Sunday WNBA Odds & Picks: Connecticut Sun vs. Las Vegas Aces (Sept. 20)
Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: A’ja Wilson.
- The Connecticut Sun take on the Las Vegas Aces in the WNBA playoffs on Sunday.
- Both teams are stellar on the boards and finishing buckets inside, making Michael Arinze lean toward the over.
- Check out Arinze's full breakdown with updated odds below.
Connecticut Sun vs. Las Vegas Aces Betting Odds
|Sun Odds||+6 [Bet Now]|
|Aces Odds||-6 [Bet Now]|
|Over/Under||163.5 [Bet Now]|
|Time||1:00 p.m. ET|
The WNBA semifinals are finally here. The Connecticut Sun have earned the right to take on the top-seeded Las Vegas Aces after making it through two rounds of single-elimination games.
Las Vegas won both meetings by double-digits and outscored the Sun by a combined total of 36 points. Yet, despite its dominance, bookmakers decided to open the Aces as 6.5-point favorites.
What’s interesting is that in their first meeting, the Aces opened as a seven-point favorite, and the line closed at -6.5. In their second meeting, the Aces opened as 5.5-point favorites, and the line closed at -9.
While I think the Sun probably have an advantage in that they’ve already played two postseason games, I can’t say the current line makes much sense to me. The good news is that I’m honed in on the total.
Let’s go through the data to see why the total is likely a bit short for the opening game in this series.
Coincidence or Not
The Aces’ over/under record this season is 11-11 with an average closing total of 168.1, while the Sun’s over/under record (including their two playoff games) is 10-13-1 with an average total of 161.8.
Yet surprisingly, in the two games they faced one another, the total actually went over on each occasion by a combined total of 25 points. And here’s something else — historically when these two teams have met, the total is actually 7-1 to the over.
So, why does this keep happening? The answer is actually much simpler than you might think.
Winning the Rebound Battle
I’ve poured over all the traditional and advanced metrics, and I keep coming back to two things the Sun and Aces are better at than any other team in the WNBA: grabbing rebounds and getting points in the paint.
The Aces and Sun are first and second in the league in rebound percentage at 52.9% and 51.8%, respectively. They’re also first and second in the league with the highest percentage of points in the paint. The Aces sit at 48.2%, while the Sun are at 46.6%.
Figure this: The Aces and Sun have five players ranked in the top-11 for points scored in the paint. When you factor that in with their ability to get high percentage shots — and in some cases uncontested shots off of rebounds — the story becomes a little clearer as to why the total continues to go over when these two teams square off.
Let’s piece back together what we know about these two teams: The total is 2-0 to the over in their games this season. The total is also 7-1 to the over all-time when they’ve played one another. And both teams lead the league in rebound percentage and points in the paint.
I’ll add two more trends: When both teams have met with a total of 162.5 points or higher, the over is 4-1. And lastly, when a team like Las Vegas is the favorite coming off three or more days of rest with a total of at least 162.5 in the WNBA playoffs, the over is 11-3.
With that said, it seems pretty clear where I should put my money in this game. I like my chances with the over in this spot, and I’ll risk a half-unit of my bankroll on this play. And if you’re feeling even more adventurous, tease the Sun-Aces over the total with the Seattle Storm point spread.
The Bet: Over 162.5 (Up to 163.5) (Half-unit)
Bonus: Two-team five-point teaser — Sun-Aces Over 158.5 + Seattle Storm -2.5
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