DraftKings: 2024 WNBA Draft Betting Handle Up Significantly With Caitlin Clark Frenzy

Updated on

DraftKings: 2024 WNBA Draft Betting Handle Up Significantly With Caitlin Clark Frenzy

According to DraftKings Sportsbook this week, the 2024 WNBA Draft had 322 times more handle and 150 times more bets than in 2023, as Caitlin Clark opened her pro career as the No. 1 selection by the Indiana Fever.

The sportsbook did not disclose the actual amount of wagering for this year’s draft versus the 2023 event.

Basketball betting sites like DraftKings were ready for the push, as the sportsbook offered three-and-a-half times more markets for the 2024 draft than the previous year.

Clark’s appeal brings attention to WNBA

Over the past four years, Clark helped boost the popularity of the women’s college basketball world, setting ratings records and attendance marks at Iowa. The two-time AP Player of the Year took over the all-time leading NCAA scorer crown from Pete Maravich this past season, and she nearly led Iowa to its first women’s hoops championship. 

Clark entered the WNBA Draft as one of the top prospects in history, and her popularity carried over to the draft. As expected, Clark went first ahead of prospects like Stanford’s Cameron Brink (Los Angeles Sparks at No. 2) and Angel Reese of LSU (Chicago Sky at No. 7).

Clark’s NCAA Tournament matchup against Reese drew the most betting for a women’s event ever, BetMGM and FanDuel told CNBC at the time. According to spokespeople, that game was topped at both shops and DraftKings by Clark’s finals loss to South Carolina a little more than a week later.

Clark and the Indiana Fever open their season on Tuesday against the Connecticut Sun on ESPN2.

Ratings, ticket sales up for Clark’s arrival

Additionally, the WNBA Draft shattered viewership records. The broadcast on ESPN reportedly had 2.45 million viewers, nearly five times more than the previous record set in 2004.

Ticket sales also spiked for the Fever. With Clark in the equation, Indiana’s sales are now 13 times larger than last year, per StubHub.

NBA draft lagging in talent, markets

Meanwhile, the men’s game does not appear to have as much momentum heading into its draft season. Observers view it as one of the weakest prospect pools in recent history.

That is also reflected in online sportsbooks. As the NBA Draft nears with Sunday’s lottery, sportsbooks only have projected second-rounder Bronny James draft odds available on individual players and bets.