Caitlin Clark’s WNBA debut became the most-watched professional women’s basketball game in more than 20 years by drawing an average of 2.1 million viewers on TV and betting more than six times higher on Caesars Sportsbook for Indiana’s 92-71 loss |T

Caitlin Clark brings in 2.1million viewers on TV for her WNBA debut, making it the most-watched league game in over two decades

 

 

Caitlin Clark’s WNBA debut averaged 2.1million viewers on TV, Tuesday, making it the most-watched professional women’s basketball game in over 20 years.

Despite the 21-year-old point guard’s first league game of the season ending up in a blowout loss to the Connecticut Sun, fans tuned into ESPN2 for the Indiana Fever’s away contest last night.

What’s more is that Clark and Co. gained more viewers than two NBA Christmas Day games last year, according to Joe Pompliano.

Betting also was six times higher on Caesars Sportsbook for the Fever’s 92-71 loss than Game 4 of the Las Vegas Aces’ final victory over the New York Liberty in last season’s WNBA Finals.

Clark’s debut ended up being the most-bet game at Caesars over any WNBA game last season, too.

Caitlin Clark's WNBA debut had more viewership than two NBA Christmas Day games last year

 

Caitlin Clark’s WNBA debut had more viewership than two NBA Christmas Day games last year

 

 

 

Wagering on that game helped propel betting on the league overall, with the number of tickets up 516 percent at Caesars over last year’s opening night and the amount of money up 84 percent.

The Fever-Sun game also was the most-bet WNBA game ever on BetMGM, though specific numbers weren’t immediately available.

Clark’s over/under of 20.5 points was the most-bet proposition wager at that sportsbook in the WNBA and NBA. She scored 20 points, overcoming a slow start that included 10 turnovers for the game.

Clark was the second-most popular selection among men and women over the past week on the fantasy site PrizePicks. Only the Minnesota Timberwolves’ Anthony Edwards was ahead of Clark, putting her ahead of such players as Nikola Jokic, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Jayson Tatum.

Clark scored 20 points, overcoming a slow start that included 10 turnovers on Tuesday night

 

Clark scored 20 points, overcoming a slow start that included 10 turnovers on Tuesday night

The number of picks on the site for all WNBA games was 185 percent higher than last year’s opening night.

Clark has been expected to lift the WNBA to new heights, similar to what she did over the past two years in leading Iowa to the national championship game in back-to-back seasons. Her style was a big part of the increased interest in women’s basketball, with Clark willing to regularly shoot from the midcourt logo as she became the NCAA’s Division I all-time scoring leader in her four years with the Hawkeyes.

The Fever selected her with the No. 1 overall pick this year, but Indiana remains in rebuilding mode even with Clark and reigning WNBA Rookie of the Year Aliyah Boston. The Sun played in the WNBA Finals just two seasons ago, losing in four games to the Aces. They made the semifinals last season before losing in four games to the Liberty.

‘Disappointed and nobody likes to lose, that’s how it is,’ Clark said after the loss to the Sun. ‘Can’t beat yourself up too much about one game.’

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