The Las Vegas Aces will square off against the New York Liberty in Game 4 of the WNBA Finals. Can the Liberty pull off another win on their home court against the defending champs, or will the Aces notch their second straight title?
Here is a look at which team has the edge going into this pivotal Game 4.
Las Vegas Aces vs. New York Liberty – Postseason Recap & Betting Trends
To say the Aces were dominant on their home court would be an understatement. In the series opener, they turned a three-point deficit into a 17-point win.
In Game 2, the Aces were the aggressors right from the jump. They set a WNBA Finals record by scoring 38 points on 14-for-20 shooting from the floor to take a 19-point lead after the first 10 minutes of action.
Although New York did trim the deficit to single digits before halftime and in the third quarter, Las Vegas pulled away once again en route to a 104-76 victory.
Facing a 0-2 deficit, and with their season hanging in the balance, the Liberty were a much different team on their home court. As was the case in Game 1, the Liberty led by three points (43-40) at halftime.
But this time, New York was the better second-half team. After being outscored by 25 points in the third quarter of the first two games, New York outscored Las Vegas 18-10, and 44-33 in the second half altogether.
Rediscovering their offensive prowess, the Liberty went on to win the game 87-73. Following a 36.1 percent effort from the field in Game 2, New York was much more efficient, shooting 52.3 percent from the field. This includes a 43.3 percent effort from beyond the arc. Jonquel Jones paced New York with 27 points on 10-for-15 shooting from the field. Jones also grabbed eight rebounds and she hit four of New York’s 13 three-point field goals.
While Jones has played well through the first three games, the league’s MVP, Breanna Stewart, has been struggling in this series. Averaging 17.5 points through Games 1 and 2, Stewart scored 20 points on 8-for-16 shooting, to go along with 12 boards and four assists.
As well as the Liberty performed from a scoring standpoint, the team’s effort was even more impressive at the other end of the floor. Las Vegas came into Game 3 shooting 53.7 percent from the field and 41.1 percent from distance.
In Game 3, however, New York limited the Aces to just 33.3 percent shooting and 31.8 percent from 3-point range. Unfortunately, their poor showing wasn’t the only bad news for the defending champions.
Both Chelsea Gray – who was the MVP of last year’s finals — and Kia Stokes have been ruled out for Game 4 due to foot injuries. Gray has been solid for the Aces with averages of 15.6 points and 6.8 assists per contest. She had previously missed just one game since signing with the Aces in 2021.
Stokes – whose role on the team is being a solid defender more so than a scoring threat – played a key role in Game 2, converting two of three attempts from deep. Despite the absence of two key starters, Aces’ guard, Kelsey Plum, believes that the team will thrive in the face of adversity.
“This team has responded all year. We’ve been through a lot. I mean, shoot, we’ve been hurt, sued, arrested. You name it, we’ve done it,” she told reporters via Yahoo Sports. “I’m confident in our group. We’ve gone through a lot of adversity, we’ll be ready.”
It will be interesting to see if the Aces can wrap up the series with two key players missing from their starting five.
Although the Liberty opened as a 1.5-point favorite. That line has moved to (-6). Initially, I thought this series would go the distance. My thoughts shifted a bit after watching the Aces win the first two games of the series in dominant fashion.
Now, with Las Vegas down two starters, it certainly seems like this series is headed toward a fifth and deciding game. But as far as the spread is concerned, here is why I’m picking the Aces to cover the six-point spread.
- The Aces are 5-2 ATS in their last seven games overall.
- Las Vegas is 4-1 ATS in the last five games they have played on a Wednesday.
- The Aces are 4-1 in their last five matchups against Eastern Conference teams.
- Las Vegas is 19-8 ATS in its last 27 games against New York.
- New York is 3-8 ATS in their last 11 contests overall.
- The Liberty are 3-8 ATS in the last 11 instances in which they have played on two days of rest.
- New York is 2-6 ATS in their last eight games against teams with a winning record.
Predictions: Aces (+6)
The over/under total has moved from 171.5 points to 169. Here is why I’m predicting the OVER here.
- The teams have eclipsed the projected 169-point total three times in the last four head-to-head matchups.
- The OVER total is 5-2 for the Aces following a straight-up loss.
- In the Aces’ last 27 road games, the OVER total is 19-8.
- The OVER is 6-0 for New York in the last six games it has played on a Wednesday.
- The OVER total has prevailed six times in the Liberty’s last seven games against Western Conference Teams.
- The OVER is 10-4 in the last 14 meetings between these teams, and 4-1 in the last five games in New York.
Prediction: OVER 169 points
Player Prop Bet
My key player to watch in this contest is Jonquel Jones. She currently has -125 odds of scoring more than 17.5 points and -105 odds of scoring less than 17.5 points.
I’m a bit surprised by this projected total, given how well Jones has played in this WNBA Finals series. She scored 16 and 22 points, respectively, in Games 1 and 2. It is also worth noting that she posted a double-double in both games.
With her 27-point effort in Game 3, Jones is averaging 21.7 points, 9.3 rebounds, and 2.7 blocks per contest. These numbers, combined with the fact that Jones has scored at least 18 points in three of her last four outings, I am going with the over here.
Prediction: Jonquel Jones OVER 17.5 points