Mercury vs Aces Season Opener Prediction: WNBA Odds, Expert Pick (Tuesday, May 14)

Mercury vs Aces Season Opener Prediction: WNBA Odds, Expert Pick (Tuesday, May 14) article feature image

Pictured: Diana Taurasi of the Mercury and A’ja Wilson of the Aces for Action Network’s odds, pick, and prediction for Phoenix vs. Las Vegas season opener.

Mercury vs. Aces Odds

Tuesday, May 14
10 p.m. ET
Mercury Odds
Aces Odds
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute WNBA odds here.

The 28th season of the WNBA tips off on Tuesday night with four games on the card. One of those matchups involves the Aces hosting the Mercury as Las Vegas begins its quest for a third consecutive WNBA title.

Both teams come into this contest a little banged up. Las Vegas won't have its starting point guard, Chelsea Gray (foot), and Phoenix is without its starting center, Brittney Griner (toe).

Given the injury report, we've seen some interesting line movement, with the total dropping from 172.5 to as low as 168, while the Aces were bet up from a -13.5-point favorite to -16.

Since training camp tends to be relatively short in the WNBA, we don't often get a long look at these teams before the season unfolds.

As a result, it's essential to have at least some restraint when betting on the league this early in the campaign.

Phoenix Mercury

Phoenix is coming off a difficult season after finishing with the fewest wins (nine) in the league. Griner was the team's leading scorer, averaging 17.5 points, while Diana Taurasi was second in scoring with 16 per game.

Behind Taurasi, the Mercury had two other double-digit scorers, Sophie Cunningham averaging 11.3 and Moriah Jefferson chipping in at 10.5.

Jefferson is no longer with Phoenix after being traded to Connecticut for Rebecca Allen. The signing of free agent guard Natasha Cloud was viewed as a like-for-like replacement.

Phoenix also traded Brianna Turner, Michaela Onyenwere, a 2024 first-round pick, a 2026 first-round pick, a 2025 second-round pick and a 2026 second-round pick swap to Chicago for Kahleah Copper and Morgan Bertsch.

Thus, it's safe to say the Mercury are in win-now mode after opting for more of a veteran team with neither of their 2024 draft picks (Charisma Osborne and Jaz Shelley) making the opening day roster.

However, despite their aggressiveness during the offseason, the Mercury still had the fifth-lowest projected win total at 19.5 games.

You have to be somewhat concerned about how the Mercury put this team together. We saw a similar occurrence with the Phoenix Suns, both of which are owned by Mat Ishbia. In Ishbia's bid to make a splash as a new owner, his front office tends to overpay when acquiring talent.

Phone With the Action App Open
The must-have app for WNBA bettors
The best WNBA betting scoreboard
Free picks from proven pros
Live win probabilities for your bets

Las Vegas Aces

The Aces opened as +120 favorites to win the 2024 title, and that number is as high as -110 at some sportsbooks. It certainly could be déjà vu for a Las Vegas team that brings back many of its core players from a season ago.

While the Aces will lose some of Candace Parker's experience and leadership following her retirement, it's worth noting that the team played without the future Hall of Famer for more than half the season and still won the championship.

Signing Megan Gustafson was the Aces' big offseason move as her addition to their frontcourt is twofold in that it will also weaken her former team (New York Liberty) and the biggest threat to a Vegas title defense.

Unlike Phoenix, Las Vegas retained two of their four picks in the 2024 draft, with guards Dyaisha Fair (Syracuse) and Kate Martin (Iowa) making the final roster.

The team's ability to properly scout and identify talent is another part of its overall success.

Thus, the Aces seem to have the perfect blend of youth and experience.

Despite its many achievements in recent years, this group still has a killer mindset. And given this recent video of Kelsey Plum flexing her bicep muscles, the league is officially on notice.

This exchange between Kelsey Plum and Becky Hammon 🤣🩶

— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) May 8, 2024

Mercury vs. Aces

Betting Pick & Prediction

If I had to pick a side in this contest, I certainly wouldn't be taking the points with Mercury as underdogs.

However, I would much rather prefer to lay -13.5 with the Aces than -16.

As a result, my only solution would be to find a different way to fade Phoenix in this matchup.

Thankfully, bettors now have many more options as interest grows in the women's game.

The player props market is an excellent way to get involved in this game, as I'm targeting one of Phoenix's newest acquisitions to go under her scoring prop.

This will be Cloud's first season with the Mercury after spending eight years of her WNBA career with the Washington Mystics.

In the Mercury's two preseason games, Cloud averaged just 3.5 points. And while she understandably played fewer minutes, she likely doesn't have enough games under her belt to fully adjust to playing with her new teammates.

Even with Griner sidelined, Cloud will likely be a fourth-scoring option on the team.

Moreover, Cooper is a ball-dominant player because of her ability to penetrate off the dribble. Cunningham offers a perimeter threat, while Cloud shot just 29.8% from beyond the arc last season.

In comparison, Jefferson shot 35.2% on 3-point attempts in her final year with the Mercury.

Thus, while the Mercury front office touts Cloud's arrival as a seamless replacement for Jefferson, it's a bridge I'm not ready to cross just yet.

After shopping around, DraftKings has the best price available, with Cloud finishing under 11.5 points at -115 odds.

Pick: Natasha Cloud under 11.5 points (-115)

How would you rate this article?

This site contains commercial content. We may be compensated for the links provided on this page. The content on this page is for informational purposes only. Action Network makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the information given or the outcome of any game or event.