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WNBA Odds, Picks & Predictions: 3 Best Bets for Thursday, Including Aces vs. Liberty, Sky vs. Mercury & Fever vs. Sparks (June 3)

WNBA Odds, Picks & Predictions: 3 Best Bets for Thursday, Including Aces vs. Liberty, Sky vs. Mercury & Fever vs. Sparks (June 3) article feature image

Randy Belice/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: The Los Angeles Sparks’ Nneka Ogwumike and Erica Wheeler.

  • A trio of enticing matchups highlight Thursday's WNBA slate.
  • The Aces take on the Liberty, the Sky face the Mercury, and Los Angeles welcomes Indiana.
  • Michael Arinze has the breakdown on all three games and where you can find betting value below.

We’re back with three more WNBA games on Thursday after going 2-1 on official plays the last time out.

All four underdogs ended up covering the spread on Tuesday, thus improving their mark on the season to 25-15-1 (+8.5 units). Away underdogs have been even better as they’ve gone 16-8 for +6.96 units.

As for totals, under bettors have a slight lead as they’ve gone 20-19-2 on the season.

It’s important to note that because the league has only 12 teams, one team’s wins and losses tend to impact more clubs around them than you would normally think. That’s because teams have fewer clubs to hurdle when trying to get into one of the top-eight playoff slots.

That not only makes each game day more compelling, it also highlights the importance of situational handicapping.

With that said, let’s dive into Thursday’s games and see if we can find some profitable spots to take advantage of at the betting window.

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Projected WNBA Odds

Click on a matchup to skip ahead
MatchupTimeProj. SpreadProj. Total
Aces at Liberty7 p.m. ETAces -4.47168.91
Sky at Mercury10 p.m. ETSky -2.19161.13
Fever at Sparks10:30 p.m. ETSparks -3.85158.38

Aces vs. Liberty Odds

Aces Odds-8
Liberty Odds+8
Moneyline-335 / +255
Over/Under169.5 (-112 / -112)
Time7 p.m. ET
Odds as of Thursday and via DraftKings

Injuries & News

Kelsey Plum (10.5 PPG) is listed as probable for the Aces. She’s completed the league’s health, and safety protocols following her overseas return from qualifications for the Olympics’ 3X3 basketball tournament, Destiny Slocum (2.4 PPG) remains questionable with a concussion. Lastly, Angel McCoughtry is done for the season with a torn ACL.

The Liberty have upgraded Leaonna Odom to probable following an Achilles’ injury that’s kept her sidelined to start the season. Natasha Howard (14.5 PPG) will be out four to six weeks with an MCL sprain in her left knee, while Jocelyn Willoughby is out for the year after tearing her Achilles’ in a team scrimmage.

Statement Game For The Aces

Under normal circumstances, I would be all set to take the points with the Liberty in this matchup as home underdogs. However, Howard’s injury gives me a reason to pause because New York doesn’t have the personnel to deal with A’ja Wilson and Liz Cambage on the inside.

If we look at the game’s possible pace, New York leads the league in terms of tempo with 83.51 possessions over 40 minutes. The Aces aren’t too far back with 82.62 possessions.  However, the big disparity has to do with three-point shooting as New York is atop the league with 11.9 three-point field goals per game while Las Vegas is last with 4.5 per game. The Aces have also done a good job limiting opponents to 6.1 three-point field goals per game.

Look for Las Vegas to pound the paint against New York, where they have the advantage. Those plays generally take some time to set up, as that could help bleed some valuable seconds off the clock.

I think the Aces will be out to make a statement against a Liberty team that has become sort of the darling of the league. Defensive intensity should be at an all-time high in this matchup, and my model likes this one to stay under the total.

It’s important to note that the over is 136-144-3 when it closes at 170 points or higher.

That’s a net loss of 16.82 units all time. The total is also 4-0 to the under in this matchup when New York is the home team. I like that trend to continue on Thursday night.

