Liberty vs. Mystics: Betting Odds & Predictions: WNBA Playoffs Game 1

With the 2023 regular season complete, the WNBA Playoffs First Round will continue on Friday, Sept. 15. Eight teams, four of which represent the Eastern and Western Conference, will compete for the WNBA Championship. The First-Round Playoff matchups will include the best of three games played. Followed by the first round are the semi-finals, and then the Finals. Here, you will find the WNBA betting odds, lines, matchups, and brackets for the WNBA First-Round playoffs between the New York Liberty and the Washington Mystics.

WNBA Game 1 Odds: New York Liberty (2) vs. (7) Washington Mystics

Brandon Todd/New York Liberty

Tomorrow is Game 1 of the WNBA Playoffs Round-Round between the New York Liberty (32-8, 15-5 Home) and the Washington Mystics (19-21, 7-13 Away). The first of three games, the New York Liberty will look to bring their first ever WNBA title to New York City. In their third straight playoff appearance, the Liberty finished 8-2 down the stretch. Having lost in the first round the past season seasons, New York will face Washington, who will make their second straight playoff appearance. 2019 WNBA Champions, the Mystics finished 5-5, including a 90-88 victory over the Liberty last game of the season.

 In this article, I will break down the WNBA betting odds, statistics, trends, odds, player prop bets, and predictions. The matchup will begin at 7:30 p.m. ET, at the Barclays Center, located in Brooklyn, New York. If you're Betting on the WNBA and interested in watching, the game will air on ESPN2.  For the best betting odds, stats and analysis, here is information to know.

Odds courtesy of FanDuel Sportsbook

Liberty vs. Mystics O 162.5 (-111)

The New York Liberty

The New York Liberty proved they were an elite team, finishing with a record of 32-8, and 15-5 at home. After finishing with their best record in franchise history, New York will matchup with the 7th seed Washington Mystics at home. New York, who acquired Jonquel Jones, and signed Breanna Stewart and Courtney Vandersloot in the offseason, have a clear vision of winning a title. With only 5 losses at home, one came against the Washington Mystics, in the final game of the regular season.

Led by head coach Sandy Brondello, the Liberty were outstanding all season. Since the All-Star break, New York finished 18-4, first in the WNBA, and lead in offensive rating (112.2). In key areas, the Liberty dominated the league in rebounds (38.7), assists (23.9), three-point attempts (31.5), and three-pointers made per game (11.6). Next to the Los Angeles Sparks, New York finished second in three-point percentage (36.9) since the break. Through the month of August, the Liberty were a league best 9-1, and led the league in offensive rating, defensive rating, net rating, assist percentage, assists to turnover ratio, and rebound percentage. Their 17.7 net rating through August was the highest of any team, and 12.3 points more than the Aces. The Washington Mystics had a net rating of -4.4 over that time span.

The Washington Mystics

The Washington Mystics remain one of the most intriguing teams in this year's playoffs. Riddled with Injuries, the Mystic have Elene Delle Donne and Ariel Atkins back in the starting lineup. Washington recently lost Shakira Austin and Kristi Toliver, both to injuries. The Mystics run a three-guard lineup, which consists of Natasha Cloud, Brittney Sykes, and Ariel Atkins. The three-guards account for 40 points and 50 percent of the team's total offensive. With Delle Donne and Austin played a combined 50 games, Washington could be a dark horse this year.

The Mystics, led by Eric Thibault, managed to keep up with the Liberty in all four of their matchups. In their last victory, both Austin and Toliver were out, with knee and hip injuries. After a 19-21 record to close out the year, the Mystics were 7-13 in away games. One of the least efficient teams on the rebounds, Washington finished 7th in offensive rating (99.9), and 5th in defensive rating (100.3).

Overall, it's hard to envision the series split, when the Liberty's net rating is more than 11 points higher than the Mystics. Since the All-Star break, Washington regressed defensively, sliding to 7th in defensive rating (103). We saw the effect of Elena Delle Donne against Breanna Stewart, in which No. 30 shot 4-17 in their last matchup. Ariel Atkins, Delle Donne, and Natasha Cloud were all part of the 2019 championship and are no stranger to playoff games. Although I won't take Washington to win the MoneyLine out right, their health will be the biggest x-factor.

