Las Vegas seeks to avoid the dreaded 0-2 series deficit as modest home favorites ahead of Wednesday's contest. Keep reading for our Storm-Aces Game 2 picks.
The Semifinal Round of the 2022 WNBA Playoffs resumes on Wednesday. The nightcap will feature Game 2 of the series between the Seattle Storm and Las Vegas Aces.
The 4-seed Storm pulled off the upset in Game 1 of this series on Sunday. Seattle trailed by one with under two minutes to play before Jewell Lloyd took matters into her own hands. The veteran guard knocked down a deep three-pointer, buried a pair of free throws, and added a step-back jumper with 30 seconds remaining to lift the Storm to the upset.
After sustaining their first loss of the postseason, the top-seeded Aces now face a great deal of pressure in Game 2. The last thing that Las Vegas can afford is to fall behind two games to none with Games 3 and 4 set to take place in Seattle. The favorites to win the title entering the playoffs will have to step up.
Here are my picks and predictions for Wednesday’s Game 2 between the Storm and Aces (odds via DraftKings Sportsbook; pick confidence based on a 1-to-5-star scale).
Storm vs. Aces Game Info
Date/Time: Wednesday, Aug. 31, 10 p.m. ET
Location: Michelob ULTRA Arena, Paradise, NV
Storm vs. Aces Odds Analysis
Knowing just how important a win in Game 2 will be for the Aces likely had something to do with Las Vegas opening as a six-point favorite. The betting market has declared that the opening spread was a bit too large. Action on the Storm now has the Aces sitting as a consensus favorite of -5.5.
The ticket count splits for this game at DraftKings are close. In fact, both sides have attracted exactly half (50%) of all ATS bets made thus far. It is interesting to note that a slight majority (56%) of the handle has come in on the favored Aces.
The market has only adjusted the total half a point from the opening line of 170 to the current consensus of 169.5. A slight majority (56%) of the handle at DraftKings is on the Over. Thus, in both cases, the side that has attracted more money is the opposite of how the lines have moved.
Storm vs. Aces Picks
Storm vs. Aces ATS Pick
Aces -5.5 (-110) ★
Bettors looking to have action on tonight’s Game 2 will probably want to pursue alternative options to the point spread.
When the playoff bracket was officially locked in, it was clear right away that the Storm would potentially be a tricky matchup for the Aces should the two meet in the Semifinal Round. Lo and behold, this exact scenario has played out, and the lower seed managed to get the better of the championship favorites in Game 1.
Seattle and Las Vegas have been polar opposite teams in terms of their strengths all season long. While the Aces have been the WNBA’s most prolific offense, the Storm have largely leaned on frustrating their opponents defensively. The fact that the Aces were held to 16 points or less in two of four quarters in Game 1 is eye-opening.
Knowing that there will be a sense of desperation for Las Vegas tonight is a key component to laying 5.5 points in this spot. One can also safely assume that both A’ja Wilson and Jackie Young will rebound from a sub-par shooting display in Game 1 relative to their standards.
Storm vs. Aces O/U Pick
Over 169.5 (-110) ★★★
The final tally of 149 points that these teams combined for in Game 1 wound up finishing over 20 points below the closing total. In reality, it was a brutal shooting display by both sides on Sunday. With regression to the mean expected, a play on the Over in Game 2 is preferred.
In the series opener, Seattle and Las Vegas finished with virtually identical shooting percentages from the field (41.3 and 41.2, respectively). Relative to full-season averages, it was a particularly poor display from 3-point range for both teams with neither shooting over 30% from deep.
The Storm and Aces both finished tied for the best three-point shooting percentage this season at 36.1%. With so much room for positive regression, it seems realistic to expect a much higher scoring output in Wednesday’s contest.
It’s also worth noting that the current total of 169.5 sits three full points lower than the closing number for Game 1. That’s a rather steep adjustment, especially considering that both teams failed to come anywhere close to matching their usual offensive production on Sunday.
Storm vs. Aces Prop Bet
Lloyd Over 17.5 Points (-110) ★★★
It comes as no surprise to find that Lloyd’s points prop total is slightly inflated ahead of Game 2 after she put the Storm on her back down the stretch to steal Game 1. This total is notably more than one full point higher than her season average of 16.3 per game.
Upon further inspection, however, Lloyd has notably played some of her best games against Las Vegas this year. Including Sunday’s series opener, the two sides have now gone head-to-head five times in 2022. In four of those five contests, Lloyd has flown past both her season scoring average and tonight’s betting line. She even achieved her season-best scoring game of 38 points against the Aces back on Aug. 14.
The only time that Lloyd failed to eclipse this WNBA betting prop total came in the game on Aug. 7 which saw her shoot 0-6 from the field and score just one point. It seems safe to say that that outcome is the anomaly here, especially given that she has scored 24+ in three of the other meetings.
Lloyd will presumably continue to benefit from the absence of Aces forward Dearica Hamby. As Las Vegas will have to commit extra defenders to the paint in an effort to contain the tandem of Breanna Stewart and Tina Charles, Lloyd should see plenty of quality looks from deep as well as open lanes to drive to the rim.
Where to Bet on Storm vs. Aces
Here are our top-rated sportsbooks:
Storm-Aces picks made 8/31/2022 at 3:02 p.m. ET