Two teams coming off impressive opening wins will try to run their records to 2-0 as the Las Vegas Aces visit the Los Angeles Sparks on Thursday night.
Las Vegas (1-0) began its title defense with a crushing 105-64 road win over the Seattle Storm. Los Angeles (1-0) kicked off its 2023 campaign with a surprisingly lopsided 94-71 win over the Phoenix Mercury, both easily toppling the WNBA odds set by the books.
Both teams feature tremendous offensive firepower, but each will also be facing a step up in competition in their second games. We’ll break down what this means in our free WNBA picks for Aces vs. Sparks on May 25.
Aces vs Sparks best odds
Aces vs Sparks picks and predictions
It was no surprise that the Aces were able to blast the Storm in their season opener on Saturday. Las Vegas has loaded its roster with talent, producing one of the two so-called “superteams” (alongside the New York Liberty) in the WNBA this year.
Still, the margin of victory was stunning. Nobody saw the Aces winning by 41 points on the road, with six players scoring in double figures. It was a statement win that put the league on notice: Las Vegas is the favorite to win a second straight WNBA Championship.
The fact that the Sparks produced their own blowout in their opening game was a bit more surprising. Los Angeles came into that contest as only a slight favorite over Brittney Griner and the Mercury, and many expected Phoenix to play an inspired game with their leader finally back on the court.
Griner did put up 18 points, but it wasn’t nearly enough to keep up with Los Angeles. The Ogwumike sisters dominated the game, with Nneka scoring 17 points while Chiney scored 15 and grabbed seven rebounds in the win. It was a promising start for a Sparks team that has missed the playoffs in the last two seasons but looks primed to get to the postseason in 2023.
Offensively, both teams dominated in their openers. They combined to score a whopping 199 points, and that has led sportsbooks to place a relatively high total on tonight’s game.
In the case of the Aces, there’s little doubt they can score. Las Vegas averaged just over 90 points per game last season, easily leading the league. It played to an average total of 174.5 points, pushing the tempo with the fastest pace in the WNBA.
Los Angeles also played to a quick pace last season, albeit with less success. The Sparks averaged just 79.4 points per game, while allowing opponents to score 86.6 points per night, the second-worst mark in the league.
Based on how they started the season, we can expect these teams to run the floor again in 2023. And while they both held opponents to relatively low scores in their openers, that should change tonight. There’s no way Los Angeles can stop the Aces from putting up points, and the Sparks should contribute to a faster pace more than Phoenix did in Las Vegas’ first game of the year.
Sure, tonight’s total is up in the stratosphere by WNBA standards. But we can shop around for a slightly lower number and feel confident that these teams will put up buckets up and down the court for 40 minutes. My pick is the Over.
My best bet: Over 170.5 (-105)
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Aces vs Sparks spread and Over/Under analysis
The Aces opened tonight’s game as a 13.5-point favorite. That line has held steady, though you can find a couple sites offering Las Vegas at -12.5 if you want to bet on the favorite. Both teams covered easily in their first games, beating the spread by over 20 points in each case.
Once again, Las Vegas will have a huge edge in talent in this game, though the gap isn’t quite as large as in their first matchup against the Storm. We can expect the Aces to be a double-digit favorite frequently this season, as the consensus is that they and the Liberty are simply on a different level than the rest of the league.
However, we can’t expect Las Vegas to simply blow out every team they play all year long, and this Sparks team has the talent in the post to keep the game reasonable, especially at home. I’m leaning towards Los Angeles with the 13.5 points at home.
The total on this matchup opened at 172 points. While that’s roughly still where you’ll find the Over/Under now, there’s a huge spread of lines being offered across different sites. If you want the Over, you can get favorable odds at 170.5 points; alternately, you can take the Under at 172.5 points with -115 odds.
There’s just too much offensive talent playing at too fast a pace for me to recommend anything but the Over here. The fact that I can get -105 odds at the lower 170.5 total is an added bonus, but I’d be comfortable recommending this bet even if the total goes up a point or two. The Aces may threaten the 100-point barrier again on Thursday, and the Sparks will do a reasonable job of keeping up, making the Over the play here.
Aces vs Sparks betting trend to know
The Over is 6-1 in the Aces’ last six road games. Find more WNBA betting trends for Aces vs. Sparks.
Aces vs Sparks game info
|Location:||Crypto.com Arena, Los Angeles, CA|
|Date:||Thursday, May 25, 2023|
|Tip-off:||10:00 p.m. ET|
|TV:||CBS Sports Network|
Aces vs Sparks key injuries
Aces: Riquna Williams G (Out).
Sparks: Jasmine Thomas G (Out), Azura Stevens F (Out), Katie Lou Samuelson F (Out).
Find our latest WNBA injury reports.