Illinois Sportsbooks Favor Chicago Sky For First Time In 2021 WNBA Finals

Written By Derek Helling on October 15, 2021 - Last Updated on December 8, 2021
wnba finals odds chicago sky game 2

Except for their first-round game against the Dallas Wings, Illinois sportsbooks have cast the Chicago Sky as underdogs in every other postseason game they’ve completed. That has changed for WNBA Finals Game 3, however.

For the first time in this series, the Chicago Sky are the favorites on IL sports betting apps. Might the lines have swung a bit too far, though? As usual, it depends on how much weight you give to certain elements.

Chicago Sky odds for WNBA Finals Game 3

The most drastic change in lines from Game 2 to pregame action for Game 3 is on the spread. Essentially, Illinois sportsbooks have left the numbers intact but switched the teams next to them.

BetRivers SportsbookPhoenix +3.5 -115
Chicago -3.5 -110
Over 165.5 -114
Under 166.5 -113
Phoenix +130
Chicago -162
Caesars by William Hill SportsbookPhoenix +3 -115
Chicago -3 -115
Over 167 -115
Under 167 -115
Phoenix +140
Chicago -170
DraftKings SportsbookPhoenix +3 -110
Chicago -3 -110
Over 167 -110
Under 167 -110
Phoenix +135
Chicago -155
FanDuel SportsbookPhoenix +3.5 -118
Chicago -3.5 -104
Over 166.5 -114
Under 166.5 -106
Phoenix +128
Chicago -158
PointsBet SportsbookPhoenix +3 -110
Chicago -3 -110
Over 167 -110
Under 167 -110
Phoenix +135
Chicago -160

Chicago Sky game tonight

  • What: Mercury vs. Sky WNBA Finals Game 3
  • When: 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 15
  • Where: Wintrust Arena
  • Watch: ESPN2

The deviation from Game 2’s spread is about seven or eight points. That looks like sportsbooks have given that much weight to the change in venue, as Friday’s will be the first game of the series from Wintrust Arena.

If that is the case, then that’s an overreaction. Road teams have outscored home teams so far this postseason. In addition, road teams have covered in 60% of WNBA playoff games this year.

Reading this situation as sportsbooks simply weighing playing at home as worth seven or eight points might be too simplistic a view, however. The difference is likely due to several factors.

Have the Sky sold sportsbooks on their air superiority?

Even in defeat in Game 2, Chicago outshot and outrebounded the Phoenix Mercury. One of the main differences from Game 1 to Game 2 was the Sky’s ability to turn Phoenix over. Chicago forced 18 Mercury turnovers in Game 1, then just 12 in Game 2.

In an overtime contest, something like recording 2/3 as many turnovers can be a deciding factor. So, how have the Sky fared in that regard at home vs. on the road this postseason? In three home games, Chicago has forced an average of 13.4 turnovers.

In five road games, that average drops to 10.6. There’s a strong direct correlation between the volume of turnovers and offensive efficiency for the Sky. In the three games, they have forced the most turnovers, including Game 1 of this series, Chicago has shot a combined 49.5% from the field. That includes shooting over 34.3% from the three-point range, too.

In the four games when they’ve recorded 12 or fewer turnovers, including Wednesday, those numbers drop to 44% and 31.6%. For Chicago, turnovers generate offensive success. The Sky have been better at forcing turnovers inside Wintrust, so it makes sense to adjust for that.

Whether that’s worth seven or eight points is what bettors in Illinois have to decide for themselves before Friday night’s game. Tip is at 8 p.m. on ESPN2, so you have some time to evaluate that line.

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Derek Helling

Derek Helling is a lead writer for PlayUSA and the manager of BetHer. 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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