barrel, the Fever can’t afford to blow their pick in this year’s draft.
FanDuel and PointsBet have Ionescu and Sabally’s Oregon teammate Lauren Cox slated as the favorite for the Fever’s pick. Here are the odds for the spot according to PointsBet Sportsbook.
- Lauren Cox: -240
- Satou Sabally:+200
- Chennedy Carter:+600
- Megan Walker: +2,500
- Tyasha Harris:+2,500
- Ruthy Hebard: +2,500
- Sabrina Ionescu: +8,000
Cox is the favorite for the third pick since she would give the Fever a formidable duo in the post. Pairing Cox with McCowan would be tough for teams to handle on both ends of the floor.
Cox is a two-time Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year winner. Her defense would help the Fever lock down the paint and make it even more difficult for opposing players to get easy looks at the rim.
Regardless of who the team selects with their pick, the team is certainly looking to turn things around. The Fever has a chance to form a big three here with their pick, so this draft holds a lot of weight for the team.