Defending champs defending turf
It seems ages ago since the Chicago Sky opened the 2022 WNBA season by splitting their first four home games. Since that time, Chicago has won nine straight games at Wintrust Arena. It hasn’t always been easy, seven of those wins by single digits.
(Chicago lost at home to the Las Vegas Aces, 93-83, Tuesday night in Commissioner’s Cup, It doesn’t count in the records and/or standings).
Chicago has a one-game lead on Las Vegas atop the WNBA standings. There’s a chance the Sky could fall…into a tie as the Aces visit the Indiana Fever Friday. Former Sky forward Stefanie Dolson had 13 points as New York surprised Chicago, 83-80, last Saturday evening in Brooklyn.
Although Chicago continues to hold down first place in the WNBA, the Sky (+210) are second in odds to win the championship, according to the current playoff odds. New York comes in priced at +10000, highest among the teams in contention for a playoff berth.
New York’s Sabrina Ionescu (+1400) is fifth in the odds to win the WNBA’s Most Valuable Player award. Chicago’s Candace Parker sits tied for seventh at +1800.
Check the latest WNBA Picks, stats, WNBA News, injury reports and WNBA Odds for Liberty vs Sky Predictions. There are plenty of WNBA championship Odds for you to consider.
Liberty leaning on vets
There are plenty of young players on the New York roster, led by 24-year-old MVP candidate Sabrina Ionescu. However, as the Liberty try to work their way through some tough times, some of the more experienced players have been producing.
Natasha Howard, one of three New York players 30 years of age or older, is averaging 15.3 points on 47.8% shooting over her last six. She’s also pulling down 8.7 rebounds during that stretch. Forward Stefanie Dolson, also 30, is averaging 9.5 points on 57.5% shooting, while 33-year-old guard Sami Whitcomb is at 8.7 points per game (51.6% from the field, 46.4% from 3-point range). She’s tied for seventh with four other players (including Ionescu) at 2.2 made 3-pointers per game over those half-dozen contests.
In a win over Chicago that snapped a five-game losing skid, Howard, Dolson and Whitcomb combined for 34 points (12-of-24 shooting).
Something to consider for those who bet online is New York has failed to cover in three of its last four.
A Copper Sky
On a roster as deep as Chicago’s, it’s hard to project which player will lead the charge.
There’ve been stretches where MVP candidate Candace Parker has filled the stat sheet. Key offseason acquisition Emma Meesseman has had games where she’s looked quite unstoppable. Veteran guards Courtney Vandersloot and Allie Quigley score from the perimeter without warning. Even reserves Azura Stevens, Rebekah Gardner and Julie Allemand can deliver at any time.
Recently, however, it’s been Kahleah Copper getting it done. She has scored 70 points in her last four games (17.5 ppg)., with 34 rebounds and 10 assists.
Probably not a coincidence that when Chicago’s five-game winning streak ended Saturday, she was only 4-of -3 from the field.
Back at it again tomorrow 👏🏾
🎟 https://t.co/LP4r2R9nbQ#skytown pic.twitter.com/Lk4pldSfm3
— Chicago Sky (@chicagosky) July 28, 2022
Chicago has covered against the Las Vegas odds in four of its last six home games.
Liberty vs Sky Game Information
- Game: Liberty 10-17 (5-8 on the road); Sky 21-7 (11-2 at home)
- Location: Wintrust Arena, Chicago, IL
- Day/Time: Friday, July 29, 8:00 p.m. ET
- Liberty vs Sky Live Stream: WNBA.com
Liberty vs Sky Betting Lines
|New York Liberty||+10 -110||+425||166-110o||78-115o
|Chicago Sky||-10 -110||-550||166-110u||88-115o
Liberty vs Sky Prediction
When the teams met a few nights ago, Chicago didn’t have point guard Courtney Vandersloot (concussion protocol). Vandersloot returned to action in the Commissioner’s Cup loss Tuesday. She had eight points and four assists in 22 minutes.
New York reserve forward Michaela Onyenwere is questionable, while the Liberty continue to play without Betnijah Laney. She hasn’t played since May 17 due to a knee injury that required surgery.
The total has gone over seven of Chicago’s last nine games at Wintrust Arena.
Chicago had won the previous four games against New York, the last two decided by three or fewer points.
Although New York won less than a week ago, it’s hard to pick against the first-place Sky to drop consecutive games against a team currently 10th in the WNBA standings. However, with Chicago favored by 10 points, do not be surprised if the Liberty cover in this one.