The WNBA announced on Friday that the first day of the shortened season will be July 25th. The 12 teams have arrived at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida where they have begun training camp practices. The full season schedule has not been announced, but WNBA writers Kurtis Zimmerman and Howard Megdal are reporting on some of the details for the 22-game season.
The regular season will wrap up on Saturday, September 12th. The league had already announced plans for a traditional playoff series format, but has not announced any dates other than the July 25th tip date. Zimmerman and Megdal are reporting Mondays will generally be an off-day for games, although there will be one Monday used for games. No team will have back-to-back game days scheduled. Finally, games will run as late as 10 p.m. ET.
The report indicated television broadcasting was being sorted out, but for the time being the plan is for ESPN to air 24 games on one of ABC, ESPN, and ESPN2 over the first three weeks of the schedule. Additionally, CBS Sports has 40 games on their schedule.
DraftKings Sportsbook has not unveiled WNBA odds yet, but Westgate Superbook has some preliminary odds from late June. The problem with that is players have started opting out, shaking up some of the title contenders. The Washington Mystics have four key players opting out: Elena Delle Donne, Tina Charles, Natasha Cloud, and LaToya Sanders. The Las Vegas Aces are expected to be without star Liz Cambage. Back in June, these two teams were co-favorites at the Superbook, but will take a big hit when odds are updated.
Players are still finalizing opt-out plans, and we could see some big names potentially not even deciding until after they’ve spent more time in the IMG bubble. Add in potential positive Covid tests, and plenty could change over the next two weeks.