Favored Vegas strikes in hard-fought finals opener
Game 1 of the WNBA Championship Series certainly had a playoff feel to it, with few open looks to be found. Sunday. both teams shot under 40% from the field. The host Las Vegas Aces had a fourth-quarter lead, and never lost it.
The Aces look to grab an other home win Tuesday in this best-of-five series against the Connecticut Sun. Opener was played at pace and style Connecticut prefers in its quest to beat the top-scoring team in the WNBA.
Las Vegas continues to be favored in this meeting of franchises looking for a first league championship. When looking at the series price, the Aces moved from -290 to -550 after the Game 1 win, while the number went from +240 to +425 for Connecticut after Game 1. That’s according to the WNBA playoff odds.
Sun couldn’t win ‘their’ game
Things were going according to play for the Sun in the opener. Trying to go basket-for-basket with a Las Vegas team starting three former No. 1 overall draft picks is not good, so the Sun want to keep the total under 80.
The Sun went one step further, holding the top-scoring team in the WNBA to 67 points, the lowest total in the playoffs by the Aces.
However unfortunately for Connecticut, strong efforts by Jonquel Jones, Alyssa Thomas and Brionna Jones were wasted here. The trio combined for 46 points (22-of-42 from the field). However, the rest of the team went just 6-of-32. Had only one more player delivered some points, that may have given the series opener.
Do not expect DeWanna Bonner and Courtney Williams to miss 15-of-18 shots in the second game.
Connecticut has covered against the WNBA betting lines in 10 of its last 13.
Aces’ defense is defensible
It’s not hard to think of the Las Vegas Aces merely as a juggernaut on offense. However, in Game 1 of the series, the defense didn’t rest.
Holding onto a slim lead throughout the final quarter, the Aces forced Connecticut to miss seven of its first eight field-goal attempts in the period. Also, two of those misses were a result of blocked shots by WNBA Most Valuable Player A’ja Wilson.
The M’VP showed up and showed out in Game 1 of the #WNBAFinals
— Las Vegas Aces (@LVAces) September 11, 2022
Connecticut was 0-for-7 in the fourth when it had possession and a chance to either tie or take the lead.
Points were at a premium, but when Las Vegas needed to score, there were few surprises about who produced the offense. Former Connecticut Sun guard Chelsea Gray, enjoying a sensational postseason in 2022, came through with four points in the quarter, as did Kelsey Plum, Wilson and Jackie Young had two each.
Something to consider for those who bet online, Las Vegas is 1-4 against the spread in its five home games during the playoffs. The Aces have won four of the five games. .
Sun vs Aces Game Information
- Game: Sun 25-11 (5-4 in the playoffs) vs Aces 26-10 (6-1 in the playoffs);
- Location: Michelob ULTRA Arena, Las Vegas, NV
- Day/Time: Tuesday, Sept. 13th, 9:00 p.m. ET
- Sun vs Aces Live Stream: WNBA.com
Sun vs Aces Betting Lines
|Team||Point Spread||Moneyline||Total||Team Total|
|Connecticut Sun||+4½ -110||+190||164½ -110o||80 -115o
|Las Vegas Aces||-4½ -110||-230||164½ -110u||84½ -115o
Sun vs Aces Prediction
There are reasons why the Las Vegas Aces lead the WNBA in points per game during the playoffs, as they did during the regular season. Wilson and Gray combined for 45 points. Plum was just 1-of-9 from the field. She missed six of her seven 3-point attempts. That doesn’t figure to happen again.
While the Aces do have Dearica Hamby back, it’s a limited role. After missing nearly a month due to injury, Hamby has played in the last three playoff games but just 19 minutes. She went from four-minute stints in the final two contests in the Seattle series to getting 11 minutes in Sunday’s opener.
Total’s under in six of Connecticut’s last six, also eight of the Vegas’ last 11 games at home.
The Aces are just 2-5-1 against the spread in the last eight against Connecticut.
After being favored by six in the opener, it’s the Aces as 4½-point favorites in Game 2.
Expect the Aces to win (and cover) Tuesday.