Mystics’ Elena Delle Donne Among MVP Favorites, But Virginians Can’t Bet On It

Posted on May 12, 2021 - Last Updated on May 31, 2021

Oddsmakers like the chances of Washington Mystics guard/forward Elena Delle Donne winning her third WNBA Most Valuable Player Award.

Not that you can bet on it. Not in Virginia, anyway.

The Mystics open the 2021 season on Saturday. The 2019 WNBA Champions host the Chicago Sky at Entertainment and Sports Arena in Washington, DC (1 p.m., ABC).

You can make a futures bet on the Mystics with the current 2021 WNBA Championship odds. However, VA doesn’t permit sports bettors to wager on the league MVP and other player awards.

Why you can’t bet on player awards in VA

The Virginia General Assembly legalized sports betting in 2020. However, as part of the regulations, some popular betting options in other states aren’t available to VA sports bettors.

As we previously discussed, sportsbooks in Virginia aren’t permitted to accept wagers on youth sports or in-state colleges and universities, including the Virginia Cavaliers and Virginia Tech Hokies.

But what about betting on the Mystics’ Delle Donne? The 31-year-old sat out the 2020 WNBA season due to health concerns and the COVID-19 pandemic. However, even with the layoff, she has some of the shortest odds to win her third WNBA MVP trophy (2015, 2019) this year. She’s available at +600 odds at both DraftKings and BetRivers — just not in Virginia.

According to the Virginia Lottery, which oversees sports betting in Virginia, restricted betting includes:

“Wagering on the outcome of subjective trophy awards such as MLB Cy Young, MVP, Heisman Trophy, etc.”

Bettors also can’t bet on:

  • The WNBA draft and other leagues’ drafts
  • The Olympics, including the USA Basketball Women’s National Team
  • Officiating/refereeing calls
  • Any injury-related or penalty-related player props

However, VA bettors can wager on team futures, including the 2021 WNBA season champions. The Washington Mystics, who barely made the playoffs in 2020 (9-13 record) due to a limited roster, are as low as +350 to win a title this year. However, DraftKings, BetMGM and Unibet have head coach Mike Thibault‘s Mystics available at +450 odds.

Want to bet on WNBA MVP? Road trip!

In addition to “EDD” (Elena Delle Donne), Washington offseason arrival Tina Charles is available in the WNBA MVP market. The 10-year pro and 2012 MVP is available at +2500 odds.

Also available as 2021 WNBA MVP candidates? Fellow Mystics players Myisha Hines-Allen (+6000) and Ariel Atkins (+1000).

So, what do you do if you’re just itching to get down an MVP bet on one of those players?

You’ll need to travel to a state that has legal sports betting and also permits league awards betting. West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Tennessee are options, for example.

Washington, DC, is out, though. Its two sportsbooks, GambetDC and William Hill, allow betting on MVP and other awards. However, as of Wednesday, they didn’t have markets posted for WNBA year-end awards. Also out are North Carolina (which has only limited retail sports betting) and Kentucky (sports betting isn’t legal).

Still, for your everyday WNBA betting needs, Virginia betting apps should have the daily spread, moneyline, totals and other game-specific bets you’ve come to expect.

Photo by AP / Nick Wass
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Dann Stupp

Dann Stupp is a longtime sports journalist who’s written and edited for The Athletic, USA Today, ESPN and other outlets. He lives in Lexington, Virginia.

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