The Chicago Sky are attracting a healthy majority of bets as the home favorites ahead of their Game 5 matchup with the Connecticut Sun for the right to advance to the WNBA Finals. Here are our Sun-Sky picks.
There is truly nothing like a winner-take-all playoff game. While most of the sports world will be focused on the NFL kickoff on Thursday night, it may be worth tuning a secondary TV to the WNBA Playoffs elimination matchup between the Sun and Sky.
Of the first four games in this Semifinal Round series, Connecticut’s victory in Tuesday's Game 4 was easily the most lopsided. The Sun exploded for 104 points on their home floor to force this win-and-in Game 5 for a trip to the WNBA Finals.
For the Sky, it will be critical to bounce back defensively on Thursday following an uncharacteristic performance in their Game 4 loss. Chicago allowed the Sun to shoot over 56% from the field as a team. The defending champs will enjoy home-court advantage as they try to make it back to the Finals.
Here are my WNBA picks and predictions for Thursday’s elimination game between the Sun and Sky (odds via DraftKings Sportsbook, BetMGM, and FanDuel Sportsbook; pick confidence based on a 1-to-5-star scale).
Sun vs. Sky Game Info
Date: Thursday, Sept. 8, 8 p.m. ET
Location: Wintrust Arena, Chicago, IL
Sun vs. Sky Odds Analysis
Bookmakers first opened the Sky as a 4.5-point favorite for Thursday's decisive Game 5. At the time of writing, the WNBA betting market consensus continues to rest at that opening number. Certain shops have adjusted the line to Sky -5.
The betting splits at DraftKings show over 70% of all ATS bets on Chicago. The Sky have also attracted an incredible 97% of the betting handle wagered thus far.
As for the total, the current consensus of 159 sits 2.5 points lower than the opening line of 161.5. Like the spread, this line move correlates positively with the high-money side. However, there are actually far more bets on the Over which suggests a possible disagreement between the public and sharp bettors.
Sun vs. Sky Picks
Sun vs. Sky ATS Pick
Sun +4.5 (-110) ★
This Semifinal Round rematch of last year’s WNBA Finals has certainly delivered. All season long, the Sun and Sky stood out as two of the deepest teams in the league. While the defending champs garnered plenty of attention, Connecticut was seemingly a team flying under the radar coming into the playoffs.
While the Sun were extremely impressive in shooting over 56% from the floor and scoring 104 points on Tuesday, that offensive outburst is clearly an anomaly relative to the rest of this series. Connecticut actually finished under its regular-season average of 46.2% shooting in each of the first three games. In two of those contests, the Sky held them to under 38% from the field.
By no means are we expecting the Sun to replicate Tuesday’s offensive outburst. That said, Connecticut has too many capable scorers and playmakers to be inept in a do-or-die Game 5. Candace Parker has been on another level for the Sky in these playoffs, but expect Alyssa Thomas and the rest of the Sun’s stars to do enough to cover.
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Sun vs. Sky Over/Under Pick
Under 166.5 (-110) ★★★
Both the Sun and Sky have seen the majority of their playoff games thus far stay under the betting total. Five of Connecticut’s seven games this postseason finished under the closing line. The same split is true for Chicago. With a spot in the WNBA Finals on the line, it seems logical to expect top-notch intensity at the defensive end from both teams.
So far in the playoffs, Connecticut has played at an average tempo that is over two possessions per game slower than what the team averaged during the regular season.
As for the Sky, we have seen the defending champs flip the switch defensively after being upset in their playoff opener by New York. Chicago has achieved a defensive rating that is more than three full points better than their regular season number. For that matter, the Sun and Sky rank first and second in defensive rating during these playoffs.
It’s also worth reiterating the fact that the line has moved to the Under despite a much greater percentage of bets predicting that this game will exceed the posted total. The opportunity to take advantage of this market development and play what appears to be the sharp, contrarian side is worth pursuing.
Sun vs. Sky Prop Pick
Parker Under 16.5 points (-130) ★★★★
Dating back to the Sky’s first-round series against the New York Liberty, Parker has been on absolute fire shooting the basketball. That continued in Games 1 and 2 against Connecticut when she scored 19 and 22 points, respectively. Game 2 was her best performance of all. Parker shot an astounding 61.5% from the field and 75% from 3-point range.
Despite her red-hot start to the playoffs, the Sun made some timely defensive adjustments and managed to slow Parker down in Games 3 and 4. While she still scored in double figures in both games, her 35.7% and 33.3% clips from the floor marked her worst outputs of the playoffs to date.
While one can argue that the pressure of a do-or-die Game 5 will bring out the best in Parker, discrepancies on her scoring prop across the WNBA betting market still afford the opportunity to bet the Under. FanDuel’s prop line of 16.5 points currently sits a full two points higher than what DraftKings has posted for Parker’s scoring total.
Based on the fact that Parker averaged only 13.2 points per game during the regular season, FanDuel’s prop line is extremely inflated. The quality of Connecticut’s defense and the presence of other capable scorers like Kahleah Copper are other attributes worth considering here. Parker can still have a solid offensive game but finish under this elevated point line.
Where to Bet on Sun-Sky Picks
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Sun-Sky picks made 9/8/2022 at 1:55 p.m. ET