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Caitlin Clark causes WNBA betting to increase almost fivefold

Caitlin Clark causes WNBA betting to increase almost fivefold

Posted on: July 10, 2024, 02:02.

Last updated on: July 10, 2024, 02:02.

Indiana Fever rookie Caitlin Clark is already one of the most recognized players in the WNBA, and that recognition is evident in the world of sports betting, with data showing that more bets are placed on games she plays in than on the average WNBA game.

Caitlin Clark
Caitlin Clark (left), the starter of the Indiana Fever, in a recent game. She is causing a rise in WNBA betting. (Image: Michael Ainsworth/AP)

Optimove, a provider of customer relationship management (CRM) tools for iGaming and sports betting operators, said in a new report that it examined “over 15 million bets on 43 WNBA games” and confirmed that Clark is driving increased engagement among WNBA bettors, and by a significant amount.

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Data confirms that Caitlin Clark is driving an increase in WNBA betting. (Image: Optimove)

Optimove has conducted a comprehensive analysis of betting behavior for WNBA games in May 2024. The results show that games featuring Caitlin Clark and her team, the Indiana Fever, saw an average increase in bets of 380% compared to the base game,” the technology provider said.

The biggest increase in attendance for a game involving Clark was when the Fever met the Connecticut Sun, but Optimove did not specify which game it was. The two teams have played three teams this season, with the Sun winning each time.

Caitlin Clark carryover effect from college

The WNBA’s popularity is on the rise, thanks in large part to big-name new stars like Clark and her college rival Angel Reese. Reese, an LSU product, plays for the Chicago Sky.

Speaking of college women’s basketball, Clark’s influence on WNBA betting is a phenomenon dating back to her time as a player at Iowa, when that team’s games attracted significantly more bets than the typical NCAA women’s game.

The 2024 title game between Clark’s Iowa team and eventual winner South Carolina saw “a 620% increase in bets compared to the base game,” according to Optimove, while the average college game Clark attended saw total bets increase by 540%.

The technology company’s “analysis of the 2024 NCAA March Madness tournament for women and the WNBA games played in May shows that individual players can significantly influence the betting landscape.”

Even without Clark, WNBA bets rise

While most of the credit goes to Clark and some to Reese and others, the WNBA’s notoriety and visibility in the betting community is increasing even without the league’s newfound star cast.

Even before the arrival of Clark and Reese, data suggested that WNBA betting was increasing, fueled by the rise of teams like the Las Vegas Aces and New York Liberty. That’s evident this year, as games where Clark isn’t playing still see a significant increase in the total number of bets placed. That’s consistent with a trend that emerged during the 2023-24 college season.

“The games without Caitlin Clark still saw a 162% increase over baseline,” Optimove concluded.