WNBA Best Bets Today | Odds, Picks for Sky vs Liberty, Mystics vs Aces (August 11)
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Action Network contributor and WNBA betting expert Jim Turvey joined host Maria Marino on the BUCKETS Podcast on Friday to break down the WNBA betting slate, including best bets for Sky vs. Liberty and Mystics vs. Aces.
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Jim Turvey: This Liberty team is 22-6. They're having a very good season, but they are tied for the second-worst record against the spread this season. They are 8-8 against the spread when they are not a double-digit favorite, and 4-8 against the spread when they are. The real drop-off comes when they are favored by double-digits, and this is one of those cases.
I am on the Sky today, partially because of those stats. The Sky are tied for the best team against the spread this season with a 16-12 record. This is also a really good matchup for the Sky. These teams played a couple of times in a back-to-back earlier in the season. One game was a very close loss for the Sky, and then they came to New York and won the next night.
They match up very well with the Liberty because they do a very good job of keeping teams from taking threes and shooting well from three. That's such a big part of Sandy Brondello's offense with the Liberty. They take the most threes per game and hit at the second highest percentage. This is a team that is very reliant on points from beyond the arc, and the Sky are really good at taking that away.
Technically, the last time they matched up was under James Wade, so we do have a new coach here. However, limiting threes has still been a point of emphasis for the Sky, which is why they match up well with the Liberty here.
This spread is a big number. I'd bet the Sky down to 11.5.
Additionally, prior to their most recent game against the Lynx, the Sky had scored over 100 points in three straight games. They lost James Wade about halfway through the season, and have now played 12 games under Emre Vatansever. Under Vantansever, they have an offensive rating of 105.1, compared to 97 under James Wade. That's a huge jump.
When you look at the numbers, no one category stands out. They're taking a few more threes, shooting a little bit better and turning the ball over a little less. It's all incremental changes that have added up to a much better offense.
Ironically, their defensive rating has dropped. Under Wade, it was 100.9. Under Vantansever, it's 108.4. Both of these factors skew to much higher-scoring games.
The Liberty have been increasing their pace as the season has gone along, and they've been scoring a little bit more. Their discrepancy is not nearly as large as the Sky, but they have been scoring more.
This is a game where I really like the over. It's already taken a little bit of money; it started at 166, but I like this up to 170.
Jim Turvey: The Mystics, at the start of the season, were one of the best first half teams in the WNBA. If you look at the overall NET ratings for the first half this season, they are +11.1, which is third best in the league. However, since they've started losing players left and right, they have a negative NET rating in the past month of -1.7.
The Aces' first half NET rating has been comical; it is currently +28.4. Every game, they are up a dozen at the half. I will be targeting this first half spread here.
The Mystics may look like a great first half team, but that's actually mostly from how they started the season, rather than what this squad is right now.