The Sky won three of the four head-to-head matchups these teams battled this season. The first meeting was a 33-point blowout, but the last three were decided by an average win margin of 4.3 points.
The Sky finished the season at 26-10, losing the first seed right at the end. Still, as the two-seed, they're one of the favorites (+225) to win this year's title. Even though they lost two of their last three contests, experience and talent should be on their side in this series.
Chicago has one of the oldest teams in the league, but their veteran leadership is a huge advantage. Star Candace Parker already has two championships in her possession, including last year's, and she'll be the focal point as she looks to make it three. Her teammates Kahleah Copper, Courtney Vandersloot, and Emma Meesseman all enjoyed great seasons and make up a great supporting cast.
The Liberty squeaked into the playoffs at 16-20, winning their final three games of the year. Sabrina Ionescu finished the season with amazing numbers of 17.4 points, 7.1 rebounds, and 6.3 assists. She'll need to be at her best, along with her teammates, if New York is to pull off the first-round upset.
Chicago is the stronger team in most areas, but New York was able to hang with them in three of the four matchups this year. In the one Liberty won, the Sky were held to 37% shooting, so the Liberty will need to clamp down defensively on Wednesday.
"The search begins. ROUND 1, GAME 1" - chicagosky
The home advantage for the Sky could be too difficult to overcome, though, as they went 14-4 this year at Wintrust Arena.
Chicago Sky vs. New York Liberty Match Details
Fixture: New York Liberty @ Chicago Sky
Date & Time: Wednesday, August 17, 8:00 p.m. EDT
Venue: Wintrust Arena, Chicago, Illinois
Chicago Sky vs. New York Liberty Betting Odds
Chicago Sky vs. New York Liberty Betting Prediction
Candace Parker is still one of the best players in the league, even in her 15th WNBA season. Behind her leadership, look for the Sky to jump out to a sizeable halftime lead as they should overwhelm the Liberty.
The Sky should go on to win the game too, but their recent against the spread results haven't been too convincing. They've covered in just one of their last seven home games, so stick with the first half spread.