Wings vs. Liberty Preview: Stewart Prop Among 4 Picks

Jim Turvey breaks down the WNBA matchup between the Wings and Liberty and offers up a betting pick.

Wings vs. Liberty Odds

Sunday, June 8
1 p.m. ET
Wings Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
-110 / -110
Liberty Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
-110 / -110
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute WNBA odds here.

Sunday brings an ABC doubleheader for the WNBA, starting with the Dallas Wings taking on the New York Liberty at 1 p.m. ET. Both teams are off to winning starts, sitting third and fourth in the standings through the first few weeks of the season.

However, from a long-term perspective, the Liberty are still the far more respected team, and for good reason. Things started to really click in their last game, and it will be interesting to see if that success carries forward, as their offense hasn’t quite looked up to the level expected this season at times.

As for the Wings, they have five wins, but none have come against a certified top team, so this will provide another opportunity to get that rubber-stamp type victory.

>> Download The Action Network App to get real-time WNBA odds, track your bets and follow all of our experts’ picks.

Dallas Wings

The five Wings victories so far have come against: the Dream (2-4), the Storm (1-5), the Lynx (1-7) and the Mercury twice (1-5). Those are four of the five worst teams in the standings right now, and their three attempts to beat a winning team (the Sky, Mystics and Sun) have all resulted in defeats. Per Basketball-Reference, the Wings have had by far the easiest schedule in the W so far.

The Wings have been incredibly reliant on their mini Big Three, with Arike Ogunbowale, Satou Sabally and Natasha Howard combining to average over 50 of their 85.5 points per game and 24.6 of their league-leading 38.6 rebounds per game. In one sense, that’s one of the top core groups in the league.

On the other hand, it’s one of the shallowest supporting rosters outside of those big three with players like Veronica Burton and Kalani Brown far more on the sidelines when it comes to actual production.

That sort of reliance on three players is even more challenging when two of the three are not very efficient. Ogunbowale and Howard are both notoriously inefficient players, and 2023 has followed suit, with the offense actually struggling overall when those two are on the court.

It’s part of the reason that against good defenses like the Sun, Mystics and Sky, the Wings have sputtered. In those three losses, they have averaged just 78.7 points per game, and against the two most established teams, they scored just 74.0 per game.

New York Liberty

While the Liberty offense has scuffled at times this season (more on that in a second), their defense has been very stout. At 77.3 points per game allowed, they sit right between the Mystics (74.4) and Sun (77.8) atop the defensive leaderboard–two names that the Wings won’t love seeing.

The Liberty have held more teams below 80 than they have allowed to exceed that number, and they haven’t allowed more than 86 points all season.

In their losses, the offense has arguably been the issue, as they scored just 64 in their season opener and 82 in their second loss to the Sky last weekend. However, in their last outing, the Liberty offense looked the best it has all season as they reached triple-digits for the first time all season, dropping 103 on the Atlanta Dream.

Breanna Stewart did her part, of course, but Sabrina Ionescu really popped. The fourth-year guard has had a bit of a tough time moving from the main on-ball hub to more of an off-ball threat in this newly loaded Liberty offense. Entering the Dream game, she was averaging just over 12.0 points per game on just over 34 percent from the field. 37 points on 18 shots later, and now Ionescu’s stat line looks a lot more like we’d expect.

However, that performance came on an unsustainable 8-of-13 from 3, so it will be worth monitoring how Ionescu continues to fit into the offense. It may just be that because of her role in the offense now, there will be highs and lows with shot variance.

The Dream are one of the worst 3-point defenses, so the breakout made sense. The Wings are more middle of the road defending the arc, so keep an eye on how many clean looks Ionescu is getting.

Wings-Liberty Pick

In a WNBA season in which there have been some very soft lines, this line seems pretty solid, actually. However, I do have two leans, as well as a few player props to keep an eye on.

I lean towards both the Liberty -8.5 and the Wings team total under 80.5. Although Net Rating has the two teams around five points separated this season, there is a big gap in whom each team has played. This is another test for the Wings, and it’s not one I see them passing.

As for player props, I see Natasha Howard struggling against her former team’s stout defensive frontline. Bet her to score fewer than 16.5 points in this matchup.

On the flip side, I think Stewart should have a strong game against Howard and Brown, and I love Stewart to score over 23.5 points. .

Picks: Liberty -8.5 | Wings Team Total Under 80.5 | Howard Under 16.5 Points | Stewart Over 23.5 Points