WNBA Picks: Odds, Best Bets for Liberty vs Sparks, Lynx vs. Sun (August 1)
Via Juan Ocampo/Getty Images. Pictured: Sabrina Ionescu #20 of the New York Liberty dribbles the ball during the game against the Los Angeles Sparks on July 30, 2023 at Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles, California.
Find WNBA best bets for Liberty vs Sparks, Lynx vs. Sun and two more games below for Tuesday, Aug. 1.
The WNBA has officially reached the point of the season when we can start thinking playoff positioning, season awards, and long-term visions for teams, who for the most part are around the two-thirds mark of the season.
From a betting perspective, certain markets have sharpened to an impressive degree (player props have been one market that has sharpened notably throughout the season), while some are still ripe for betting. Trends have reached the point where there can at least sometimes be a signal along with the noise. (Aces first half, anyone?)
Tuesday's slate brings four fun games (OK, maybe three fun ones and one dud), highlighted by the Aces as once again double-digit favorites against one of the better teams in the league. This team is just so silly. Hopefully, you're watching them even if you're not betting them, as they are making history right before our eyes.
But forget history — let's win some bets!
WNBA Odds & Picks
Click on game to skip ahead
|Mercury vs. Fever||7 p.m. ET|
|Lynx vs. Sun||7 p.m. ET|
|Dream vs. Aces||10 p.m. ET|
|Liberty vs. Sparks||10 p.m. ET|
Mercury vs. Fever Odds
This game is the aforementioned dud, but you know what makes watching a dud more fun? Betting on it!
I love finding players whose Usage Rates will jump in the absence of a star player. With Brittney Griner out at least one more game, the Mercury are a great place to look for that, but I'm going to tweak the bet a bit as FanDuel is offering Player to Score 15+ Points props.
There are two candidates to soak up some of that Griner usage: Michaela Onyewere and Sophie Cunningham. They are both +210 to score 15+ points, and I'll be betting both of them at that number. I am going with this route rather than their standard point total props because often in these situations, one of the two gets the usage that game, and if you go one-for-two on the standard prop, you're losing money on the juice.
I am also looking at Kelsey Mitchell under 2.5 threes. She has made two or fewer threes in 17 of her 25 games this season (68%). At -128, that's 56.14%, and the Mercury defense isn't great, but they are pretty much run of the mill when it comes to defending the arc. There's nothing in Mitchell's recent usage to suggest she is more likely to hit this over.
Pick: Onyewere and Cunningham to score 15+ points (both at +210)
Lynx vs. Sun Odds
Dream vs. Aces Odds
This is definitely the game of the night, yet it's amazing that this is still pegged as a blowout by the books — and I can't argue. In fact, the spreads across the boards are pretty much where I had them, as will often be the case by this time of the season. Unless a team loses a player, or there's a matchup (or rest spot) that just perfectly fits a team, the spreads are pretty sharp at this point.
However, it's harder for the books to adjust to half spreads. We've talked about the half splits for both of these teams all season, with the Aces absolutely trucking teams in the first half this season, and the Dream struggling in the first 20 minutes of games. The Aces have a dominant +23.9 Net Rating in the first half, while the Dream are -5.8.
Now, the books have moved the spread a bit and it's at 8.5, which is a kind of crazy spread for a half for these two teams. Plus, last time these two teams met, the game script was the opposite, actually. That being said, I am trusting the process on this, but I'm wagering just a half unit rather than a full unit.
For player props, I'm looking at a familiar pair of Aces overs. I mentioned in a recent preview that A'ja Wilson and Chelsea Gray have been filling in for Candace Parker's missing stats, Wilson with rebounds and Gray with assists. Gray has continued to do so, while Wilson has dropped off a bit since, but in a fast-paced game like this is likely to be, I once again like both overs.
Liberty vs. Sparks Odds
In another rematch of a Sunday showdown, this game was one where you either loved or hated the end of the game. The Sparks, who were down 21-2 to start the game and 80-58 with fewer than five minutes to go in the game, managed to scramble their way back to a full-game cover of the 8.5-point spread. As someone who was on the Liberty full-game spread, let me tell you buddy: NOT FUN!
I do like the Liberty on the spread again, but if you think I'm falling for the trap that is a full-game Liberty spread right now, considering how apathetic this team can look, I've got some carpet to sell you.
No, I'll be sticking with the first-half spread. While they have not quite been the Aces, the Liberty are pretty excellent in their own right with a +13.8 Net Rating in the first half (while the Sparks rank ninth in the league at -6.9 in the first half).
I just have one player prop pick for this matchup: Jonquel Jones under 13.5 points. JJ has come out of the break looking notably better than she did in the first half of the season, averaging 15.7 points and 12.1 rebounds. But even in that seven-game stretch, she's gone under that number more often than not.
If we look at the season as a whole (which does still need to be weighed, to a degree), she has only cleared this 13.5 number six (!) times in 25 games. It's a lean since her usage is indeed trending up, but I just have it a point or so too high.