Liberty vs. Fever Odds, Picks, Predictions | WNBA Betting Preview (August 13)
Via Evan Yu/Getty Images. Pictured: Sabrina Ionescu #20 of the New York Liberty is introduced before the game against the Chicago Sky on August 11, 2023 in Brooklyn, New York.
Liberty vs. Fever Odds
The New York Liberty and Indiana Fever face off in a Sunday matchup at 3 p.m. ET on ESPN as these teams are roughly three-quarters of the way through the WNBA season.
The Liberty have won five straight and nine of their last 10 to put at least a little pressure on the Aces for that top seed, especially given the fact that the rivals still have two games remaining this regular season.
On the flip side of that coin, the Fever haven't technically been disqualified from the postseason yet, but they appear to be well on their way to missing the postseason for the seventh straight season–no easy feat in a league where two-thirds of the league makes the playoffs.
However, this season that may have been the best path forward, as it secures a top pick in next year's draft. Depending on if certain players declare or not, this could provide the Fever a franchise player to pair with Aliyah Boston and give this team some much needed hope.
So, with motivations seemingly pointing opposite directions, is this an easy Liberty win and cover? Not so fast my friend. Let's dive a little deeper.
Find a betting preview, pick and prediction for Liberty vs. Fever below.
New York Liberty
This Liberty team, for most of the season, seemed to be playing with its food a little bit. They have hovered around the bottom of the league against the spread all season and have frequently been susceptible to backdoor covers. They've had a couple of comically painful blown covers, including an eight-point win (8.5-point spread) in which they led by 22 (!) with fewer than five minutes to go.
As such, bettors will who have been loyally reading this season will not be surprised where we're looking to instead — the first-quarter and first-half spreads.
The Liberty possess a +12.8 Net Rating in the first half this season, which is elite in a vacuum but especially when compared to the Fever, who rank last in the league at -13.7. However, that disparity only grows when zooming in to the first quarter. The Liberty are +14.4, and the Fever are an insane -20.8. This has been a multiple-season issue for the Fever, who simply cannot get out of their own way when starting games the past two seasons.
However, the Fever have actually been right around league average when it comes to covering the spread the last two seasons, mostly on the strength of the backdoor cover.
Nonetheless, they truly do refuse to give up, and they rank second in fourth-quarter Net Rating this season after learning the art of the backdoor cover last year. Some of it is natural game script. If basketball teams get up big, at this level, the other team is close enough in talent to start to shrink that gap once the outcome is mostly decided.
If you are looking to bet the Fever, the best way to do so is to wait until halftime then bet them to cover. Some books also allow you to bet the second-half (or fourth-quarter) spread before the game, but waiting for this same bet until it is live allows bettors to insure the game is playing out in a manner that would best dictate this outcome.
Another way to bet the Fever today is to target the player-prop market.
Erica Wheeler's assist prop is out for today at 5.5. Wheeler posted 10 assists last game, but that has been an anomaly overall. In her last 12 games, she's only cleared this number three times, and for the season as a whole, her under is hitting at a 66.7 percent clip. This is a tough matchup for her against the Liberty defense, which allows the second-fewest assists per game.
Liberty vs. Fever
Betting Pick & Prediction
There is a notable gap in the talent level between these two teams, but because of the nature of the game scripts for these two, it makes sense to target certain derivative markets in particular.
I will be on the Liberty first quarter, as well as first half at a smaller unit size. If the Liberty do indeed jump out to a big halftime lead and you're watching the game live, it will be a great opportunity to bet the Fever on the spread, as they love to come creeping back in the second half.
On the player prop side, I like Erica Wheeler to go under an assist line (5.5) likely inflated by her most recent outing.