Caitlin Clark Shoulders Massive Expectations Ahead of WNBA Debut

Caitlin Clark Odds: Rookie of the Year Odds Climb to -700

Brace yourself, WNBA fans. The wait is almost over. Caitlin Clark’s much-anticipated debut is just around the corner, with the Indiana Fever slated to visit the Connecticut Sun in the May 14 opener at Mohegan Sun Arena.

Expectations for the former Iowa star and No. 1 overall pick are enormous. She is a heavy -700 favorite to win WNBA Rookie of the Year this season, as well as +1200 for MVP. Those are the fourth shortest odds behind A’ja Wilson (+180), reigning winner Breanna Stewart (+400) and Alyssa Thomas (+1000).

Will Clark match the hype? For a better idea of her potential impact, let’s break down Caitlin Clark Odds for 2024.

Caitlin Clark WNBA ROY Odds

  • Yes: -700

Unsurprisingly, Caitlin Clark Odds have her as the heavy favorite to win WNBA Rookie of the Year at -700. They’ve climbed from -400 since the draft.

Clark is coming off a historic season at Iowa that saw her average 31.6 points to win her third NCAA scoring title in four seasons. She also contributed 9.0 assists and 7.3 rebounds per game while carrying the Hawkeyes to the national championship game for the second consecutive time.

In doing so, Clark cemented herself as the no-brainer No. 1 pick in April’s draft. The sharpshooting guard will step in immediately as a focal point of Indiana’s offense alongside reigning Rookie of the Year Aliyah Boston. Clark made a positive impression in Friday’s preseason opener against Dallas, debuting with a team-high 21 points on 6 of 15 shooting, including 5 of 13 from 3-point range.

Clark may face some difficulties adjusting to the professional game, but she is in a different universe in terms of expectations. If Clark even comes close to matching them, voters will have a hard time picking anyone but her to win Rookie of the Year.

Former Stanford star Cameron Brink, drafted No. 2 overall by the Los Angeles Sparks, has the second shortest ROY odds at +1200. Third overall pick Kamilla Cardoso, with the Chicago Sky via South Carolina, is third on the odds board at +1600. Everyone else is priced 30/1 or longer.

Here are the other longshot ROY contenders: Rickea Jackson (+3000), Aaliyah Edwards (+3500), Angel Reese (+3500), Jacy Sheldon (+6000) and Alissa Pili (+6000).

Average PPG in 2024

  • Over 21.9: -120

  • Under 21.9: +100

No WNBA player has ever averaged 30 points in a season — Diana Taurasi holds the single-season scoring record at 25.5 points per game in 2006 — so Clark would be hard-pressed to match her Iowa totals.

Projections have her averaging 21.9 points — down a smidge from 21.5 in March — and even that seems high. Even Taurasi, the WNBA’s all-time leading scorer, averaged only 17 points as a rookie in 2004 and needed three seasons before cracking 20 PPG per WNBA scores.

That said, Clark is a unique talent. Her ability to score from practically anywhere on the court is unmatched. Clark made 5.2 3-pointers per game as a senior at Iowa and shot 37.8% from deep, nearly identical to her career average. Most notable was the unlimited range she displayed in breaking the NCAA‘s all-time scoring record.

Learning curve be damned, Clark has the skillset to be a difference-maker from the jump. Clark certainly won’t be afraid to shoot, so she could pile up points in a hurry. Having strong post players like Boston and NaLyssa Smith draw defenders will certainly help.

Indiana Fever To Make Playoffs

  • Yes: -250

  • No: +200

Is the tide finally turning for Indiana? Oddsmakers seem to think so.

The Fever haven’t made the playoffs since 2016 — so long ago that Tamika Catchings was their top scorer. They went 17-17 that season and haven’t finished .500 or better since.

Bringing an instant contributor like Clark into the fold greatly improves their outlook. The Fever now have the strong shooter and scorer they lacked alongside dominant posts like Boston and Smith.

The Las Vegas Aces and New York Liberty should maintain their place as the WNBA’s clear-cut best teams, with the Connecticut Sun and Seattle Storm somewhere on the next tier. But after that, it’s anyone’s guess. Indiana, for instance, has the fifth-shortest WNBA Finals odds behind that quartet at +2500.

Anything short than a playoff appearance would be a bitter disappointment for Indiana. A top-8 finish doesn’t seem like much to ask, barring an injury.

Indiana Fever Regular Season Wins

  • Over 21.5: +100

  • Under 21.5: -120

Indiana hasn’t surpassed this total since its lone championship in 2012. While it may seem like a high bar to clear, the impact of Clark cannot be overstated. She is a generational prospect with the talent to transform a franchise overnight.

To put things in perspective, the Fever is one of six WNBA teams projected for over 20 wins.

For Caitlin Clark odds, betting analysis, and more, visit Point Spreads Sports Magazine.


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