Sun vs. Sky Odds
|Moneyline||+163 / -200|
|Time||8 p.m. ET|
|Odds via BetRivers. Get up-to-the-minute WNBA odds here.|
With the Las Vegas Aces having officially punched their ticket to the WNBA Finals, all eyes will be on the Sun and Sky to see who will meet the top seed in this year’s Finals.
While the Storm and Aces played arguably the best four-game series I can remember witnessing (truly), this Sun-Sky series has been a lot wonkier.
For one, there have been a pair of blowouts. The Sky won Game 2 by eight points, but that game wasn’t in doubt at any point in the second half. Then, in Game 4, after Connecticut looked done (especially on the offensive end), it came out with its best scoring output in any playoff game in franchise history and trucked the Sky by 24.
Each team split its home games and outside of Candace Parker, no player can be trusted night to night in this series. (And even Parker went three-of-nine from the field with five turnovers in Game 4.)
It would be really easy to toss up our hands and call it a day because predicting this series has been a fool’s errand. But we don’t roll that way, so let’s dig into the trends a bit, look at how the teams match up and see if we can at least get out of here with a lean (or the knowledge that we tried our best).
Article plays: 76-57-3 (15.8% ROI)
Action Network app plays: 203-182-3 (8.6% ROI)
After three straight games in which the Sun looked completely incompetent on offense (even their Game 1 victory was on the strength of only 68 points), they suddenly looked like world beaters in Game 4.
So, what changed?
From an eye test, it looked like they were moving the ball much better. There were several backcuts that looked eerily reminiscent of what Chicago had been doing to Connecticut all series.
However, going to the actual box score shows that wasn’t necessarily the case. Connecticut’s 22 assists were only a tick above what the Sun had done the rest of the series (20.3 per game), with their Game 1 total actually coming in higher at 23. And it wasn’t that they did so without turning it over as their 13 turnovers were right in line with their series average (12.7) as well.
The Sun only made six three pointers and their free throw attempts (16) were right in line with their series average (16.3). However, what they did do was dominate the paint.
The Sun scored a WNBA record 66 points in the paint and racked up a plethora of rebounds, tallying a 39-23 edge on the Sky. Add that all together and Connecticut’s effective field goal percentage (61.1%) was the highest it has had in a game against Chicago since 2020.
So now the question pivots from ‘how did it happen?’ to ‘is it sustainable?’
If I knew the answer, I’d be a very rich man. However, I can tell you this: That is the exact advantage I laid out for the Sun when suggesting them as a play before this series began. They have consistently been able to dominate the Sky on the glass, and if — to paraphrase their coach — they can make a layup, there’s no reason to think they shouldn’t be able to score on the Sky.
Speaking of which …
What is the counter for the Sky? Is one even needed?
If you go by the box score, Chicago didn’t have the worst game ever in Game 4, but watching it was clear — the Sky did that thing they have a nasty habit of doing where they just don’t give a full effort. It’s why I made one of my plays before Game 3 to be Sky 3-2 series exact. I felt they had established themselves as the better team, but knew they would drop at least one of the games in Connecticut.
In a lot of ways, the answer for Chicago is to just do what they do best — move the ball on offense and do just enough on the boards to keep the Sun at bay. It has still worked in 11 of the past 15 matchups between these two teams. It’s also important to note that the Sky are returning home, away from Mohegan Sun Arena where the Sun had the best home rating in the W this season.
Of course, Connecticut was able to take Game 1 at Wintrust Arena and is coming off a breakout offensive performance. So, I don’t think telling the Chicago players “just do what you do best” will cut it for James Wade and company.
They’re going to have to get back to team rebounding and playing with a little extra physicality to keep the Sun from getting comfortable. Win or go home games typically have slower whistles, so the Sky should put the onus on the officials to make the call.
The Sky are the better team, but will they show up? And just how big is that edge?
Sun vs. Sky Pick
If you have been reading my debut season here at Action, you know I love to make this section as complicated as possible … apologies.
BUT, if you have been following the advice of these articles, you are currently sitting on two opposing tickets — two units on the Sun (+130) from before the series and half a unit on the Sky 3-2 series exact finish (+200). A Sun win would be more profitable and that’s the position I want to be in.
However, I know not everyone reads every article and of course not everyone blindly follows the advice, so I will break it down as such. If you have no positions, I would bet a unit on the Sun moneyline at +163 at BetRivers (I would take this down to +155).
However, I see this game as a toss up. If you followed only one of the prior bets and don’t hate hedging, I think it’s a good idea to use that strong position to cover yourself.
If you did make both bets, I’d sit out this one. You basically have a Sun moneyline bet in the difference in payout and, like I said, that’s where I’d want to be anyway. But, I wouldn’t want to double my amount on the Sun.
Regarding a total, it’s just going to be a lean for me. I have wavered on these totals during this series, thinking I would be on the unders, but having been turned off by low totals throughout. The case is once again the same for Game 5, with the books not getting lured into the 184 points of Game 4 and instead set their lowest line of the series at 159.5. It’s a pretty sharp line, but with the possibility of a very close game (late free throws and overtime potential), I’m going to lean slightly toward the over.
Pick: Sun Moneyline +163 (to +155)
Lean: Over 159.5 points