Indiana Fever vs New York Liberty – July 23, 2023
INDIANA FEVER VS. NEW YORK LIBERTY EXPERT PICK – JULY 23, 2023 – Happy Sunday basketball fans. Welcome back to our weekend WNBA coverage here at Godzilla Wins. After our earlier look at the Mercury vs Mystics, the second game on the schedule features the Indiana Fever (6-15) taking on the New York Liberty (15-5).
Can the team with the worst record in the eastern conference hang with the ball club that has the best record in the conference, as well as the second-best record in the league? Read on to find out which team has the edge heading into this matchup.
When: Sunday, July 23, 2023 at 3:00 PM ET
Where: Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY
TV: NBA TV
Odds courtesy of DraftKings as of July 23, 2023. Table provided by the editorial staff.
Indiana Fever vs New York Liberty — Season Trends
Indiana Fever Fading Fast Following Respectable Start
Early on, there was a buzz about the Indiana Fever, and rightfully so. Aliyah Boston – the No. 1 overall pick in this year’s WNBA draft – has exceeded expectations. And it seemed as if Indiana was on the verge of making it back to the playoffs for the first time since 2016.
But after a respectable 5-7 start, the Fever endured a painful, eight-game losing streak, dropping them to 5-15, thus putting them in jeopardy of missing the postseason once again.
Fortunately, Indiana stopped the bleeding with an 82-76 win over the Washington Mystics on July 19. Kelsey Mitchell scored a team-high 18 points to go along with five assists and four steals:
Despite the eight-game losing streak that was mentioned before, the Fever are a decent team from an offensive standpoint.
- Scoring: 82.1 points per game (6th)
- Efficiency: 103.4 points per 100 possessions (5th)
- Rebounding: 35.5 (5th)
- Rebounds allowed: 33.1 (2nd)
Unfortunately, the story is not as positive at the defensive end of the floor. Indiana has the third-worst scoring defense (85.5 PPG) and they have the second-worst defensive rating – allowing 107.5 points per 100 possessions.
Additionally, the opposition is shooting 35.7 percent from 3-point range against the Fever this season, which is the third-highest conversion rate in the league. That said, Indiana could have its hands full against a Liberty team that shoots 38.2 percent from distance.
New York Liberty A Problematic Matchup
While its opponent comes into this matchup struggling, the Liberty have been one of the best teams in the league all season. They produced 10 wins across their first 14 starts and have gone 5-1 since then.
This includes a 96-87 win over the Washington Mystics on July 21. Jonquel Jones paced the Liberty’s scoring attack with 27 points and 11 rebounds. Breanna Stewart added 24 points and 10 boards, while Sabrina Ionescu tallied 16 points, 11 boards, and nine dimes.
From an offensive perspective, few teams do it better than the Liberty. They have the second-highest scoring offense (88.2 PPG) and the second-best efficiency rating as well.
New York is shooting 45.6 percent from the floor and 38.2 percent from beyond the arc. Both are tops in the association. New York also has the second-best rebounding team in the league (37.4) and it leads the league in assists (24.2).
Defensively, the numbers are not as great, but still respectable. The Liberty are ranked seventh in scoring defense (82.4 PPG) and they have the fourth-best defensive rating (101.5 points per 100 possessions).
Although New York is ranked second in opponent shooting percentage (42.2), it has the fourth-worst opponent 3-point shooting in the league (35.5 percent).
Perhaps the Fever can keep the game close with timely outside shooting from distance.
The New York Liberty are 11.5-point favorites in this contest. While the Las Vegas Aces made me look good in covering the 15-point spread against the Minnesota Lynx yesterday, Here are a few reasons why I am going with the UNDER in this matchup.
- Indiana is 6-3 ATS in its last nine road contests.
- The Fever are 8-3 in their last 11 games on the road against New York.
- New York is 0-5 ATS in its last five games overall and 1-5 ATS in its last six games at home.
- The Liberty are just 8-14-1 ATS in its last 23 games against the Fever.
Prediction: Indiana (+11.5)
The projected over/under total is 170.5. The two teams are averaging a combined 170.3 points per outing this season, which is just a smidge below the O/U for this contest. Here is why I am going with the OVER here.
- The OVER is 6-2 for Indiana in its last eight games that were played on a Sunday.
- The OVER is an impressive 20-8-1 for the Fever in their last 29 games against eastern conference teams.
- In Indiana’s last 16 road games, the OVER has cashed in 11 times.
- The OVER is a perfect 4-0 for New York in the last four times it has played on one day of rest.
- The OVER has hit seven times in New York’s last eight games following an SU win.
- In New York’s last 10 games, the OVER has prevailed eight times (8-2).
- The OVER is 4-1 in the last five meetings between these two teams.
- The last seven times these two ball clubs clashed in New York; the OVER total cashed in six times.
Player Prop Bet
My key player to watch in this contest is none other than MVP front-runner Breanna Stewart. She currently has -125 odds of scoring more than 22.5 points and -105 odds of scoring less than 22.5 points.
In her first season in New York, Stewart is averaging career-highs in points (23.2), rebounds (9.7), assists (3.8), overall shooting (47.8 percent), and 3-point shooting (41.4 percent).
Also, Stewart has compiled four outings of 22-plus points in her last six games. And she is averaging 31.5 points per contest in the two regular season matchups between these teams.
Prediction: Breanna Stewart OVER 22.5 points
- Indiana Fever (+11.5)
- OVER 170.5 points
- Breanna Stewart OVER 22.5 points