The 2023 WNBA playoffs got underway on Wednesday, with the Las Vegas Aces and Connecticut Sun picking up easy Game 1 victories. Now, the other four teams who made the postseason get to compete and find out who will go up 1-0 in their series on Friday. The No. 2 New York Liberty (32-8) hosts the No. 7 Washington Mystics (19-21) at 7:30 p.m. (ET). Then the No. 5 Atlanta Dream (19-21) faces No. 4 Dallas Wings (22-18) at 9:30 p.m. (ET). Both contests are on ESPN2.
2023 WNBA Playoffs (Sept. 15): Betting Predictions, Parlays, Locks and Player Props
No. 7 Washington Mystics (19-21) at No. 2 New York Liberty (32-8)
This Washington- New York series could be a lot of fun. The Mystics and Liberty split their four regular-season matchups, with each team winning on the other squad’s home court. Both contests at MSG were one-possession outcomes.
New York has been one of the league’s best teams all season. The Liberty are 8-2 over their last 10 games and 15-5 at home. The Liberty’s 32 victories set a franchise record, which was 10 more than their previous high. It was also a 16-victory improvement over the 2021-22 campaign.
New York ranks second in the league in offensive rating (109.6) and third in defensive rating (99.4). The Liberty are one of the top shooting teams in the league as they rank in the top 2 in the league in field goal, 3-point, and free throw percentage. The Liberty are also excellent on the boards and a fantastic passing squad. Turnovers and their infrequency of getting to the free throw line are their two most significant issues.
New York defends pretty well, as they lead the league in opposition field goal percentage. While the Liberty protects inside the arc well and doesn’t foul, they are only average at defending the 3-point line. They only commit a few turnovers.
Washington is in the postseason for the second straight season, though their 19 wins are three fewer than the previous season. Injuries played a huge part in the Mystics’ struggles. Ariel Atkins, Elena Delle Donne, and Shakira Austin combined to miss 51 games. The Mystics are 7-13 on the road and 5-5 in their last 10. Austin (hip) will miss at least the series’ first two games.
Washington is seventh in the league in offensive rating (99.9) and fourth in defensive rating (100.3). The Mystics do not shoot the ball very well, though they like to launch 3-pointers. They are also not very good on the glass, though they don’t turn the ball over. Defensively, the only thing that they do well is force turnovers.
Best Bet: Over 163.5 Points (-110)
I expect this game to be very competitive. Washington and New York just played on Sunday, with the Mystics pulling out a 90-88 win at MSG. The total points have gone up 1.5 points since the opening line.
While I believe New York is the better team and will win, I am leaning towards Washington (-9.5) to cover. However, my best bet is over 162.5 points. The Liberty are one of the most explosive offensive teams in the league and have several players who can put the ball in the basket on a consistent basis. The Mystics are very good at forcing turnovers and converting them into points.
Moreover, in each of the Mystics-Liberty last three games, at least 177 points have been scored. The only game that didn’t reach 163 points was the season opener.
New York averages 90.5 points, while Washington is producing 79.5 over the last 10 contests. Both teams have been even better after four days of rest. In four games, the Liberty have compiled 98.5 points on 48.4% shooting and 13.3 treys at a 45.3% clip. Similarly, the Mystics produced 86 points on 44.1% shooting from the field and eight threes at 38.1%.
No. 5 Atlanta Dream (19-21) at No. 4 Dallas Wings (22-18)
Dallas has won all three of its meetings against Atlanta this year. Each of the Wings’ victories has been at least seven points. Dallas defeated Atlanta 94-77 on Sunday.
Dallas is one of the best offensive teams in the league and has been cooking lately, averaging 92.3 points a game, and Atlanta doesn’t have enough firepower to keep up.
While the Wings are only mediocre at home (11-9) with a +1.9 point differential, the Dream are below average with a -4.7 differential. Moreover, Dallas has been extremely good following four days of rest while Atlanta has been just okay.
Best Bet: Dallas (-6.5)
WNBA Lock Bet Of the Day
Rhyne Howard Under 5.5 Assists (-140)
Mystics vs. Liberty Over 41.5 First Quarter Points (-118(
Liberty Over 86.5 Points (-120)
Mystics Over 76.5 Points (-120)
Dallas First Half/ Dallas Win ( -175)
Sabrina Ionescu Over 17.5 Points (-120)
Natasha McCloud Over 12.5 Points (-110)
Breana Stewart Over 9.5 Rebounds (-120)
Britney Sykes Over 4.5 Rebounds (-130)
Cheyenne Parker Over 14.5 Points (-130)
Satou Sabally Under 20.5 Points (-110)
Liberty To Win Series (-600)
Wings To Win Series (-330)
2- Legged Series Win Parlay: -193