Season Matchups

The season series is split 2-2 between the New York Liberty and the Washington Mystics. In four matchups against Washington, New York averaged 84.3 points, and shot 31.3 percent from three, and 39.9 percent from the field. Both shooting percentages are specifically lower than their regular season average. In two home matchups, the Liberty averaged 90 points a game, and shot 38.6 percent from three. Overall, Brooklyn's team is more efficient on the offensive end in front of their home fans.

The Washington Mystics, led by Elena Delle Donne were able to keep all games relatively close, including an overtime loss in game 2. In four meetings against New York, the Mystics averaged 86.3 points, and shot 37 percent from the three. On the road, Washington averaged nearly 89 points, and were much more efficient on the offensive end. In the final season of the matchup, the Mystics defeated the Liberty 90-88, with a last second buzzer beater by Brittney Sykes.

Why the over will hit

Three of their four season matchups hit the over. New York was 23-17-0 against totals, and Washington 15-24-1. Over the last ten matchups, the Liberty averaged 91 points a game, and Washington 80. New York is coming off three straight games that hit the over and will face a Washington team that ranks 8th in points per game. New York has shown they can play defensive during prime games. In two cases, we saw this in matchups against the Connecticut Sun and the Las Vegas Aces. With three strong guard, along with Elena Delle Donne, the first game will be extremely competitive. I still like the over, based off previous matchups and recent trends.

Sabrina Ionescu O 8.5 1H Points

PPG: 17 | FG: 42.3 % | 3 PT: 44.8 % | FT: 87.2% | REB: 5.6 | AST: 5.4 | STL: 1 | BLK: 0.3

Sabrina Ionescu, guard for the New York Liberty, is one of the most prolific shooters in the WNBA. In her fourth season with the Liberty, Ionescu is a member of this year's fab five, which includes Breanna Stewart, Courtney Vandersloot, and Betnijah Laney. No. 20 set several historic records this season, including most three pointers made in a single season (128). Ionescu, 25, broke the WNBA and NBA record for most points in a three-point shooting contest with 37. On the cover of 2k24, the guard has shown why she is one of the most elite shooters in league. She ranks third in the league in three-point percentage, beneath Tyasha Harris and Jackie Young.

The former No.1 overall draft pick is the first player in history to have 500+ points, 200+ rebounds, and 200+ assists in a regular single season. Surrounded by talent, Ionescu is undeniably the focal part of the offense. Through 36 games, Sabrina leads the Liberty starters in three-point percentage (44.8), and three-point attempts per game (7.9). She tops the starting five in free-throw percentage (87.2) and ranks second to Breanna Stewart in minutes (31.5), and field goal attempts per game (12.8). Excelling both on and off the ball, Ionescu is incredible in creating her own shot and coming off ball screens. After a down year in 2022, the Liberty guard is averaging over 11 points better from downtown. With Courtney Vandersloot primarily at the point guard position, Ionescu has thrived alongside her.

Matchup with the Mystics

Brandon Todd/New York Liberty

Through 36 regular season games, Ionescu has been extremely efficient shooting wise in front of her home fans. She finished the season shooting 47.3 percent from three, and 44.3 percent from the field in home games. Through 17 home matchups, the guard averaged 32.4 minutes, 13.5 field goal attempts, and 8.6 three-point attempts per game. With the first two playoff games at home, Ionescu certainly makes this prop enticing.

In four matchups against the Mystics, Ionescu averaged 34 minutes, 21.3 points, 14.5 field goal attempts, 8.8 three-point shots, 7.3 rebounds 6 assists, and 1.5 steals. In the meetings, No. 20 shot 45.7 percent from the three. It's important to note, there's significant disparity in her statistics at home vs. away.

In two matchups at the Barclays against Washington, Ionescu totaled nearly 25.5 points, and nine three-point attempts. She shot an improbable 61 percent from three, and 91 percent from the free-throw line. In games against Washington at home, Sabrina shot 54 percent from the field, almost 20 points more than away games. After a summation of her stats, I am fairly confident in this prop hitting. On Friday, the Liberty will face a Mystics team who allow opponents to shoot 34.5 percent from the three and grant close to 23 three-point attempts per game. She is truly a special player and had enormous success in home games against the Mystics this year.

