The defending WNBA champions find themselves in a decisive Game 3 in the first round as the Chicago Sky visit the New York Liberty at 9 p.m. ET on Tuesday at the Barclays Center.
It’s been two drastically different games in Chicago that have led to the finale to determine who will play either the Connecticut Sun or Dallas Wings, who have their Game 3 on Wednesday.
WNBA Performance Recap
The first game went to the Liberty, 98-91, defying most Sky vs. Liberty Betting Predictions. Sabrina Ionescu had 22 points, seven rebounds, and six assists to pace New York, while Natasha Howard had 22 and seven rebounds, with Brittney Laney adding 17 points, five rebounds, and five assists.
The Liberty shot 44% on 3-pointers and were the aggressors. The Sky still had five players in double figures, led by Kahleah Copper’s 21 points, but converted 28% of 3-point attempts.
The second game was all Sky from the beginning, winning 100-62 to even the series.
It was perhaps what Sky vs. Liberty Betting Predictions didn’t expect in the form of such a large blowout but was on the right side of predictions results.
Liberty reserves Han Xu, and Michaela Onyenwere each had 10 points as the team shot 33% from the field and rested its starters.
That was after the Sky took a 21-point advantage to the second quarter. Copper scored a game-high 20 points after some injury concerns in practice the day before. Chicago converted 51% of attempts but was only 27% behind the 3-point line.
Sky vs. Liberty Betting Analysis
WNBA odds show the Sky are favored by seven points with an over/under of 165 points. Both odds, either way, are at -110 odds. The Sky are favored on the moneyline at -285, with the Liberty at +240.
After the second game’s blowout, it’s a wonder that the odds aren’t more favorable to the Sky. Of their four victories over the Liberty in 2022, three of those have come by eight points or more, and the first one was a 33-point triumph.
However, three games, including the two Liberty victories, were decided by eight points or less the other way and two by one possession. It shows how basketball betting can vary.
Chicago Sky Analysis
The Sky need to ramp up their defensive pressure, as was evident in Game 2. They were the fourth-best defensive team, allowing 81.3 points per game.
However, they were league average at holding teams to a 43.8% field goal percentage and 34.0% 3-point percentage, both ranking sixth.
Offensively, they were second at scoring 86.3 points per contest with the league’s best field goal percentage of 48.1%.
They did struggle to convert 3-pointers, doing so 34.5% of the time to rank seventh, which is what they’ve shown in this series by finishing below 30% in each game.
New York Liberty Analysis
To that tune, the Liberty need to tighten their interior defense. If they can keep Candace Parker and Emme Messeeman out of the paint and limit Copper’s drives, they will give themselves an opportunity to clinch the series.
That actually feeds into Liberty’s strength. While they were sixth in allowing 82.0 points per game, they were the best team in defensive efficiency, holding teams to 41.8% from the field.
They were third on the perimeter, holding teams to 33.6% from 3-point range. Ionescu is a star, but the offense has largely struggled for the season.
They were ninth, scoring 79.6 points per game and converting 43.1% of field goal attempts. They were fifth at 3-point percentage at 35.1%.
Laney’s presence has been a great addition down the stretch. She only played nine regular season games due to an injury but is finally healthy and gives another ball-handler to play off of Ionescu and help space the floor.
WNBA Injury Report
Copper, last year’s Finals MVP, still has a questionable designation with an ankle injury. Though coach James Wade was emphatic, saying “she’s fine” on Friday when reporters asked about her injury. Copper showed it in Game 2.
Sky vs. Liberty Betting Preview
The Sky are 6-3 straight up in the last two years against Liberty, and that includes four wins by 20 points or more.
When the Liberty have won, it is by eight points or less. Live bettors will be able to dictate how this game may end up rather quickly.
Though the Sky are 1-3-1 against the spread in the last five meetings regardless of location. Historical trends can get tricky because players change teams so frequently, but the under is 11-5 in the last 16 meetings in New York, and the over is 13-5 in the last 18 meetings regardless of location.
WNBA picks show 63% of public bets are on the Sky to cover the spread while 62% are on the over. For the season, the Sky are 17-18-1 against the spread and 19-16-1 on over/unders. The Liberty are 18-17-1 against the spread and 17-19 on over/unders.
Sky vs. Liberty Betting Predictions
This game is going to go one of two ways, and it feels like the Sky have all of the momentum. They are certainly more talented with more weapons to choose from offensively, but it really starts at the defensive end, allowing themselves to get transition opportunities.
The team who instills the higher defensive pressure will walk away with the victory. Our Sky vs. Liberty Betting Predictions says to pick the Sky -7.
WNBA Pick: Sky -7 (-110)