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Caitlin Clark, Fever Eye More Than Cheers in Home Opener

Game vs Liberty Could Land Over Betting Total

Will the roof come off of the Gainbridge Fieldhouse when prized rookie Caitlin Clark gets introduced before her first regular-season home game? The Indiana Fever welcome 2023 WNBA runner-up New York to town on Thursday. The Liberty are listed by the WNBA betting line as the favorite on Thursday.

 

Caitlin Clark, Fever Eye More Than Cheers in Home Opener
Caitlin Clark #22 of the Indiana Fever celebrates | Gregory Shamus/Getty Images/AFP

New York has won its last five regular-season games against Indiana and that included all three games in 2023.

Don’t shoot the messenger but while 31 of Indiana’s regular-season games will be televised by ESPN, ABC, CBS, CBS Sports Network, ION or NBA TV, this game will be available only on Prime Video.

Las Vegas odds list New York as a 6½-point favorite. The Liberty (1-0) has -270 odds to win the game outright compared to +220 odds for the Fever (0-1).

According to the WNBA odds, New York is second at +250 in the odds of winning the WNBA title. Indiana is tied for fifth at +2000 in the championship odds.

Liberty vs Fever Game Information

  • Game: New York Liberty 1-0 at Indiana Fever 0-1
  • Date/Time: Thursday, May 16, 7 p.m. ET
  • Location: Gainbridge Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, IN
  • Liberty vs Fever Live Stream: WNBA.com

 

Jones, Laney-Hamilton Come Up Big for Liberty

While reigning WNBA Most Valuable Player Breanna Stewart and fellow former No. 1 overall WNBA Draft pick Sabrina Ionescu are the headliners for the New York Liberty, it was Jonquel Jones and Betnijah Laney-Hamilton who did much of a heavy lifting in the season-opening win over Washington.

Laney-Hamilton gave New York the lead for good with 7:02 left to play. She teamed with Jones to score 13 of New York’s final 15 points in the 85-80 win.

The duo combined to go 19-for-30 from the field while the rest of the New York team was 13-for-38.

Highs and Lows for Caitlin Clark in Debut

Caitlin Clark did not hit her first basket in the season opener until midway through the second quarter as Indiana fell on the road to the Connecticut Sun.

Clark scored a team-high 20 points but she also committed 10 turnovers in the 92-71 loss to Connecticut.


It doesn’t get much easier for Indiana with the next two games coming against a New York team that is coming off a trip to the 2023 WNBA Finals. The Liberty will look to play better after falling behind to Washington, listed by the WNBA betting line as a double-digit underdog, in the fourth quarter of Tuesday’s season opener.

“Caitlin was able to get her some looks, able to knock them down. our spacing was not great,”

Indiana coach Christie Sides told the media after the game. “Connecticut came in and punched us in the mouth tonight. We’ll be in the gym tomorrow watching a lot of video, trying to figure out how not to turn the ball over 25 times.”

Perimeter defense is not a strength of the Liberty so perhaps Clark’s second game will go better than her first.

The good news for Indiana is that veteran guard Kelsey Mitchell returned after missing both preseason games due to injury. She didn’t start after being in the starting lineup in all 85 games over the previous three seasons, but did play 17 minutes. Mitchell could be back as a starter in the home opener.

Liberty vs Fever Injury Update

Forward Damiris Dantas is out for the Fever while New York looks to be in good shape from an injury standpoint heading into its second consecutive road game.

 

Liberty vs Fever Best Bet: Take the Over

Both the Fever and Liberty failed to cover in the season opener. Indiana was a 6.5-point underdog against Connecticut and lost by 21 points. New York won outright versus Washington but the Mystics covered as the 11.5-point underdog.

New York scored at least 100 points in five games during the 2023 regular season and two of those performances came against the Fever.

The last time the teams played, New York won 100-89 behind 42 points from Stewart, who averaged 23.7 points against the Fever a season ago.

The last five games between the Liberty and the Fever had an average of 178 points scored, with 373 points scored in the last two matchups. When it comes to the WNBA over/under picks, don’t be surprised to see the game land over the 170½-point total.

 

Liberty vs Fever Prediction

Liberty 91, Fever 83

 

 

Questions of the Day

When was the last time that Indiana won in the regular season against New York?


Indiana defeated New York 92-86 in overtime on May 13, 2022, as Kelsey Mitchell finished with 24 points.

How did Indiana fare in its 2023 home opener?


The visiting Connecticut Sun won 70-61 as a road favorite in its first home game in 2023. There were 7,356 fans in attendance. More than 13,000 fans showed up for Indiana’s lone

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