Game 1 of the WNBA Finals was awesome … until it wasn’t.
And thanks to an A’ja Wilson under — look out for those in the Finals — we avenged a Betnijah Laney over play that fell short, which is a rare occurrence for her these days.
After a 1-1 record on Game 1, here’s where we stand:
- WNBA season: 47-30
- WNBA since Aug.8: 33-13
- WNBA Playoffs: 15-7
- WNBA this week: 1-1
I have three plays for Wednesday’s matchup between the Aces and Liberty. Here are my top player props picks for Game 2.
WNBA Finals Player Props
New York Liberty vs. Las Vegas Aces
Kelsey Plum, Over 2.5 3-Pointers (-128)
|Time | TV||9 p.m. ET | ESPN|
There aren’t a ton of Aces props that I have a definitive lean on this game. That’s probably clouded by me picking the Liberty to win the series, meaning you’d expect me to have them winning Game 2 and not returning to Brooklyn facing an 0-2 deficit.
But there is one angle I neglected in Game 1 that I think has value in Game 2: Kelsey Plum draining 3-pointers.
The Aces clearly found an exploitable crack in the Liberty defense in previous match-ups and seized on it in Game 1, particularly in the second half, and that’s the ability to get quality looks from deep against the Courtney Vandersloot-Sabrina Ionescu backcourt.
Plum only shot 1-for-7 in the game, but got many quality looks, and the volume was there for her to go over 2.5 makes. She’s topped this line three times in six playoff games — the three games against the Dallas Wings in the Western Conference Finals.
Plum has only shot fewer than seven 3s once in six playoff games and I saw enough in Game 1 to believe Plum hitting three 3s with that volume has value, even if I think the Liberty win this game.
Courtney Vandersloot Over 6.5 Assists (-113)
Vandersloot had six assists in Game 1 and that was in spite of under performances from Ionescu and Betnijah Laney.
The five-time All-Star has gone over 6.5 dimes in 13 of her past 18 games going back to Aug. 13, and in four of her past seven, if we’re only discussing the playoffs, which includes two near misses at six dimes.
I’m expecting a better shooting performance from Ionescu, whom I also like at over 2.5 3s, and similarly effective production from Breanna Stewart and Jonquel Jones, so I’m riding with Sloot to get us over the hump.
Betnijah Laney Over 15.5 Points (-110)
We’re going back to the well, even if it didn’t cash in Game 1, which in this instance, gives me more reason to do so.
In any Laney bet, I always point this out — over the past two months, anytime she shoots 10 or more times in a game, the over is cashing, and every time she doesn’t, the under . In Game 1, her over and under was 15.5 (16.5 depending on when and where you bet) and she netted 11. Why? Because she shot eight times. This field goal attempt to over/under correlation has been in lockstep in every single game since the first week of August.
According to my calendar, we are in the double-digit days of October (already!) somehow.
So why Laney over? Simply put — she hasn’t had back-t0-back games going under her total since Aug. 13.
As s bettor who took the Liberty to win the series, I obviously bet the Liberty to win Game 2 at this point, and as a result, I’m going with Laney to go over. Laney has scored at least 17 points in every Liberty win since Aug. 26, where she had 15 (then an over) in a 35-point victory.
If Laney is quiet early, I’ll be nervous, but by the numbers, it’ll be an abnormal occurrence. Odds are, she bounces back in Game 2, as should her team.