Caitlin Clark Is No. 1 Pick In WNBA Draft: Media Stocks, Sportsbooks To Watch As Iowa Star Goes Pro

Zinger Key Points
  • Caitlin Clark was drafted first overall by the Indiana Fever in the 2024 WNBA Draft.
  • A look at the media companies set to benefit from Clark's first season and early betting odds.

Two-time national women's college basketball player of the year Caitlin Clark is the top overall pick in the 2024 WNBA Draft.

What Happened: Clark, who played for the Hawkeyes at the University of Iowa, dominated the stat sheets in the NCAA. She also helped women's basketball generate impressive television viewership.

The Indiana Fever now hopes that Clark, the team’s first-overall pick in the draft lottery, will help generate enough wins to get back into the WNBA playoffs.

The Fever had back-to-back top picks overall. But the team has not reached the WNBA Playoffs since 2016 and last won the league championship in 2012.

Struggles persisted since the retirement of former WNBA star Tamika Catchings (2016), according to ESPN.

Aliyah Boston (South Carolina) was drafted first overall in 2023 and won WNBA Rookie of the Year. With the combined star power of Boston and Clark, hopes are high for next season.

In the 2023 WNBA season, the Fever finished 10th out of 12 teams with a 13-27 record overall. The team finished last in the league in 2022 with a 5-31 record.

For the WNBA, the draft lottery takes the four teams with the worst records over the last two combined seasons and holds a drawing to see who wins the top pick. The Fever had a 44.2% chance of winning the lottery.

Related Link: EXCLUSIVE: Caitlin Clark, Taylor Swift’s Impact — More Women Bet On Sports, Women’s Basketball, DraftKings CEO Says

Incoming Viewership Boost: While at Iowa, Clark helped set records for women's basketball viewership several times during the 2023-2024 NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament.


This includes the NCAA Women's Basketball Championship game hitting an average of 18.9 million viewers on The Walt Disney Company DIS owned ABC.

The game peaked at 24.1 million viewers and the 18.9 million average outdrew the NCAA Men's Basketball Championship game (14.8 million average).

After only having 22 of their 40 2023 games nationally televised, the Fever will see the figure significantly lifted to 36 of their 40 games for the 2024 season thanks to the highly anticipated first season of Clark.

Media partners of the WNBA could benefit with Clark's debut season and the likely strong viewership that comes with it.

Disney will air eight games across ABC, ESPN and ESPN2, including the May 14 opening game. ESPN aired one Fever game last year. ABC didn’t air any games.

Ion, owned by E.W. Scripps Company SSP, will air eight Fever games for the 2024 WNBA season.

CBS, which is a unit of Paramount Global PARAPARAA, will air three Fever games during the season. Inc AMZN owned Prime Video will air four Fever games during the season.

NBA-owned streaming platform, NBA TV, will air the Fever 13 times during the season.

Betting Odds: Sportsbooks are enjoying a boost in interest thanks to women's college basketball games. Many reported record betting figures during the NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament thanks to Clark.

Several sportsbooks have odds out for the upcoming WNBA season.

DraftKings Inc DKNG lists the Fever with the fifth-best odds to win the 2024 WNBA Championship at +2,000. The sportsbook also has a win total listed at 21.5 for the Fever. That’s more wins than the team had in the past two combined seasons.

At Flutter Entertainment‘s FLUT FanDuel, odds of Clark winning MVP of the 2024 WNBA season are listed at +1,200. That’s fourth best among players. Clark is also the favorite to win WNBA Rookie of the Year for the 2024 season with odds of -950.

Now Read: Prop Betting On College Athletes Is ‘Enormously Problematic,’ NCAA President Says: ‘Is That Really What We Should Talk About?’

Image: Caitlin Clark, JD Scott-MGoBlog via Flicker Creative Commons

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