After one game of WNBA Finals action, the No. 6 Chicago Sky are up over the No. 5 Phoenix Mercury. We’ve got another battle on tap tonight, and the books have Phoenix as home favorites despite their early-series struggles, which creates some betting value on the Sky.
Here are my top betting picks for Wednesday’s WNBA action.
YTD: 16-13-0 (+2.90u)
1. Sky +4 | -110 (1u) at BetMGM
Ugh. Despite the Sky’s Game 1 dominance, the books still have them pegged as underdogs — and by a wider margin than before! I was hoping to buy the Mercury to bounce back, especially with guard Sophie Cunningham returning to the lineup, but I can’t justify doing that at the current line.
My WNBA betting model likes the Sky here for two reasons. First, the player win-share spread suggests that this game is basically a pick’em, even with Cunningham back in the lineup. Adjustments for players’ per-game usage moves that spread even further in Chicago’s favor, too. Second, the season-long efficiency and pace stats point to a slight edge for the Sky, at least relative to the spread. That part of the model favors the Mercury by just 0.88 points.
The betting trends also point to some value on Chicago. The Mercury have gone 8-11 ATS at home this year. In contrast, the Sky are 10-8 ATS on the road.
Perhaps the biggest factor pushing me toward Chicago is the emergence of Kahleah Copper. After averaging 14.4 points and 4.1 rebounds in the regular season, Copper has stepped things up in the postseason — through seven playoff games, she is averaging 18.6 points and 5.9 rebounds. She just recorded a season-best 10 boards against the Mercury in Game 1, too.
Basketball isn’t purely a numbers game, and I wouldn’t be shocked to see Phoenix grab a much-needed home win tonight. Diana Taurasi is incredibly clutch, after all. However, the numbers do suggest enough of an edge on Chicago to warrant taking them plus the points.
2. Over 167.5 | -120 (.5u) at DK Sportsbook
I hate betting on totals. That said, the books have pegged their lines to the Game 1’s result (168), and I don’t know if that makes sense. Sophie Cunningham’s return will give the Mercury a much-needed offensive boost. Of Cunningham’s 1.4 win shares, 71.4% of those contributions were offensive. While that figure points to a relatively small role, Phoenix lost Kia Nurse a few games back, so they’ll need Cunningham to step into a larger role. The Mercury should easily surpass their dismal team total from Game 1 (77) to push this one up and over the top.
Whether you’re new to sports betting or a betting pro, our How To Bet and Sports Betting Strategy and Advice pages are for you. You can get started with our Sports Betting 101 Section — including 10 Sports Betting Tips for Beginners — or head to more advanced sports betting strategy — like Key Numbers When Betting Against the Spread — to learn more.