The Phoenix Mercury are a win away from advancing to the WNBA Finals for the first time in seven years. Despite holding a 2-1 lead in the Western Conference Finals, Arizona sports betting apps have the Mercury as underdogs.
The only thing standing in their way is the No. 2-seeded Las Vegas Aces, who dropped Games 2 and 3 to Phoenix, after winning Game 1 in Las Vegas by six points.
The Mercury and Aces meet at Desert Financial Arena in Tempe at 7 p.m. Arizona time Wednesday, with ESPN carrying the contest nationally.
Sports betting in Arizona launched on Sept. 9, making Arizona NFL betting and WNBA playoff betting legal.
Mercury Underdogs in Game 4
The Mercury still have a bit of work left if they’re going to close out the best-of-five series at home Wednesday night.
That’s the takeaway from sports betting operators in Arizona, at least, with Caesars, FanDuel Sportsbook and WynnBET Arizona all listing the Mercury as 1.5-point underdogs in Game 4.
The four operators list differing odds, moneyline-wise, with Caesars Arizona and WynnBET both listing the Mercury at +105, while FanDuel Sportsbook has them at +100.
BetMGM Arizona doesn’t list the Mercury-Aces game but gives Phoenix +240 odds at winning the 2021 WNBA title, second only to the Connecticut Sun, who are listed at +180 to win it all.
How We Got Here
The three-time WNBA champions dispatched the Aces with ease in Games 2 and 3, beating Las Vegas by 26 points each game.
The Mercury’s most recent conquest, an 87-60 shellacking Sunday, featured a dominant opening half, with Phoenix outscoring the Aces, 46-31.
It also featured a herculean performance from forward Brianna Turner, who finished with a game-high 23 points and 17 rebounds in the team’s victory.
Turner and center Brittany Griner were the only Mercury players to finish in double figures, with the latter scoring 18 points in the team’s one-sided win.
The Aces’ starting five struggled mightily Sunday. Liz Cambage was the only Las Vegas starter to finish in double figures with 13 points in the loss.
The Mercury also outshot the Aces, 44.3-to-30.9% from the floor Sunday to capture a 2-to-1 series lead heading into Wednesday’s Game 4.
WNBA Playoffs a Success Story in Arizona
Demand for WNBA Playoff wagering has been high in Arizona, according to a BetMGM spokesperson.
The spokesperson said the Las Vegas-based operator, which launched along with six others in Arizona on Sept. 9, has seen tremendous support in the state during Mercury games.
“We are seeing strong interest from bettors in Arizona when the Mercury play,” the spokesperson said in an email to BetArizona.com. “In Sunday’s [Game 3], 50% of all tickets on the game came from Arizona.”
Caesars Sportsbook Vice President of Trading Craig Mucklow, in an email to BetArizona.com, said the Arizona Cardinals’ strong start has put a crimp on WNBA action, but expressed belief the market will wholeheartedly embrace the Mercury in time for Wednesday’s Game 4.
“The Cardinals success is stealing the Mercury’s limelight,” Mucklow said in the email. “Once they dispatch Vegas, I expect their popularity for the finals will increase significantly.”
WynnBET Senior Trader Motoi Pearson said the operator has seen a steady rise in Mercury-centered wagers since the WNBA Playoffs began, speaking to demand among bettors in Arizona.
“There have been a handful of more bets coming in since the playoffs started,” Pearson said in an email to BetArizona.com. “Since we opened in Arizona, our uptick on Mercury bets has climbed. I expect to see more come in as long as they are in the playoffs.”