Liberty vs. Storm WNBA Picks and In-Depth Analysis

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Sabrina Ionescu #20 of the New York Liberty high fives teammates. Christian Petersen/Getty Images/AFP

Sabrina Ionescu and the reeling New York Liberty look to get back on track when they visit Breanna Stewart and the Seattle Storm in what should be an entertaining game on Friday night. Here’s a complete preview, including betting odds and free WNBA picks.

New York Liberty vs. Seattle Storm

Friday, May 27, 2022 – 10:00 PM EDT at Climate Pledge Arena

The Storm opened at -12.5 at BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review) and FiveThirtyEight have them at -8, giving them a 79 percent chance to win. Heritage Sports (visit our Heritage Sports Review) set the total at 158 in their WNBA odds board. 

There’s a massive 4.5-point gap between the projections and the actual odds. Should we take the road team and the points or hammer the total? The BMR consensus reports show 75 percent of early bettors on the Liberty ATS and almost 67 percent on the Over.

Projected Starting Lineups and Roster

New York Liberty

*Notates expected starter

C: Stefanie Dolson*, Han Xu

PF: Natasha Howard*, Michaela Onyenwere

SF: Sami Whitcomb*, Betnijah Laney, Lorela Cubaj

SG: Rebecca Allen*, Ad Durr, Jocelyn Willoughby

PG: Sabrina Ionescu*, Crystal Dangerfield, Didi Richards

Seattle Storm

*Notates expected starter

C: Ezi Magbegor*, Jantel Lavender, Mercedes Russell

PF: Breanna Stewart*, Reshanda Gray

SF: Gabby Williams*, Stephanie Talbot

SG: Jewell Loyd*, Epiphanny Prince

PG: Sue Bird*, Briann January

Key Points to Consider

  • Last 5: The New York Liberty, coming off an 84-78 road loss against the Minnesota Lynx on Tuesday, have lost their last five games.
  • Last 5: The Seattle Storm, coming off an 83-80 home win against the Los Angeles Sparks last Friday, have won two straight games, ending a three-game losing streak.
  • Momentum: The New York Liberty have been on a downward trend, losing their last five games SU and ATS.
  • Head-to-Head: These two teams last met on September 2 and the Seattle Storm won 85-75 at home.

Team Leaders

New York Liberty: 

  • Sabrina Ionescu: 14.5 points and 5.3 assists
  • Betnijah Laney: 13.3 points and 4.3 assists
  • Natasha Howard: 12.7 points, 6.7 rebounds and 1.5 steals  

Seattle Storm: 

  • Breanna Stewart: 19.8 points, 7.0 rebounds
  • Jewell Loyd: 17.3 points and 2.8 rebounds
  • Ezi Magbego: 10.8 points and 7.0 rebounds
  • Sue Bird: 7.3 points and 6.7 assists

How Each Team Arrives to This Game

The Lynx outscored the Liberty 27-13 at the free-throw line to win their first home game of the season, 84-78 on Tuesday. New York had a 65-63 lead heading into the fourth quarter but Minnesota outscored them 21-13 in the last 12 minutes of the game. 

Natasha Howard led the way for the Liberty (1-5 SU and ATS) with 23 points while Rebecca Allen, who came into the game averaging just 4.0 points, added 21 points, making four 3-point shots on eight attempts. Han Xu also had big game with 11 points and seven rebounds off the bench and Sabrina Ionescu finished with 10 points, nine rebounds and seven assists. 

The Storm (3-3 SU, 2-4 ATS), on the other hand, last played on Friday when they beat the Sparks 83-80 at home behind 28 points on 11 of 20 shooting from Breanna Stewart. The star forward also had seven rebounds but she turned the ball over four times. The Storm made 29 field goals and had 27 assists.

Ezi Magbegor had a great all-around performance with nine points, 11 rebounds, three blocks and two steals while Jewell Loyd added 11 points of her own. Loyd has now reached double-figures in scoring in 155 games since 2016 (most in the WNBA).

Player to Watch

Sabrina Ionescu will need to have a big night in order for the Liberty to have a chance on Friday. If Ionescu can make plays as usual and explode offensively, the Liberty can stay in this game.

If Ionescu focuses on creating, not on scoring, it will give the Storm more opportunities to dominate on defense and possibly get an easy win.

Key Matchup

Sabrina Ionescu vs. Sue Bird

If the Storm are content to let Sue Bird cover Sabrina Ionescu then she could make them pay. No offense to Bird, she’s a legend and she still produces but she’s also 41 years old while Ionescu is 24.

The Liberty need Ionescu to exploit this matchup and be the catalyst for this offense by hitting her shots and finding the teammates with the best chances to score.

X-Factors

Natasha Howard and Rebecca Allen can be the X-Factors on Friday. Howard had 23 points against the Lynx and if she delivers another productive night then she would take some pressure off Ionescu and give her team a better chance to compete.

Allen scored 21 points against the Lynx and while she might regress, IF she can at least score in double figures and hit some 3-point shots then this game can be more competitive than people expect. Rebecca Allen was 4-for-8 from beyond the arc against the Lynx and she has to maintain that confidence to shoot if Ionescu finds her.

Betting Trends

The Storm are:

  • 5-13 ATS in their last 18 games following an ATS loss
  • 5-13 ATS in their last 18 home games
  • 7-19 ATS in their last 26 games against a team with a losing straight up record
  • 7-20 ATS in their last 27 games overall
  • 5-17 ATS in their last 22 games as a home favorite
  • 3-14 ATS in their last 17 games as a favorite
  • 0-4 ATS in their last four games following a straight up win

How to Bet This Game

The Storm are the better team and they’re playing at home, with plenty of rest but they’re laying too many points and they’re just 2-4 ATS this season. 

The Liberty are atrocious ATS but they have some weapons and they’re desperate to end their losing streak. I don’t see the Storm losing this game but I like their chances to at least put up a fight and keep it close. 

WNBA Pick: Liberty +12.5 (-110) at Everygame (visit our Everygame Review)

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Liberty +12.5 (-110)
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*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.