The Washington Mystics and New York Liberty clash for the second straight game as they play Game 1 of their first-round playoff series on Friday. Washington and New York ended the regular season in a close match that saw the Mystics get the better of the Liberty 90-88. After the clubs split four regular-season meetings, New York begins the playoffs as a heavy favorite according to WNBA odds.
Mystics End Strong
Washington ended the regular season on a high note, winning two of its last three games to help it secure a spot in the postseason.
The Mystics’ offense was a key part of that final stretch as they averaged 88.3 points on 48.4% shooting in their last three contests.
Elena Delle Donne has been Washington’s leader all season at 16.7 points per game, but Brittney Sykes stepped up recently and in the last three games as well, averaging 21.7 points in those affairs.
— espnW (@espnW) September 10, 2023
Against a high-powered offense in the Liberty, the Mystics will need another strong offensive game to keep up and pull an upset.
Liberty Run Into Trouble
New York saw its eight-game win streak come to an end in the regular-season finale.
Though the LIberty were one of the top defenses in the WNBA, ranking fourth allowing 80.6 points a game on 42.4% shooting, their defense struggled in the loss.
New York gave up 90 points to Washington on 50% shooting, and allowed its last three opponents in the regular season to average 90.7 points on 48.9% shooting.
The Liberty’s offense has been mostly strong enough to withstand some defensive blunders, but they’ll need to tighten up that unit to be a solid WNBA picks to make a run at the championship.
Mystics vs Liberty Best Bet
With the Liberty a heavy favorite in Game 1, betting them on the moneyline doesn’t offer bettors much value. Washington is also missing Shakira Austin, and while the Mystics and Liberty have kept their games close in the regular season, it’s harder to predict how her absences could affect Washington and the WNBA spread.
However, there remains value in betting on the total, which the sportsbook has set at 162.5 points. With the way New York’s defense has been playing, the Mystics’ offense should be able to keep their strong offensive play up. The Liberty, meanwhile, continue to be an offensive powerhouse behind Breanna Stewart and Sabrina Ionescu.
The two combined to hit the over in three of their four regular-season games and should do so again in the first playoff game as well. Head to the sportsbook and play the over.
WNBA Pick: Over 162.5 points (-110)
Mystics vs Liberty Game Information
- Game: Mystics (19-21) vs Liberty (32-8)
- Location: Barclays Center, Brooklyn, N.Y.
- Day/Time: Friday, 7:30 p.m. ET
- Mystics vs Liberty Live Stream:WNBA.com