Aces vs. Liberty Odds
-106 / -114
-106 / -114
The New York Liberty host the Las Vegas Aces on Wednesday night at the Barclays Center, and hoo boy, a series that looked potentially dead in the water just a few days ago suddenly has mountains of intrigue.
Bettors here will likely know, but it’s worth leading with, the fact that Kiah Stokes, but much more notably Chelsea Gray, have both been ruled out for Game 4, with both players status for the series as a whole very much up in the air.
For an Aces team that rivaled any team in W history in terms of top tier talent, but also very definitively lacked in depth, this is harrowing news, and it means angles and options galore for bettors, so let’s not waste any more time.
Here’s how I’m betting the pivotal Aces vs. Liberty Game 4 matchup.
Las Vegas Aces
The loss of Gray (and Stokes) is going to hurt on both ends, but any time a team loses their point guard, the offensive impact is bound to be extreme. And in Gray, they lose a point guard who had played each and every game this season, and led the team in minutes played, due in large part to this team not really even having a backup point guard for when they were blowing teams out.
The Aces will now likely turn to Kelsey Plum to initiate the offense, with Sydney Colson potentially coming off the bench for backup point guard minutes—though she has played only 20 minutes this entire postseason to date.
It looks as though, the Aces may turn to Alysha Clark (no surprise) and Cayla George (definitely a bit of a surprise) to replace Gray and Stokes in the starting lineup (remember, they are also still without Candace Parker until further word):
Cayla George and Alysha Clark aren't wearing the grey pinnies usually worn by the bench players.
Presumably, AC plays the three, and Cayla George replaces Kiah Stokes at the five along with Jackie Young, A’ja Wilson and Kelsey Plum. pic.twitter.com/0jqFDzpIka
— Jackie Powell (she/her) (@ClassicJpow) October 17, 2023
That would leave the Liberty likely doing something like:
Plum — Vandersloot
Young — Laney
Clark — Ionescu
George — Stewart
Wilson — Jones
In terms of matchups. That would allow Stewart to roam on defense, where she was a menace in Game 3. It also would make things difficult for Young who struggled to shake Laney all day Sunday.
As such, if the Aces are going to close out this series in New York, it really does appear that Wilson and Plum are going to have to go bonkers — Plum because of her potential matchup, and Wilson because she is the best player on the planet. As such, if bettors are looking to bet on the Aces, I don’t hate a same game parlay of a game script going something like:
Plum 20+ points
Wilson 25+ points
Wilson 10+ rebounds
However, I personally am going to be on the Liberty sides of things from a straight spread/moneyline perspective.
Part of that is because the Aces offense at home versus at Barclays just hasn’t been the same this season, and they were coming into Game 3 looking to regress potentially anyways, based on their crazy shooting numbers we talked about before Game 3. Because of that, I am going back to the well with a play Maria Marino cooked up for us on the Buckets podcast and hit for Game 3: Aces team total under.
The line is now at 82.5, but with the shooting regression that came, alongside Gray being out, I even like the alt under available for this line at Caesars: under 75.5 +222.
If things get out of control early, Becky Hammon may well pack things in and save her now Big Three for potentially having to play all 40 minutes in a home Game 5.
New York Liberty
I came into this series with the Liberty as very slight favorites over the Aces on a neutral court. As such, I’d have made the Liberty -3.5 for the home games in the series. After Games 1 and 2 were decided in such pr0-Las Vegas fashion, however, I was a bit spooked, but watching Game 3, it’s clear Liberty -3.5 at home would have been a very fair line. Even before Chelsea Gray went down, the Liberty were leading, 69-61, in the fourth quarter, and had led most of what was a close game.
As such, if we work off of Liberty -3.5 as the baseline, Gray and Stokes being out — on a team with decidedly little depth — gets me to around Liberty -8. There is still a -4.5 in the market at PointsBet, but I also quite like the Liberty to win by double digits (around +200 most books), or even -14.5 +325 at DraftKings.
As for which players to look at on the Liberty, it likely depends on if George is indeed getting the start. If so, I’d imagine something like this:
Sloot — George
Ionescu — Plum
Laney — Young
Stewart — Clark
Jones — Wilson
It actually isn’t a terrible defensive lineup for the Aces, as Sloot has simply not been able to punish the Aces for basically ignoring her all series. But it does put a ton of pressure of A’ja and Alysha to clean the glass, since part of starting George is to get her height, but if she is guarding Sloot (shout out to Calvin Wetzel for seeing this potential defensive lineup), she’s not going to be near the basket as much.
This is such a fun game to preview because of all the different ways it could go. The Aces don’t have a confirmed starting five as of writing, but some snooping can lead us to assume George and Clark will be the two new additions.
With all that considered, the favorite play is Aces team total under 81.5, and the alt under 77.5 +222 at Caesars. I also like Liberty -14.5 +325 (we have talked about the snowballing effect between these two teams a lot and Wednesday feels primed for it more than ever).
I’m going to add Breanna Stewart over 10.5 rebounds here due to her likely matchup and her success on the boards the last few games. Finally, if the books give out Kelsey Plum assists, I would take over 5.5.
Pick: Aces Under 81.5 | Aces Under 77.5 | Liberty -14.5 | Breanna Stewart Over 10.5 Rebounds