Pick: Under 170.5 is the consensus (play down to 169)

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Sky vs. Mercury Odds

Sky Odds+1.5
Mercury Odds-1.5
Moneyline+102 / -124
Over/Under163 (-113 / -112)
Time10 p.m. ET
Odds as of Thursday and via DraftKings

Injuries & News

The Sky have upgraded Allie Quigley’s (7.0 PPG) status to probable after a recent hamstring injury. Stefanie Dolson (4.0 PPG) is also probable after returning from qualifications for the Olympics’ 3X3 basketball tournament. Unfortunately, Candace Parker (16.0 PPG) will be sidelined yet again with an ankle injury. It will be the sixth straight game she’ll miss this season.

Phoenix’s Diana Taurasi (15.8 PPG) remains out after suffering a fractured sternum, and Bria Hartley is out indefinitely as she continues her rehab for a torn ACL last August.

Tricky Spot For Home-and-Home

The Sky and Mercury play a home-and-home series, with Thursday’s rematch taking place this time in Phoenix. I highlighted Kia Nurse as a player to watch for the Mercury with Taurasi currently sidelined in my preview of Tuesday’s meeting.

While my handicap had a lean to the Sky if Parker suited up, I failed to mention that I would be backing the Mercury if she was ruled out.

That’s exactly what I did, and Nurse played a role in cashing that ticket for me.



— The Action Network (@ActionNetworkHQ) June 2, 2021

I’d be lying if I said I didn’t see her sinking this game-winner. OK, I am lying. However, I do feel somewhat responsible after giving her a shoutout.

But if I can recollect myself and get back to handicapping this game, I probably don’t want to try my luck with the Mercury for a second straight game against the very same opponent.

Since I’m likely to punt on a side in this matchup, I’d probably look to the total instead, which opened at 164. Yet, my model projects the number to be closer to 161.13. Once again, the line is moving in my direction, and while I have a lean to the under, for some reason, it’s not my best read on the board. I’ll likely still end up playing it but perhaps at a fraction of my normal stake.

If I’m honest, both teams are missing their star players, and it wouldn’t surprise me if this game went to overtime. That’s probably the reason for my slight hesitation at the moment.

I’ll add one final point in that the under is on a 5-0 run in Phoenix’s last five games at home.

Lean: Under 163.5 at FanDuel (play down to 161.5).

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Fever vs. Sparks Odds

Fever Odds+6.5
Sparks Odds-6.5
Moneyline+210 / -265
Over/Under160 (-110 / -113)
Time10:30 p.m. ET
Odds as of Thursday and via DraftKings

Injuries & News

The Fever list Bernadett Hatar (6.7 PPG) as questionable with an ankle injury, while Aaliyah Wilson (foot) has been ruled out.

Chiney Ogwumike’s (9.0 PPG) status remains questionable for Los Angeles due to a knee injury. She’s missed the Sparks’ last two games. Jasmine Walker (knee) is done for the season after tearing her ACL, and Los Angeles won’t have Maria Vadeeva until later in the season after the Olympics.

A Teaser To Consider

My model is not as high on the Sparks as the rest of the market. Perhaps they’ll be an even better team once Ogwumike returns to play with her older sister, Nneka. Nonetheless, Los Angeles has been difficult to figure out this season as it’s next-to-last in average point differential, but I still have the Sparks in the top eight of my power rankings.

I would actually be looking to fade Los Angeles in this spot against the Fever, but my model shows a greater edge to the total, which opened as high as 165.

My projection for this game is 158.38 total points, and much of that has to do with the fact that the Sparks are ranked fourth with a defensive rating of 97.2 points allowed per 100 possessions. Conversely, they’re last with an offensive rating of 86.4 points per 100 possessions.

This season, the total is 4-0-1 (+3.59 units) to the under in games involving the Sparks, and historically, the total is 281-245-3 (+22.05 units) to the under in their games.

Unfortunately, this total moved the most out of any game on Thursday’s card, so I’ll look to recover some of those lost points by teasing this game down along with the total in the Mercury-Sky game and playing the under in both at FanDuel.

Pick: Two-leg 4.5 point teaser with the Fever-Sparks under 165 and Sky-Mercury under 167 (+103)

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