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Caitlin Clark Still in Search of First W Entering Week 2

No. 1 Pick, Fever Stumble to 0-3 Start in WNBA

The jump from women’s college basketball to the WNBA is a challenge, even for a player as accomplished as the record-setting Caitlin Clark.

Clark, listed by the WNBA odds as the overwhelming favorite to win the WNBA Rookie of the Year Award, is in the top 20 in the WNBA in points per game heading into her fourth regular-season game with the Indiana Fever. However, her 21 turnovers are the most in the WNBA.

Caitlin Clark Still in Search of First W Entering Week 2
Caitlin Clark #22 Of The Indiana Fever / Elsa / Getty Images North America / Getty Images Via Afp

Even though Clark is the highest-scoring rookie in the WNBA and one of three rookies to average at least 10 points, there has been plenty of attention focused on her struggles. That was especially true when Clark had 10 turnovers in her first regular-season game.

The WNBA betting lines list Indiana as a 6½-point underdog heading into the rematch with the Connecticut Sun.

Indiana is tied for fifth at +2000 in the WNBA championship odds.

 

Caitlin Clark in Select Company

Clark already has more combined points in her first three games than former No. 1 overall picks Angel McCoughtry, Jewell Loyd, Kelsey Plum and Jackie Young had through their first four games in the regular season.

Dating back to Diana Taurasi in 2004, the No. 1 overall selection with the most points through four games was Seimone Augustus with 85 in 2006 followed by Taurasi with 83 in 2004 and Rhyne Howard with 83.

 

 


Clark would need 26 points to match the scoring total through four games of Candace Parker, who made WNBA history in 2008 by becoming the first and only WNBA player to be named the Rookie of the Year and Most Valuable Player in the same season.

Not all of Clark’s numbers are impressive. Among the last 12 players to be taken first overall and to have at least 50 points through the first four games before Clark debuted in the WNBA, the highest turnover total was 12 by Parker. Clark already has 21 turnovers.

Clark is making 40% of her shots and only Angel McCoughtry, Jewell Loyd, Kelsey Plum and Rhyne Howard had lower field-goal percentages among the prominent former No. 1 picks in the last 20 years.

 

Trying to Live Up to the No. 1 Hype

Diana Taurasi, Candace Parker, Maya Moore, Breanna Stewart, A’ja Wilson and Sabrina Ionescu are among the former No. 1 picks to come into the WNBA with plenty of buzz. However, none of them have received as much attention as Clark this early in their professional careers.

Clark averaged 31.6 points, 7.4 rebounds and 8.9 assists last season at Iowa. She shot 45.5% from the field, made 201 3-pointers while connecting on 37.8% of her shots from distance, and converted on 86% of her foul shots.

In 139 career games at Iowa, Clark averaged 28.4 points, 7.1 rebounds and 8.2 assists as she led the Hawkeyes to back-to-back national title games.

Her biggest impact is coming off the court as her popularity has generated unprecedented interest in the WNBA. Multiple teams have moved Indiana games to large arenas to accommodate the increased demand in tickets thanks to Caitlin Clark’s impact.

Clark came into the season priced at -125 by the BetUS sportsbook odds to have at least 130 3-pointers during the regular season. At her current pace, she would finish with 120 3-points. She was also at  +300 to have a 3-pointer in every game in the regular season as a rookie.

Clark has flirted with triple-doubles in her last two games with nine points, seven rebounds and six assists in a loss to the New York Liberty. In the rematch two days later, Clark had 22 points, six rebounds and eight assists. There are +250 odds for Clark to have at least five triple-doubles in the regular season.

Indiana has missed the playoffs in each of the last seven seasons and won 25% of its games during that span. The last winning season for the Fever came in 2015.

There were -300 odds for Indiana to make the playoffs and -110 odds for the Fever to go over 20½ wins during the regular season.

 

 

Some other WNBA betting numbers to consider: +265 odds for Clark to average at least 20 points per game while Indiana wins a minimum of 22 regular-season games. The number jumps to +450 for Clark to put up 25 points per game and Indiana to hit the 22-win mark.

The Indiana franchise record for wins in the regular season is 22 – set during the 2009 and 2012 seasons when the WNBA had a 34-game schedule.

 

What’s Up Next for Clark, Fever?

Indiana welcomes the Connecticut Sun to town in a rematch of the season opener, when Clark was 5-for-15 from the field with 10 turnovers. The Vegas WNBA odds have Indiana listed as the home underdog in this matchup.

Clark and Indiana showed some progress in the second game of a back-to-back with the New York Liberty. Indiana covered the spread for the first game this season in the 91-80 loss to New York and the Fever looks to not only cover yet again, but to win its first game of the 2024 regular season.

It is a busy week for Clark and the Fever with road games against the Seattle Storm on Wednesday, against the Los Angeles Sparks on Friday and versus the two-time defending WNBA champion Las Vegas Aces.

All three games on the road trip will be available on WNBA League Pass. The Los Angeles game will also air on ION with NBA TV televising the matchup with the Aces. That came will feature two of the top four players in the odds to be the WNBA regular-season MVP.

Clark is fourth at +1200 in the MVP odds while Wilson is the leader to be the MVP, according to the Las Vegas odds.

 

 

Questions of the Day

Did Caitlin Clark's team ever lose three games in a row during her four seasons at the University of Iowa?


Iowa didn’t lose back-to-back games in Caitlin Clark’s last three seasons. As a freshman, the Hawkeyes lost back-to-back games twice but never dropped three games in a row.

How many Indiana Fever players have been named the WNBA Rookie of the Year?


Tamika Catchings was the WNBA Rookie of the Year in 2002 while Aliyah Boston won the award in 2023.

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