Oh, man, Game 3 was unfortunate with worrisome injury repercussions.
We went 1-2 on props, which brings our record to the following:
- WNBA Season: 49-34
- WNBA since August 8: 35-17
- WNBA Playoffs: 17-11
- WNBA Finals: 3-5
Jonquel Jones smashed over 16.5 points with 27, but A’ja Wilson squeaked by her over of 10.5 rebounds, finishing with 11 to crush my under bet.
Chelsea Gray, who is now out with a foot injury, seemed potentially on her way to going over 15.5 points but got to 11 before the setback. (Kiah Stokes is also out in Game 4 due to a foot injury.)
So a long overdue semi-slump has activated, which we’ll look to break in Game 4 with these three player prop bets between the New York Liberty and Las Vegas Aces.
WNBA Finals Player Props
Jackie Young Over 19.5 Points (-113 | FanDuel)
Jackie Young will have the biggest scoring bump with Chelsea Gray out.
It’s very easy to say A’ja Wilson might have the biggest scoring bump, but with her point total at 23.5 points, I’m just not quite there, even without the Aces’ starting point guard.
Gray is a real facilitator who sets up Wilson beautifully and regularly. Gray being out means that Wilson will now need to get the ball from Kelsey Plum, likely the de facto point guard, and it also means that the New York Liberty could tighten their attention on Wilson, even as Alysha Clark spaces the floor as a shooter — but not a creator.
There’s one instance this season where one of Plum, Wilson, Gray or Young were out — an Aces 89-82 win over the Dallas Wings on July 5. Plum sat, Wilson shot 6-for-18, getting 22 points thanks to a 10-of-12 display from deep, and Young erupted for 28 points on 10-of-15 shooting.
It may not look like it in the Finals, but Wilson has quietly struggled against the Liberty in most of their eight matchups.
Young, like most of her teammates, was off in Game 3 as she made just two of her nine field goals. However, she has otherwise been lights out this series, scoring 24 and 26 points in the first two games on a combined 18-of-31 from the field and 8-of-15 from 3.
Young also might play 40 minutes, so expect the volume, and hopefully some efficiency, to get to 20 points.
Pick: Jackie Young Over 19.5 Points (-113)
Sabrina Ionescu to Score 15+ Points (+108 | FanDuel)
By Bryan Fonseca
I’m buying low on Sabrina Ionescu, who is still struggling from the field but should breathe easier against the shorthanded Las Vegas Aces.
Ionescu has been very inconsistent in the playoffs, but this seems like a good spot for her ceiling to rise.
Without Gray, Ionescu should have cleaner looks on the perimeter, and even though she finished with nine points in Game 3, she did shoot well from deep, going 3-for-7.
In the playoffs, she’s down from 17.0 points per game to just 13.8, and her shooting has dropped from over 42% to 39%. She was about 45% from 3 during the regular season but has dropped to a solid 40% in the playoffs. Additionally, Ionescu’s lack of volume is more to blame than anything else; she’s down from 13 to 11 field goal attempts per game in the playoffs.
Ultimately, we’re buying the dip with Gray and Stokes gone. Ionescu has scored 15 points exactly zero times in her last four games, her longest such streak in the season. Beforehand, she eclipsed the mark three times in her first five playoff games and in 10 out of 12 to end the regular season.
Pick: Sabrina Ionescu to Score 15+ Points (+108)
Jonquel Jones Over 10.5 Rebounds (-113 | FanDuel)
Once again, we like Jonquel Jones, but this time I’m playing her rebounds in another buy-the-dip situation.
Jones finished Game 3 with just eight boards and grabbed 10 in each of the first two games of the series, but this was one of the most reliable overs to start the postseason.
Before the WNBA Finals, Jones snagged 11 or more rebounds in all six of her playoff appearances. Now, the Aces will be missing Stokes, their second-best rebounder, which pits more stress on Wilson, whom Jones has matched up against quite well this series.
Pick: Jonquel Jones Over 10.5 Rebounds (-113)