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Jewell Loyd
Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports
Wolf's Wagers

WNBA Playoffs: Props and Picks for Semifinals on Wednesday, August 31

by Jake Wolf
Updated On: August 31, 2022, 7:02 pm ET

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After a 4-3 performance on my props for the first set of semifinals matchups, I picked another batch of props I'm targeting for value on tonight's WNBA Playoffs slate. The underdogs won both games outright to start these series, so the favorites are each facing an 0-1 deficit prior to hosting Game 2. My only pick against the spread tonight is on the Seattle Storm at +5.5, as I picked Seattle to win the series and feel even more confident after an impressive defensive showing in Game 1. 

Chicago Sky vs. Connecticut Sun

The Chicago Sky took home the WNBA championship last season but lost the first game of a Round 1 series against the Liberty before dropping Game 1 of the semifinals at home against Connecticut. That was a particularly surprising outcome considering the recent history between these teams, as Chicago's offense was held far below the Sky's performance in previous matchups against the Sun.

One trend that carried over to Game 1 was Candace Parker dominating Connecticut, as the All-Defensive Team snub dropped a historic stat line against the Sun. That's nothing new for Parker, as she averaged 22 points and 9.4 rebounds per 36 minutes against the Sun during the regular season.

I'm going back to Parker's prop market to find my favorite bet for this Eastern Conference showdown. I expect CP3 to easily exceed 15 points in this matchup and I took Parker to go over 14.5 points at -129 on BetRivers. For bettors looking to grab a prop line at plus-money, Parker's points line is available at +106 to go over 15.5 points at FanDuel.

EDGE: Candace Parker Over 14.5 Points -129 (BetRivers)

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Las Vegas Aces vs. Seattle Storm

While there's plenty of intrigue in the Sky vs. Sun series, I'm most excited to watch the battle between Seattle and Las Vegas. The Storm captured Game 1 of this series with a dominant fourth quarter from Jewell Loyd. Loyd scored eight of her 26 points down the stretch against Las Vegas to push her total to 20 clutch-time points during Seattle's current playoff run.

Loyd is just the fifth player over the last 10 years to score at least 20 clutch-time points in a single postseason, joining Maya Moore, Tamika Catchings, Brittney Griner and Diana Taurasi. Each of those legends played at least 25 minutes in that playoff run, while Loyd joined the club after just 10 clutch-time minutes so far this postseason.

I expect another close game tonight and Loyd should be able to cash the over after putting up more than 20 points per game so far this postseason and averaging 20.5 in four matchups against Las Vegas during the regular season. This line is a full point lower than the same market at FanDuel, so there's plenty of value in taking Loyd's points prop.

EDGE: Jewell Loyd Over 17.5 Points -114 (BetRivers)

Loyd is a big reason why I'm taking Seattle to cover in Game 2 even though I already placed futures on the Storm to win this series and the 2022 WNBA Championship. Another major factor in that pick is the lockdown defense Seattle displayed in holding Las Vegas more than 17 points below the team's season average. The Aces had the league's most prolific offense all season but Seattle's disciplined defense prevented the Aces from getting to the free throw line.

Las Vegas averaged nearly 20 free throw attempts per game this season but managed just 11 in Game 1, including just 2 for A'ja Wilson. As I mentioned in the series preview, the Aces struggled this season when Wilson took less than five free throw attempts and the Storm held opponents to the WNBA's lowest free throw attempt rate during the regular season.

While I expect Wilson to improve on her 8-point performance on 3-10 shooting, the Defensive Player of the Year will have her hands full on the other end trying to slow down Breanna Stewart with Dearica Hamby ruled out for Game 2. I think Seattle's defensive performance can carry over and limit Wilson below the 20-point threshold, so I'm targeting the under on Wilson's points total of 20.5, listed at -108 on FanDuel.

EDGE: A'ja Wilson Under 20.5 Points -108 (FanDuel)

With Wilson struggling offensively in Game 1, the Las Vegas backcourt was left to pick up the slack. Chelsea Gray was up to the task as usual, and the second-leading scorer in the 2022 WNBA playoffs dropped 20 points once again. Kelsey Plum scored 20 points of her own, while Jackie Young attempted just six shots and finished with 11 points. I took the under on Young's points prop in Game 1 and I'm looking at the same market for Game 2.

I wrote about Young taking a backseat to Gray and Plum offensively during the postseason but even I didn't anticipate Young taking fewer shots than Kiah Stokes in the first game of this series. The 2022 Most Improved Player used just 16.2% of the Aces' possessions while she was on the floor this postseason, which dropped from Young's 19% usage rate during the regular season. Most of that usage went to Gray, but Riquna Williams also saw a bump in usage in the playoffs. I'm willing to pay the -140 juice on Young to go under 16.5 points at FanDuel, especially considering the under is listed at -159 on BetRivers.

EDGE: Jackie Young Under 16.5 Points -140 (FanDuel)

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Jake Wolf

Jake Wolf is covering basketball for NBC Sports Edge and has worked for FNTSY Sports Network and YES Network. Follow him on Twitter @jakewolf13 for betting content and basketball analysis.