The WNBA continues to chug along and the 2014 season will be its 17th in existence since starting up in 1997. Therefore, you can find their games and betting lines in online sportsbooks around the world. If you aren’t much of a bettor or haven’t wagered on sports in a long time, you may need a refresher. 

Look no further, as we will give you an explanation of three simple betting terms that you will come across.

Point Spread

When you are betting on the point spread, you might see a number with a minus (-) in front of it or a number with a plus (+). That minus sign signifies which team has been named the favorite by the sportsbook. If you are looking in the WNBA section of the sportsbook, you might see something like this:

Los Angeles Sparks (-7)

New York Liberty (+7)

This means the odds makers have favored Los Angeles to beat New York by eight points or more to cover the point spread. If they win by just seven points, that would result in a push (or a tie).

That would put New York at +7 and that means they have to lose by six or fewer points, or even win outright to cover their point spread. If the margin is seven, that will also result in a push but many sportsbooks will set their point spread to a half-point (6.5 or 7.5, for example) to prevent this.  

Money Line

Whereas you are betting on margins of victory (or losses) when it comes to point spreads, you only have to worry about winning and losing – period – if you are betting on the money line. Winning outright (or straight up, as you may see it referred to as) is the only factor in your wager, but you will see it displayed in a different way, although this also requires plus and minus signs. 

You could run across a game between Minnesota and Chicago, and you will see something like this: 

Chicago Sky (-150)

Minnesota Lynx (+130)

Like the point spread, the favorite will be shown by the minus sign and in this case, -150 means you have to wager $150 to win $100 on Chicago. On the flip side, you would win $130 if you wager $100 on Minnesota as they are the underdogs in this WNBA matchup. Of course, you don’t have to wager $100 every time; the money amounts are adjusted accordingly.

The outcome is the only thing you have to deal with in regards to money line betting. 


The name says it all if you are looking into total betting. The sportsbooks will set a number which they think will be the total amount of points scored in a game and you have to bet on whether or not it will actually go over or under said total. Let’s say the Phoenix Mercury are playing the San Antonio Silver Stars and there is a total set for 165 points. You have to decide if you think the final score will fall over or under 165 points. As with the point spread, you will see games set to a half-point to prevent a push.