Why this prop will hit

Overall, Sabrina Ionescu ranks 6th in the league in offensive rating (112.8) and will face a three-guard lineup against Ariel Atkins, Brittney Sykes, and Natasha Cloud. Both Atkins and Sykes ranked top 45 in the league in defensive rating. This prop hit 100 percent in two home matchups against Washington, in which Ionescu had 12 and 11 points by halftime. With 17 games played at the Barclays this year, Sabrina averaged 9.2 and 8.4 overall first half points. With back-to-back matchups with points in double figures, the Liberty guard averaged 30.7 minutes, 16.5 points, and 10.9 field goal attempts in the last ten.

Sabrina Ionescu is a competitive player, who thrives in pressure situations. Able to attack outside the perimeter, Ionescu shines in drives to the basket, in addition to getting to the line. In four matchups against the Mystics, Ionescu had 21 total free-throw attempts. With only three playoff games in the first round, I fully expect No.20 to fire on all cylinders tomorrow night. She was named to the Associated Press All-Second Team for a reason.

Season Statistics & Betting Trends

New York Liberty

  • New York Liberty: 4-1 in their last 5 games.
  • 8-2 in their last 10 games.
  • ATS Record: 19-21-0
  • O/U Record: 23-17-0
  • 2-3 ATS in their last 5 games.
  • 5-5 ATS in their last 10 games.
  • O/U is 3-2 in the last 5 games.
  • O/U: 6-4 in the last 10 games.
  • 2nd in Offensive Rating (109.6)
  • 3rd in Defensive Rating (99.4)
  • 2nd in Points Per Game (89.2)
  • 5th in Pace: 96.56
  • Opponent Points Per Game: 80.6 (4th)
  • Three-Point Percentage: 37.4 (1st)
  • Rebounds Per Game: 37.9 (2nd)
  • New York ATS won last 10 games: Phoenix (-12.5), Minnesota (-9), Las Vegas (-2), Connecticut (-7.5), Chicago (-9)

Washington Mystics

  • Washington Mystics: 2-3 in their last 5 games.
  • 5-5 in their last 10 games.
  • ATS Record: 18-21-1
  • O/U Record: 15-24-0
  • 3-2 ATS in their last 5 games.
  • 5-4-1 ATS in their last 10 games.
  • O/U is 2-3 in the last 5 games.
  • O/U: 3-10 in the last 10 games.
  • 7th in Offensive Rating (99.9)
  • 5th in Defensive Rating (100.3)
  • 8th in Points Per Game (80.5)
  • 6th in Pace: 96.40
  • Opponent Points Per Game: 80.9 (5th)
  • Three-Point Percentage: 33.6 (7th)
  • Rebounds Per Game: 32.3 (10th)
  • Washington: ATS won last 10 games: Las Vegas (+10, +10), Minnesota (-7.5), Phoenix (-7), New York (+10.5).

Head-to-head stats: Liberty vs. Mystics

Season Matchups:

Game 1: Washington 80, New York 64 (Washington +2.5, under 163.5)
Game 2: New York 89, Washington 88 OT (Washington +7, over 161.5)
Game 3: New York 96, Washington 87 (Washington +10, over 163.5)
Game 4: Washington 90, New York 88 (Washington +10.5, over 162.5)

  • New York and Washington split the series 202
  • The Mystics are 3-0 ATS vs. the Liberty this season.
  • Game Points (AVG) last 10 matchups: 159
  • New York average points last 10 games: 91
  • Washington average points last 10 games: 80

Stay tuned for more WNBA and betting related articles. Click here for more WNBA betting strategies.

Sara Jane Gamelli is a full-time Sportswriter at BallisLife, and Sports Content Creator on Twitch and TikTok. She has a focus on the NBA, WNBA, NCAA Basketball, and the NFL. Sara Jane currently resides in Connecticut with her Cat and Dog. SJ has her undergraduate degree from the University of Connecticut in Economics, with a minor in business administration.


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