Dream vs. Liberty Odds, Picks, Predictions | WNBA Betting Preview July 27
Via Mitchell Leff/Getty Images. Pictured: Sabrina Ionescu #20 of the New York Liberty dribbles the ball against the Seattle Storm at the Barclays Center on July 25, 2023 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. The Liberty defeated the Storm 86-82.
Dream vs. Liberty Odds
The New York Liberty host the Atlanta Dream on Thursday night at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. This is a matchup of two of the top-five teams in the WNBA, with the Liberty in second at 17-5, while the Dream are tied for fourth at 13-10.
These two teams have been going about their success in different ways. The Liberty often blitzing teams in the first half, while the Dream have used strong second halves to collect their victories. Let's analyze that pattern as we bet the Dream vs. Liberty tonight.
New York Liberty
On the surface, Liberty fans should be pretty happy! They are 17-5, which in a normal season might be the best record in the league. While the Aces are an incomparable 22-2, the Liberty are off to an outstanding start for a team just brought together this year.
Their Net Rating is impressive at +7.8, and their Pythagorean win-loss record suggests they’ve only gotten a touch lucky (16-6).
However, it’s the nature of these games that has their fans (and bettors) a little on edge.
The Liberty have an 8-13 record against the full-game spread, and that’s likely driven by this pattern. New York has a Net Rating of +13.4 in the first half, but that number drops to -0.1 in the second half and -6.3 in the fourth quarter.
Part of that is the natural run of order when a good team builds such a big lead. The Aces also have their worst Net Rating in the fourth quarter because they often either have their starters out, or the starters are playing but with their feet off the gas.
However, it’s a little different between the two because while the Aces do inevitably let off a bit in the fourth, it typically doesn’t get close enough to worry folks. This is proven out by their 12-11 record against the spread despite constantly being double-digit favorites.
The Liberty, on the other hand, have a far worse ATS record, and it matches the eye test. Every game seems to be a dog fight in the fourth quarter, and for a team that wants to consider itself a true contender, this is a troubling sign.
The Dream have the opposite issue. Atlanta has a slightly positive Net Rating on the season as a whole (+0.5), but looking at just the first half, this looks like barely a playoff team at -4.6 Net Rating. It’s in the second half, where they are a +5.5 Net Rating, when the Dream finally wake up and win over half of their games.
The Dream have beaten the teams they should (10-1 against teams with losing records), but they struggle against the better teams in the league (3-9 against winning teams).
The best teams in the league this season have all been fast starters, and getting into too deep a hole against those good teams is a recipe for disaster for the Dream.
As such, the pick is to follow the script that has been laid out time and time again this season by these two teams. Expect the Liberty to take a big lead in the first half, and the Dream to come back in the second half.
I think the full-game spread is right around the perfect spot, but if you have a strong lean either way, you can bake the half into it.
I'm betting the Liberty -4.5 in the first half because with these script-dependent plays, it’s best to eliminate as many factors as possible.
I will likely bet the Dream to cover at the half if the game starts this way (and I don’t hate a bet on the Dream to cover the second half before the game), but waiting on the Dream side of the bet allows bettors to see that script play out in reality before actually betting it.
I also like the first-half over in this game, as long as it is under 90.