Seattle Eyes Commanding 2-0 Lead
The top-seeded team in the last two WNBA postseasons failed to win the league title. If the Las Vegas Aces want to avoid a similar fate, they would be strongly encouraged to win Wednesday’s Game 2.
While the four Seattle players who were former No. 1 overall picks in the WNBA Draft combined for 63 of the Storm’s 76 points, the three Las Vegas players who went first overall in the draft had just 39 points as Seattle stole home-court advantage from the favored Aces.
Seattle is the last remaining undefeated team in the postseason after sweeping Washington in the first round. Las Vegas suffered its first loss in these playoffs after rolling past Phoenix in the first round.
Las Vegas has the best odds at +185 to win the WNBA championship according to the WNBA playoff odds. Seattle’s odds come in at +250. Before Game 1, the odds for the odds were -110 compared to +425 for the Storm.
The series price for Las Vegas to reach the WNBA finals moved from -240 to -115 while Seattle’s odds went from +200 to -105.
Loyd Comes Up Big for Storm
Breanna Stewart outplayed fellow MVP candidate A’ja Wilson in the opening game. While Stewart’s 24 points and six rebounds were impressive, teammate Jewell Loyd stole the show in the series opener.
Loyd ended the regular season with a 38-point effort against this Las Vegas team. Perhaps it could be argued that the Aces were more focused on the upcoming postseason when they wrapped up the regular season against the Aces. However, there were no such issues on Sunday.
Loyd had 10 of her 26 points in the fourth quarter, She either scored or assisted on the last 12 Seattle points.
Three times when Las Vegas went up by three points in the fourth quarter, Loyd answered immediately with a pair of baskets and an assist on a hoop by Tina Charles.
A free throw by Loyd with 1:16 left to play gave Seattle the lead for good. She added a jumper with 35 seconds left.
The WNBA betting lines total has gone over in seven of Seattle’s last eight games. The Storm is 4-1-1 against the spread in the last six games on the road.
Expect More from Las Vegas Star in Game 2
The only two times that Wilson was held to less than 10 points during the regular season, she responded in a major way with 24- and 35-point efforts. When she finished with eight points in the Aces’ postseason opener, she bounced right back to score 17 points in the clincher against Phoenix.
Wilson had 12 rebounds, three assists and three blocked shots in Game 1 against Seattle but was just 3 of 10 from the field and finished with eight points.
Wilson has averaged 10 field goal attempts during the first three postseason games. Sure, Las Vegas has plenty of talented offensive players but if the Aces are to win the WNBA title, Wilson will need to be more involved in the offense moving forward.
Las Vegas was 15-4 during the regular season when Wilson attempted at least 15 shots, and the goal will be to get her more shots in the crucial second game.
Something to consider for those who bet online: Las Vegas has covered in just four of its last 15 home games.
Storm vs Aces Game Information
- Game: Storm 22-14; vs Aces 26-10
- Location: Michelob Ultra Arena, Las Vegas
- Day/Time: Wednesday, Aug. 30, 10 p.m. ET
- Storm vs Aces Live Stream: WNBA.com
Storm vs Aces Betting Lines
|Team||Point Spread||Moneyline||Total||Team Total|
|Seattle Storm||+6 -110||+200||169½-110o||82-115o |
|Las Vegas Aces||-6 -110||-240||169½-110u||88-115o |
Storm vs Aces Prediction
Seattle was the only one of the four remaining teams in the WNBA playoffs to finish in single digits in road victories during the regular season. The Storm certainly didn’t look like a mediocre road squad in the opening game against No. 1 seed Las Vegas. Seattle put up 26 points in the first quarter and took an 11-point lead.
Charles set a franchise playoff record with 18 rebounds for Seattle, but perhaps even more impressive is that Sue Bird had 12 assists and no turnovers, giving her 24 assists and one turnover in 102 minutes during the three playoff games.
— Seattle Storm (@seattlestorm) August 28, 2022
Seattle’s Gabby Williams missed Game 1 and is questionable for Game 2 as she is in concussion protocol.
Las Vegas only outscored an overmatched Phoenix team by five points in the first quarter in the opening round of the playoff, so the slow start is nothing new.
Las Vegas won three of the four games with Seattle during the regular season, with the last two contests going over the total. The Aces will look to return to their winning ways and also seek to get a game in the 80s or 90s rather than struggling to top 70 points.
While Las Vegas misses post player Dearica Hamby, it is hard to imagine that the Aces will drop another game at home after finishing the regular season with seven consecutive home victories.
Once again, the six-point spread does seem a little high, especially when it is taken into consideration that there is just a 1½-game difference in the team’s records since Charles signed with Seattle. This is a chance for Las Vegas to show that it is the best team in the WNBA.