The #WNBA playoffs begin tonight with two games. and the defending league champion Las Vegas Aces are the -160 favorites to repeat. They had the WNBA’s best record this year at 34-6 with just one home loss and are 16-point home favorites tonight against the last team in the postseason field in the Chicago Sky in a matchup featuring the past two WNBA champions. The SBIA Model’s top play is over the total of 170.5 points in the first game of a best-of-3 series. The over is 6-1-1 in the past eight meetings in Vegas.
#ALLINLV Vegas set several WNBA records this year, including wins and overall point differential. The Aces had the WNBA's top-scoring offense for the fourth season in a row, climbing from 88.7 to 89.3 to 90.4 to 92.8 points per game. The Aces’ offensive rating of 113.0 set a league mark, slipping past the 2019 Washington Mystics (112.9).
The Aces’ Jackie Young, Chelsea Gray and Kelsey Plum make up one of the most dominant guard trios in WNBA history. All were named All-Stars this year, yet the team’s best player is forward A'ja Wilson, who leads the club in scoring (22.8 ppg), rebounds (9.5 rpg) and blocks (2.2 pg) and is a leading contender for what could be her third WNBA MVP award.
Wilson ranks third in the league in scoring, second in rebounding, first in blocks 10th in steals (1.40 spg), and third in field goal percentage (.557). She’s only 27. It likely will either be Wilson or New York’s Breanna Stewart winning MVP. That will be announced Sept. 26.
On Tuesday, Stewart became the first player to repeat as The Associated Press WNBA Player of the Year. She edged Wilson by one vote from the 12-member media. Stewart and Wilson finished one-two in the balloting in 2022 as well but the Aces' star won the league's MVP award. Wilson was selected as the AP's Defensive Player of the Year for the second consecutive season. Teammate Alysha Clark was chosen as the AP Sixth Woman of the Year.
Eighth-seeded Chicago (18-22) closed the regular season with three straight wins and is in the playoffs for a fifth straight year. Three-time All-Star Kahleah Copper signed a two-year extension with the Sky at the deadline on Sunday, inking a supermax deal worth $241,984 in 2024 and $248,134 in 2025. She didn’t play in the season finale due to a toe injury but is probable tonight. Copper averages 18.7 points and 4.4 rebounds. Forward Alanna Smith (9.2 ppg, 6.2 rpg) is questionable.
Las Vegas was 3-0 vs. Chicago this season with the biggest margin of victory a 93-80 home victory in the first meeting back on June 11. They last played on Aug. 24 in Chicago and the Aces won 94-87. Las Vegas was 18-for-18 from the free-throw line that night and it was the only game in 2023 in which the #skytown did not register a blocked shot. The 107 points scored by the Aces on July 25 marked the most any team scored against the Sky this season.
Chicago enters on a 7-1 ATS run, while Las Vegas is 2-7 ATS in its past nine. The Sky are +20000 longshot to win the WNBA title for the second time in three years.
The last playoff meeting was in the 2019 second round, and Chicago won at home 93-92. Just one game then. Four Aces remain from that game in Sydney Colson, Plum, Wilson and Young, while Copper is the only player remaining from Chicago’s roster.
Oddsmakers expect a sweep this time by Las Vegas as that the series goes only two games is -800 and three is +500.