Aces vs. Sun Odds, Picks, Game 4 Prediction: Sun to Continue Finals Run (Sept. 18)
Photo by Catalina Fragoso/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Alyssa Thomas (25), DeWanna Bonner (24).
Aces vs. Sun Game 4 Odds
|Moneyline||-118 / -104|
|Time||4 p.m. ET|
|Odds via BetRivers. Get up-to-the-minute WNBA odds here.|
Just when you thought they were dead, the Sun did what they have done all postseason and overcame expectations to keep their postseason run going. They looked mighty strong doing it, too, posting a season-high 105 points and romping the Aces by 29.
Now the question becomes do they have two more in them like that, or did they use their best shot in that blowout Game 3 win? Let’s try to find that out.
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Las Vegas Aces
In Game 3, the Aces were beat on the glass (38-24), beat in the paint (64-26), and they were sloppier (14 turnovers compared to nine for the Sun). All of those are classic signs of one team being more focused and wanting it more than the other — a trope that I don’t ever use to project forward but do think can be useful when looking backward at times.
They talked on the broadcast about how difficult it can be to close teams out, and Game 3 proved to be just that for Las Vegas. That will again be the case for Game 4, of course, and it will once again be home cooking for the Sun, a factor several Connecticut players mentioned as being a big difference after a week and a half on the road.
In hindsight, it’s easy to see all those factors and retrofit a narrative onto that easy Sun Game 3 win. But did the Aces actually play all that much worse in Game 3 and were there actual changes the Sun made that suggest Games 4 and potentially 5 might genuinely be different than their first two losses?
As for the Aces, they weren’t as bad as the 29-point gap suggests. The Aces offense was actually pretty respectable (they had their best three-point shooting of the Finals, which is definitely something to keep an eye on), it was just that the Sun turned into literal fireballs.
Now, part of that may have had to do with the Aces not putting up the strongest resistance in the paint that they have all season, but the Sun have shown on several occasions in this era that once the train leaves the building on one of those games, there isn’t a whole lot than can be done to stop it.
In terms of the Sun, there was indeed one big change the team made, and it was in how they dealt with red-hot Chelsea Gray. The point gawd went for 42 and 11 over the first two games, and especially killed them late, with her 12 fourth quarter points in those two games being twice as many as any other player in the series.
In Game 3, the Sun decided to put DeWanna Bonner and her 7-4 (!) wingspan on Gray, and the results were noticeable. Not only did Gray drop from 21 a game to just 11 in Game 3, she wasn’t even able to get shots up, seeing her FGA drop from 16.5 the first two games to just 7 in Game 3. She did tally eight assists, but the move seemed to throw out of sync that up-til-now smooth Aces attack.
It wouldn’t have mattered regardless in Game 3, but it could be big in what should be a close Game 4, given the absolute work Gray was putting in on the Sun in the fourth quarters of Games 1 and 2, when she had more than twice as many fourth quarter points as any other player in the series.
On the other side of the ball, the Sun did what they decided to do in Game 4 of the semifinals against Chicago: They simply moved their entire attack into the paint. After having previously set the overall playoff record for points in the paint in that win over the Sky (66), they now set the Finals record for points in the paint in Game 3 against the Aces (64).
Suddenly the Aces, who were the third-best team in the WNBA regular season at limiting points in the paint, were seemingly over-run no matter what direction they took. Riquna Williams, who has been a key part of their killer smallball lineups was a brutal (and game-low) -26 in her 12 minutes, and while one-game plus-minus stats aren’t to be trusted as a means of looking forward, it certainly felt telling of the game story as a whole.
WNBA Game 4 Aces-Sun Pick
How I recommend this game is going to depend on your position. If you have no stake in this series yet, I do like the Sun moneyline here in Game 4. I may be sticking to my priors too hard, but what I saw in Game 3 looks sustainable, albeit at a somewhat cooler level moving forward (i.e. don’t bet the Sun to score over 100 again).
I even like the Sun series price at +440, although I am not going to add to my position since I am already positioned well there.
However, I have been flummoxed at times in this series, so if you tailed this column earlier and have a Sun series bet as well as a series over 4.5 games bet, I would think about hedging slightly. A half unit on the Aces is where I am looking personally. Again, if you’re not a hedger, all good. I just have felt this series has been confusing enough at times to want to mitigate my risk a bit.
All that said, I am going to advise here as if you are a neutral party. I’m also going to add in some player props since the books were nice enough to release them 24 hours in advance!
The logic on the Gray under would probably be redundant to lay out here, and the Plum assist over is a bet I have made all three games this series and is 2-for-3 so far.
Lean: Sun moneyline -110; Chelsea Gray under 18.5 points; Kelsey Plum over 4.5 assists