The second annual WNBA Commissioner’s Cup Championship could be a preview of the 2022 Finals.
In a battle between the two best teams in the league, the Chicago Sky (21-7) will host the Las Vegas Aces (20-8) at 8:30 p.m. ET Tuesday. This is the third meeting between these two teams, with Las Vegas securing a 83-76 win on May 28. Chicago then pulled off the greatest comeback in WNBA history during its 104-95 victory in Las Vegas on June 21.
There will be a $500,000 prize pool for this game, with the winning team’s player each getting $30,000. The MVP of the game will win an additional $5,000. So there should be plenty of motivation on each side for what could be a statement win.
How The Las Vegas Aces Can Win
Las Vegas’ loss to Chicago was the start of a rough stretch, as Becky Hammon’s squad dropped five of its next seven games. The Aces have cleaned up some of their defensive issues since the All-Star Break, and are actually coming off a 84-66 win over the Sparks on Saturday.
A’ja Wilson continues to make her case to win another MVP award. She is averaging 19.4 points per game to go along with 9.7 rebounds and 2.1 blocks per outing. Wilson has scored at least 20 points in seven consecutive games, and was recently named Player of the Week along with Alyssa Thomas of Connecticut.
Aces’ Recent Results:
Las Vegas 84, Los Angeles 66
Las Vegas 90, Indiana 77
Atlanta 92, Las Vegas 76
Las Vegas 91, Connecticut 83
Las Vegas 108, New York 74
How The Chicago Sky Can Win
Saturday’s 83-80 road loss to New York snapped a six-game win streak for Chicago. But it is worth noting that the Sky were at a schedule disadvantage, playing three games in four days last week. The matinee matchup against the Liberty was actually the second leg of a back-to-back.
Courtney Vandersloot has missed the past four games while in concussion protocol, but the Sky have had key players step up in their star's absence. They have six players averaging double figures, led by Kahleah Copper’s clip of 14.8 points per game. Candace Parker has also recorded a pair of triple-doubles for the defending champions.
Chicago’s Recent Results:
New York 83, Chicago 80
Chicago 89, Dallas 83
Chicago 78, Seattle 74
Chicago 89, Dallas 81
Chicago 80, Los Angeles 68
These two teams are extremely even, which is what makes this game so compelling. Chicago opened as a short favorite, and will likely receive more bets given the recent results are in favor of the champs. The total opened at 169.5, implying that oddsmakers believe the Sky should dictate the tempo.
All that said, I can’t pass up the opportunity to take the Aces at plus-money to win a basketball game. This team has too much firepower on the offensive end when things are clicking, and they have made enough strides on defense to provide some semblance of hope.
This is a coin-flip matchup either way, so taking the team with favorable betting odds seems like the way to go.
Pick: Aces ML