Wings At Sky Odds: Chicago To Host Dallas In First Round Of WNBA Playoffs

Written By Derek Helling on September 23, 2021 - Last Updated on September 29, 2021

This Chicago Sky playoffs run is now in its third consecutive season, and the franchise has yet to see a WNBA semifinals series. Chicago faces another single-elimination contest tonight to start the 2021 WNBA postseason and some of the relevant numbers favor the visiting Dallas Wings.

Among those is the tally in the regular-season series, the Sky’s inconsistency, and Dallas’ offensive prowess. Because of those factors, Illinois sportsbooks predict a tight game that will likely come down to a few key possessions.

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Chicago Sky playoffs odds for Thursday against Dallas

IL sports betting apps have a pretty solid consensus in their spreads for the game and also agree about the small gap in the moneyline. Thus, it’s up to bettors to decide which version of the Sky they think will show up tonight. The game tips at 7 p.m. CST on ESPN2.

SportsbookSpreadTotalMoneyline
BetRivers SportsbookDallas +4.5 -108
Chicago -4.5 -115
Over 167 -112
Under 167 -112
Dallas +160
Chicago -195
Caesars at William HillDallas +5 -110
Chicago -5 -110
Over 167 -110
Under 167 -110
Dallas +190
Chicago -230
DraftKings SportsbookDallas +5 -110
Chicago -5 -110
Over 167 -110
Under 167 -110
Dallas +185
Chicago -225
FanDuel SportsbookDallas +5.5 -118
Chicago -5.5 -104
Over 166.5 -112
Under 166.5 -108
Dallas +180
Chicago -225
PointsBet SportsbookDallas +5 -110
Chicago -5 -110
Over 167 -110
Under 167 -110
Dallas +175
Chicago -221

Dallas’ talented roster presents issues galore

Dallas won each of the last two meetings between these teams in the regular season, one of which took place at Wintrust Arena. The biggest difference between the lone Chicago win and the two Sky losses was Chicago’s ability to force Dallas scoring leader Arike Ogunbowale to try to beat the Sky on her own.

In the June 30 victory over Dallas, the Sky limited all Wings players not named Ogunbowale to just 54 points. Ogunbowale attempted more shots than the rest of the starting five combined. They also held Ogunbowale under 40% shooting.

Three days later, the rest of the Wings besides Ogunbowale tallied 82 points and she attempted half as many shots. Ogunbowale’s ability to pick her spots improved her percentage to exactly 40% in the game.

To move on this year, the Sky will also have to recapture offensive execution that has escaped them of late. They’ve certainly shown the potential to be efficient on that end at times.

Where have all the buckets gone?

The Sky set a single-season record for the percentage of points scored off assists with over seven of every 10 points coming in such a fashion. Point guard Courtney Vandersloot again led the league in assists per game, something Sky fans have come to expect.

Such efficiency was absent over the last stretch of regular-season games, however. A home loss to a Washington Mystics team that was missing three of its four best players preceded a 30-point loss to the Las Vegas Aces at Wintrust. In the regular-season finale, Chicago struggled to put away a last-place Indiana Fever team that only had six active players.

In those three games, the Sky averaged 12 turnovers and looked lifeless on offense for long stretches. If that happens again Thursday night, the Chicago Sky playoffs will end short of the semifinals for a third consecutive year.

What happens if the Sky win Thursday?

The WNBA playoffs contain four rounds, the first two of which are single-elimination games. The league re-seeds the tournament after each successive round. The second round will take place on Sunday, Sept. 26.

As the sixth seed in the playoffs, the Sky’s opponent in the second round will actually be determined by who wins the late game on Thursday between the fifth-seeded Phoenix Mercury and the eighth-seed, the New York Liberty.

If Phoenix wins, Chicago would go to face the Minnesota Lynx on Sunday. If New York prevails, the Sky would travel to face the defending champion Seattle Storm. Minnesota has the higher seeding between those two teams and thus gets to face the lowest surviving seed from the first round.

If Chicago prevails on Sunday as well, it would finally break through to the semifinals for the first time since 2014. Although beating either the Connecticut Sun or Aces in a best-of-five series would be a tall task, just getting to that point would represent significant progress.

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Derek Helling

Derek Helling is a freelance journalist who resides in Chicago. He is a 2013 graduate of the University of Iowa and covers the intersections of sports with business and the law.

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