Aces vs. Liberty Odds
-110 / -110
-110 / -110
The New York Liberty play host to the Las Vegas Aces on Sunday on ABC in what should be one of the best WNBA games of the season so far.
The Aces, as we all know, are off to their historic 24-2 start, already sporting three different win streaks of at least seven games. They are currently riding an eight-game win streak and handled the Liberty rather easily (winning by a final of 98-81) when the two matched up back in late June for their first of what will be four regular season games (alongside a likely Commissioner’s Cup Final matchup and any potential playoff games).
The Liberty have been a touch inconsistent this season, with a 21-6 record (second overall in the W) that shines, but an against the spread record of 11-16 (second-worst overall) that shows that they haven’t quite lived up to the hype this season.
The crowd at Barclays should be electric, as the Liberty finally get their chance to host the Aces. Let’s dive into the odds and find a value betting pick and prediction in Sunday’s Aces vs. Liberty preview.
Las Vegas Aces
The Aces have passed any and every test they’ve faced this season, and we don’t need to recall them all here.
It should be noted, though, that in their first game against the Liberty, they took an early lead, ran away in the third quarter, and held on easily to close out a 17-point win. Looking over that first game, a few key things stood out:
- All five Aces starters were in double figures — in fact, all five had at least 14 points
- The Aces totaled 32 assists — 10 more than their season high
- The two teams were about even from beyond the arc: 9-of-21 for the Aces versus 8-of-20 for the Liberty
- The Liberty had more than twice as many turnovers (15) as the Aces (7)
- Breanna Stewart shot just 6-of-15 from the field, while Sabrina Ionescu scored just seven total points
- The pace was just 76.0 — lower than any team averages all season
A few things are now different. The Aces are now without Candace Parker, who had been playing on a fractured foot, opted for surgery and has been out the past month. Jonquel Jones, who had arguably the best game for the Liberty in the first matchup, has been much better since. The Liberty have increased their pace as a team.
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New York Liberty
So which of those factors above will be most key for the Liberty to flip if they are going to win on Sunday, and how feasible is each?
It’s very unlikely that all five Aces starters will be in double figures again on Sunday. Kiah Stokes has taken Parker’s starting role and she hasn’t scored in double figures all season. However, she has been excellent all season in her role, rebounding and playing elite defense, which could be key in shutting down Stewart again.
That being said, Stokes is not Parker. The Aces have a Net Rating of +24.7 with Parker on the court this season, compared to +19.7 for Stokes. Both numbers are insane, but Parker’s is clearly better, and it makes sense. She is an elite connecting piece.
As noted above, the Aces were able to pass through the Liberty in their first matchup, totaling 32 assists and posting a 64.5% True Shooting percentage. Both of those numbers seem primed for regression against what has mostly been an elite defense for New York this season.
As for the turnovers, this is a distinct area of advantage for the Aces. The Liberty have struggled at times in terms of turnover differential, while the Aces are the best in the league. However, the gap shrinks when we look at actual points off those turnovers and regardless, a 15 to 7 gap is due for some regression regardless.
Stewart’s struggles could certainly be a symptom of an elite Aces frontcourt, but it’s worth noting that 22.8 points and 10.0 rebounds against the Aces last season. She might not post her best games against them, but don’t expect only 16 points again.
Same for Ionescu, who averaged 22.3 points against the Aces last year.
Clearly, this should be a closer game than the last matchup. However, that’s accounted for in what is a 4.5-point spread, after a 17-point win for the Aces last time.
I do still think there is value on the Liberty, though. They had almost everything go wrong in the first game, except for their performance from the 3-point line, which can be a massive swing for them at times.
I lean towards taking the Liberty moneyline at +185 at DraftKings.
The play I like even more, however, is the under. The first matchup barely cleared this total, and that was despite 64.5 true shooting from the Aces and decent 3-point shooting from both teams. Stokes now replaces Parker, and if this game even comes close to the pace of the first matchup, this should be a great spot for the under (176.5).
Lean: Liberty ML (+185)
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