Connect with us

WNBA

2022 WNBA Playoffs Preview – Format Overview, Schedule and Betting Odds for First Round Matchups

With a full 36-game regular season in the books, the 2022 WNBA Playoffs are set to begin tonight. Over the coming weeks, eight teams will have a chance to make history. This year, perhaps more than ever, the WNBA Playoffs have taken on a wide-open feel. Sure, some teams qualified with sub-.500 records and are viewed as massive underdogs in their respective First Round series. However, the gap between the 1-seed and the 8-seed in the final standings was only 11 games. If we learned anything at all from the regular season, it’s that anybody can beat anybody on any given night in the WNBA this year!

Thanks to this perceived level of parity, fans are in for what should be a thrilling postseason. Of course, this also marks the first year of the league’s newly-expanded First Round. The new format enables the 2022 WNBA Playoffs to take on a true bracket shape.

The following includes all sorts of vital information to help get you set for the WNBA Playoffs. Included is a look at the new playoff format, the complete 2022 WNBA Playoffs schedule for the opening round, all game dates and start times that have been announced and even the outright betting odds to win each of the four First Round series.

2022 WNBA Playoffs schedule format game dates start times how to watch matchups
Credit: Khoi Ton/NBAE via Getty Images

Overview of New 2022 WNBA Playoffs Format Changes

For the past few years, the top two seeds in the WNBA Playoffs have received a double-bye directly to the semifinals. In addition, the 3- and 4-seeds have received a single bye into the Second Round. The early rounds have also taken on a true win-or-go-home nature with all games being single elimination. Not until the semifinals under the previous format were actual best-of-five series contested.

Starting with the 2022 WNBA Playoffs, the league is ushering in an updated postseason format. Gone are the byes that were previously awarded to the top two teams in the regular season standings. Now, all eight playoff teams will take part in the First Round. Furthermore, the opening round has gone from being single elimination to now featuring four best-of-three series matchups.

Higher Seeds Host Games 1 AND 2 in First Round

As one might expect, each First Round matchup is determined based on the season standings. The 1-seed will face the 8-seed, the 2-seed will match up with the 7-seed and so on. One important thing to note about these First Round series is that the higher-seeded team hosts each of the first two games. Meanwhile, the lower seed gets to host a possible third and decisive game. Thus, the lower seeds effectively need to win once on their opponents’ court in order to host a Game 3.

WNBA Playoffs Will Not Reseed After First Round Matchups

Concerning the updated WNBA Playoffs format and schedule, it’s also worth noting that there is no reseeding after the First Round. This means that the bracket will hold firm going into the Semifinal Round regardless of the First Round series outcomes. So, even if the 7-seed upsets the 2-seed in their First Round series, they will still play the winner of the 6 vs. 3 series. At the same time, the 1-seed will face the winner of the 5 vs. 4 matchup in the semifinals even if a lower-seeded team advances past the First Round.

2022 WNBA Playoffs Schedule, First Round Game Dates, Start Times and How to Watch

(8) Phoenix Mercury vs. (1) Las Vegas Aces

Game 1 — at Las Vegas

  • Date: Wednesday, 8/17
  • Start Time: 10 PM EST
  • Coverage: ESPN

Game 2 — at Las Vegas

  • Date: Saturday, 8/20
  • Start Time: 9 PM EST
  • Coverage: ESPN2

Game 3 (if necessary) — at Phoenix

  • Date: Tuesday, 8/23
  • Start Time: TBD
  • Coverage: TBD

(7) New York Liberty vs. (2) Chicago Sky

Game 1 — at Chicago

  • Date: Wednesday, 8/17
  • Start Time: 8 PM EST
  • Coverage: ESPN2

Game 2 — at Chicago

  • Date: Saturday, 8/20
  • Start Time: 12 PM EST
  • Coverage: ESPN

Game 3 (if necessary) — at New York

  • Date: Tuesday, 8/23
  • Start Time: TBD
  • Coverage: TBD

(6) Dallas Wings vs. (3) Connecticut Sun

Game 1 — at Connecticut

  • Date: Thursday, 8/18
  • Start Time: 8 PM EST
  • Coverage: ESPNU & NBA TV

Game 2 — at Connecticut

  • Date: Sunday, 8/21
  • Start Time: 12 PM EST
  • Coverage: ABC

Game 3 (if necessary) — at Dallas

  • Date: Wednesday, 8/24
  • Start Time: TBD
  • Coverage: TBD

(5) Washington Mystics vs. (4) Seattle Storm

Game 1 — at Seattle

  • Date: Thursday, 8/18
  • Start Time: 10 PM EST
  • Coverage: ESPN2

Game 2 — at Seattle

  • Date: Sunday, 8/21
  • Start Time: 4 PM EST
  • Coverage: ESPN

Game 3 (if necessary) — at Washington

  • Date: Wednesday, 8/24
  • Start Time: TBD
  • Coverage: TBD
2022 WNBA Playoffs schedule format how to watch start times matchups
Credit: Ethan Miller/Getty Images

WNBA Betting Odds to Win Each First Round Series

All WNBA betting odds are taken from BetOnline Sportsbook.

Mercury vs Aces Series Odds

  • PHX: (+1250)
  • LV: (-2500)

Liberty vs Sky Series Odds

  • NY: (+395)
  • CHI: (-500)

Wings vs Sun Series Odds

  • DAL: (+550)
  • CON: (-800)

Mystics vs Storm Series Odds

  • WAS: (+140)
  • SEA (-160)

Follow us on all of our social channels! Check out our Twitter, Facebook and YouTube for more great FlurrySports content.

Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

More in WNBA