WNBA First Playoff Round Game 1 Odds & Picks (Aug 17-18)

WNBA First Playoff Round Game 1 Odds & Picks (Aug 17-18)

WNBA playoffs

Jul 29, 2022; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago Sky forward Azura Stevens (30) reacts during the second half of the WNBA game against the New York Liberty at Wintrust Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

The WNBA Playoffs begin August 17 and 18 featuring four best-of-three series airing on ESPN Networks
The New York Liberty will visit the Chicago Sky and the Phoenix Mercury travel to play the Las Vegas Aces on August 17, with the Dallas Wings taking on the Connecticut Sun and the Washington Mystics visiting the Seattle Storm on August 18
See below for the latest odds, analysis and the best bet for the WNBA playoffs

After a 36-game regular season that began in mid-May, the WNBA Playoffs tip off on Wednesday, August 17th and Thursday, August 18th with a quartet of first-round series.

Featuring a new playoff format consisting of one best-of-three series followed by two best-of-five series to decide a WNBA champion, the eight-team playoff field includes a relatively level collection of talented teams which should make for an entertaining postseason.

All four Game 1 contests on Wednesday and Thursday night will be aired on ESPN Networks, with the four top seeds hosting the bottom four teams who qualified for the playoffs.

WNBA Playoffs Round 1 Odds

Team
Spread
Moneyline
Total
New York Liberty
+8.0 (-110)
+285
Over 165.5 (-110)
Chicago Sky
-8.0 (-110)
-365
Under 165.5 (-110)
Team
Spread
Moneyline
Total
Phoenix Mercury
+15.0 (-110)
+900
Over 167.5 (-110)
Las Vegas Aces
-15.0 (-110)
-1600
Under 167.5 (-110)
Team
Spread
Moneyline
Total
Dallas Wings
+10.0 (-110)
+400
Over 163.5 (-110)
Connecticut Sun
-10.0 (-110)
-550
Under 163.5 (-110)
Team
Spread
Moneyline
Total
Washington Mystics
+4.0 (-110)
+143
Over 159.0 (-110)
Seattle Storm
-4.0 (-110)
-170
Under 159.0 (-110)

Odds as of Aug 16th from Caesars Sportsbook. Use this Caesars Sportsbook promo code to bet on the WNBA

Oddsmakers believe the first selection of games will be relative blowouts, with almost every game having spreads of double-digits or near double-digits. Las Vegas is the biggest favorite against Phoenix, listed as 15-point favorites in Game 1. The game that is anticipated to be the closest is the battle between Washington and Seattle, with the Storm entering Game 1 as four-point favorites.

The two nights to begin postseason play likely won’t feature too many surprises, with the top seeds favored to take their respective Game 1 with ease. Barring any unforeseen injuries or absences, that should be the case on Wednesday and Thursday.

Opening Night Includes Two Title Favorites in WNBA Playoffs

The first night of the playoffs on Wednesday will feature a pair of games that include two teams currently atop the list of favorites in the 2022 WNBA Championship odds.

Liberty vs Sky Pick

To kick things off, the seventh-seed New York Liberty visit the second-seed Chicago Sky at 8:00 pm ET on ESPN2, with the defending champion Sky owning a 3-1 series advantage over the Liberty this year.

Chicago, which has the second-best title odds at +230, was in the top spot in the league standings for most of the year and is arguably the deepest team in the playoffs much like in its title run in 2021. New York, which claimed one of the final playoff seeds on the last day of the regular season, is playing well as of late while winning seven of its last 10 entering the postseason.

For the best bet of this contest, go with the under on the total of 165.5. Chicago is one of the top offenses in the league, but both the Sky and Liberty are top five defensive squads which should keep this game a low-scoring battle.

Mercury vs Aces Pick

To finish off the night, the eighth-seed Phoenix Mercury will take on the top-seed Las Vegas Aces at 10:00 pm ET on ESPN, with the Aces sweeping the season series 3-0 over the Mercury this year.

Las Vegas has been one of the hottest teams in the league as of late, entering the postseason winners of eight of its last 10 while featuring a star-studded lineup headlined by MVP frontrunner A’ja Wilson. Phoenix has stumbled into the playoffs, not only without Diana Taurasi due to injury but also Skylar Diggins-Smith who is on a temporary suspension by the Mercury.

For the best bet of the night, pick Phoenix being 15-point underdogs. Las Vegas should take this game with ease, but the Mercury will keep the contest within 15 points which is a very wide spread to have listed.

Pick: Mercury +15.0 (-110)

Second Night Features Fairly Even Teams

The second night of action on Thursday will include teams that are slightly more evenly balanced compared to Wednesday’s pair of games, which should set up for an entertaining night.

Wings vs Sun Pick

In the first game, the sixth-seed Dallas Wings will visit the third-seed Connecticut Sun at 8:00 pm ET on ESPN U and NBA TV, with the Wings holding a 2-1 series advantage over the Sun this year.

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Connecticut is an interesting team to watch, having won eight of its last 10 games entering the playoffs. The Sun are a deep and talented team, but have struggled against Dallas this season while dropping two of three games to the Wings. Dallas rounded out the regular season strong while going 7-3 to finish the year, but are without a key player in Arike Ogunbowale who is recovering from a hip injury.

For the games best bet to place, keep an eye on the total of 163.5 listed. Connecticut and Dallas feature two talented a potent offenses, which could open things up for this to be a high-scoring contest.

Mystics vs Storm Pick

The nightcap includes the fifth-seed Washington Mystics battling the fourth-seed Seattle Storm at 10:00 pm ET on ESPN2, with Seattle owning a 2-1 season series advantage over Washington this year.

Seattle could be a dark horse to compete for a WNBA title, featuring a veteran-heavy squad that is battle tested and led by a star-filled lineup headlined by MVP candidate Breanna Stewart. Washington, when healthy, is a potential contender but it feels like we haven’t seen its full capabilities to this point in the season and might not in the playoffs either.

The #WNBAPlayoffs bracket presented by @Google is set ✅

First round starts this Wednesday, August 17 on ESPN 2 🤩 pic.twitter.com/iwULG82YTP

— WNBA (@WNBA) August 15, 2022

For the best bet in that game, go with Seattle and its narrow spread of four points. Although the Storm and Mystics series will be the most entertaining of the four, Seattle is dominant at home and should cover that spread in Game 1 on Thursday.

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Mitchell Hansen

NBA

Mitchell has over seven years of experience in journalism, marketing, communications and digital fields, having covered sports teams and leagues on all levels. He has spent more than five years covering the WNBA and NBA, among other sports. You can follow him on Twitter @M_Hansen13.

NBA

Mitchell has over seven years of experience in journalism, marketing, communications and digital fields, having covered sports teams and leagues on all levels. He has spent more than five years covering the WNBA and NBA, among other sports. You can follow him on Twitter @M_Hansen13.

Author: Jesse Smith