Liberty vs. Aces Odds
-110 / -110
-110 / -110
The New York Liberty and Las Vegas Aces square off in Game 2 of the WNBA Finals on Wednesday at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN.
Game 1 was a true tale of two halves as the Liberty held a three-point edge at the half before everything cratered in the final 20 minutes as the Aces ran away with a 17-point win. It was the sixth consecutive lopsided affair in what has otherwise been a very tight 3-3 season series.
So will we finally get a close game in Game 2? Do the Liberty have any life, or did the Aces solve them in the second half?
Let’s dive deeper on Game 1 and project forward with our betting picks, preview and predictions for Game 2 between the Liberty and Aces.
New York Liberty
The Liberty started fast in the first half as they made eight of 20 shots from deep and won the rebounding battle (with Jonquel Jones collecting a massive nine first-half boards). If you read/listened to any Action preview of Game 1, that was basically the cap.
However, even those stats can be deceiving. That 8/20 from beyond the arc was floated by Marine Johannes going 4/5 from downtown, with a few of her triples looking like the Harlem Globetrotters came to town (although if you’ve ever watched her before, you know that that’s the standard).
Marine Johannes is ridiculous
4 first half threes, all difficult shots, what a start to the WNBA Finals pic.twitter.com/TmCNXKrojy
— Teg🚨 (@IQfor3) October 8, 2023
In the second half, Johannes’s 3 went away, and the Aces seemed to put even more emphasis on the boards, and it led to the Liberty making just one of nine from 3 and collecting just two offensive rebounds the whole second half.
Effort seemed to be missing for New York. The Liberty were getting beat on back cuts, couldn’t stop the Aces from getting to the basket and lost the rebounding battle. It’s wild to say this about a Finals game, but it really did feel like the Aces out-hustled the Liberty.
Las Vegas Aces
However, on second viewing, it felt more like a few bounces went the Aces’ way, and then things spiraled out of control a bit–more on that in a minute.
If the Aces truly had this second gear, why would they not have flipped it in the Commissioner’s Cup Final? Per Her Hoops Stats, Game 1 of the Finals was the Aces’ best game this postseason by points per possession, points per shot attempt and Effective Field Goal Percentage.
On top of that, the Aces also had their second-highest Free Throw Rate this postseason. The Liberty defense is much stronger than the defense for the Chicago Sky and Dallas Wings, the Aces’ first two opponents.
This was also an Aces side running just six players. So while it is certainly possible that this Aces side has a second gear that they have saved all season for this moment, the more likely explanation is that they just had a great game, and that one half is not reason alone to move off of your priors.
And my prior had value on the Liberty.
That being said, I am not going to be betting a side in this game. I lean toward the Liberty, but I want to see another game before I will bet them again. I do, however, have several props I like.
The first is Kelsey Plum over 19.5 points at -110. Plum scored 26 points in Game 1 despite going 1-of-7 from 3. She is well aware that none of the Liberty guards can stay in front of her, and if New York tries out a zone, she is tailor-made to score against them between her 3-point stroke and slashing ability.
My second player prop is A’ja Wilson under 9.5 rebounds at -142. Yes, it is juiced, but I’m not sure where the books are getting this number. She hasn’t grabbed more than eight rebounds in any game against the Liberty this season, let alone 10. Even in a game where the Aces won the rebounding battle, she was more focused on getting the box outs that allowed other Aces to grab loose balls than getting the actual rebounds to fill the box score.
My final player prop bet is Jonquel Jones over 11.5 rebounds at -113. This is a prior that, even though it missed in Game 1, I didn’t see enough to move me off of. As mentioned, she had nine first-half rebounds and didn’t get to play through the end of the game because of the blowout. It won’t be for 0.75 units like Game 1, but I still like this over.
Picks: Kelsey Plum Over 19.5 Points | A’ja Wilson Under 9.5 Rebounds | Jonquel Jones Over 11.5 Rebounds