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Aces vs Sky: AI Predictions from Custom WNBA Models

June 27, 2024

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The Las Vegas Aces square off against the Chicago Sky in Chicago at 7:00 PM EST on PRIME video. The match up features two middle-of-the-pack teams when looking at the standings but also two teams that make a lot of noise throughout the sports world.

Let’s take a look at the Aces vs Sky AI Predictions for what the models say are the best bets of this Thursday night showcase.

Preview of my Aces vs Sky AI Prediction

The Las Vegas Aces (8-6) come into this match up having won 3 of their last 4 games and starting to round into their last season, championship form. The Chicago Sky (6-9), are winners of two straight after dropping four in a row just preceding this winning streak. The Sky coming off of an exhilarating one-point win over the Caitlin Clark led Fever just last Sunday.

This is the first match up between these two teams so let's take a deep dive into each team and how they compare.

Las Vegas Aces Preview

The reigning champion Las Vegas Aces came into the 2024 season somewhat sluggish. Having hoisted the championship trophy, that may have been expected. But now 14 games into the regular season, they are starting to look like the team we all watched last year. Led by coach Becky Hammon and superstars Kelsey Plum, A’ja Wilson, and Jackie Young they are a team with a clear arrow going in the right direction.

Wilson continues her MVP bid with league leading statistics of points per game (27.8) and rebounds per game (11.6), and second in win share (4.1). Kelsey Plum and Jackie Young also contribute big-time to the offensive game with 18.1 and 18.2 points per game respectively.

The Aces continue to flex their offensive muscle and be an offensive machine. They are second the league in team points per game at 87.2, free throw percentage and two-point fg percentage, third in three pointers taken and fifth in three-point percentage. They are a run-and-gun team, leading the WNBA in PACE with 80.9 and are second in the league in offensive rating with a 107.7 rating.

While they are offensively impressive, their defense leaves a lot to be desired. With a defensive rating of 104.6 which is the fourth worst in the league and a fifth worst opponent points per game total.

On the season, the Aces are just 5-9 ATS despite their 8-6 actual record. They have gone over 8 times and under 6 in their 14 total games.

Chicago Sky Preview

The Chicago Sky are led by vocal leaders Marina Mabrey, Chennedy Carter and Angel Reese. While they don't have the one or two high profile super stars, they have a well-balanced scoring team with Mabrey leading the team with 14.5 ppg, followed by Carter (14.3 ppg) and then Reese (13.2 ppg). Reese is second in the league in rebounding, just behind A'ja Wilson, with 11.1 per game.

Similar to the Aces, the Sky like to run up and down the court and get their shots up. They are fourth in the league in PACE (79.4) but unfortunately, the offensive efficiency and conversion rate hasn't followed suit. The Sky are second in field goals attempted by eighth in field goal percentage, they are third in free throws attempted by eleventh in free throws made percentage, they are tenth in the league in assists and twelfth in defensive rebounds. Overall, they are seventh in total points per game with 79.9 and in offensive rating with a rating of 100.7.

The Aces are 6-9 ATS, just like their record of 6-9. They have played to 8 overs and 7 unders in the 15 games they have played.

Simply put, they are a team that knows what they want to do and how they want to play but have not been able to capitalize on those opportunities just yet.

How I Use Rithmm Models for Aces vs Sky AI Prediction

My first thought about this game after doing the initial research is that the over/under is where I think there will be value. Both of these teams are fast moving, high shot attempt, teams that want to score. I would expect the over/under to be high and that it is with a O/U of 169.5 and a spread of Aces -10.5.

Seeing how the Aces are playing compared to the Sky and that big spread number, I am sticking to the over/under and my initial thought is to lean towards the under.

With my initial thoughts and research done, let’s turn to the Rithmm app and see if the models that have been created confirm my theories for my WNBA AI prediction.

Let's take a look at the Rithmm AI custom betting models that I personally created with the Rithmm app.  

The first model, “Rithmm AI”, which looks at all categories equally but leaving tempo out, have the Aces vs Sky AI prediction as an over/under of 169.3 Showing barely any value compared to the given O/U. Tempo being a big factor in this game and not being a category of importance in this model is likely the reasoning.

The “All Offensive” model that I had customized myself that puts a ton of weight on all offensive categories, have the Aces vs Sky AI prediction as an over/under of 167.1. This should more than a two-point difference from the actual O/U and helps my inital inclination.

Lastly, the “Defensive/Tempo” model that I customized featuring tempo, three pointers, and defense, have the Aces vs Sky AI prediction as an over/under of 166.4. Another model prediction giving a lower O/U of the actual number.

My Aces vs Sky AI Prediction

With my own research and with all three of the models showcasing an edge on the under I am enticed to stick with my first inclination. Both these teams like to run the floor and are looking for those high offensive numbers which leads to a high O/U. But with less than efficient offenses and lack of scoring punch from one of the team, I’m taking the UNDER at 169.5 of the Aces vs Sky match up.

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