Liberty vs. Sparks Odds, Picks, Predictions | WNBA Betting Preview (July 30)
Mitchell Leff/Getty Images. Pictured: Sabrina Ionescu of the New York Liberty.
Liberty vs. Sparks Odds
-110 / -110
-110 / -110
The New York Liberty and Los Angeles Sparks highlight a crazy-full Sunday of WNBA action, with all 12 teams taking the court.
The Liberty are likely coming into this game incredibly hungry after taking their worst loss of the season the last time out — a home loss to the Minnesota Lynx, who were playing without their best player, Napheesa Collier.
The Sparks, for their money, have won two straight, breaking an eight-game losing streak as a result. Both wins came over the semi-spiraling Indiana Fever, but it has drawn them into a tie for the final postseason spot as of now, so they have plenty to play for as well.
So, where does the betting value lie in Sunday's Liberty vs. Sparks matchup (4 p.m. ET, ESPN)? Let's dive in.
New York Liberty
I said this before last game, and it only seems to be more true: Something just feels a little bit off with this team.
Yes, they own the second-best record and net rating in the league. Yes, the potential best player in the league they brought in this offseason is playing like the best player in the league (or right there with A'Ja Wilson). Yes, Sabrina Ionescu has adjusted well to a supporting role, absolutely killing opponents off the ball, especially from deep. But no, they just don't look fully right.
On Friday, it was a home loss to a Collier-less Lynx that easily qualifies as their worst loss of the season. The Liberty have played with their food often this season, but Friday was one of those times it burned them.
Sunday now becomes a pivotal game. After each of their losses this season, the Liberty have bounced back with a win — often with a fully dominant win. Their average margin of victory following a loss is 16.4 points.
Plus, Courtney Vandersloot is set to return to the lineup today after she got a rest day on Friday. That's a huge deal for a team whose depth has looked far worse than it was supposed to be this season.
One other very notable trend at play here: The Liberty have actually been noticeably better on the road than at home this season. Their net rating sits at +5.7 at home, but it goes all the way up to +8.1 on the road.
Los Angeles Sparks
The Sparks just can't quite seem to get out of their own way when it comes to injuries this season. The team recently returned Layshia Clarendon and Karlie Samuelson, only for Lexie Brown to once again leave the lineup.
Chiney Ogwumike is still out for a while, but they have at least settled into a somewhat more stable lineup.
However, this Liberty team is a far stiffer test than the Fever were. They've have found ways to blitz teams in the first half all season, and coming off such a notably bad loss, New York is going to come out hot on Sunday.
The Sparks do, however, match up well with the Liberty in some ways.
Los Angeles forces the third-most turnovers, while New York is in the top-three in turnover rate itself. The Sparks have the second-best 3-point field goal percentage, and the Liberty take more 3s than any other team.
The flip side of that is the Sparks struggle to defend 2-pointers, which the Liberty take the fewest of. The other area the Sparks struggle in is allowing fastbreak points, but the Liberty aren't built to take advantage there, either.
Overall, betting this game is going to come down to how you weigh a team coming off a bad loss. Personally, I find that to be a bit too narrative-driven for my liking.
But I do think getting Vandersloot back into the lineup is a massive difference-maker for the Liberty and that there's something to this team doing better away from home, where the expectations weigh heaviest.
As such, I'm going to be looking at the Liberty full-game spread (-8.5), along with the first-half spread (-4.5), as New York has been a fast-starting team all season.
However, given how inconsistent this team has been (10-14 against the spread), this is a lean rather than a best bet.
Lean: Liberty -8.5 · Liberty 1H -4.5