WNBA fantasy and betting tips for Thursday

Kiah Stokes' rebounding presence could be a big factor. Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Each day of the WNBA season, our team of fantasy and betting experts breaks down every game on the slate, making note of everything from injuries and lineup changes to recent trends and more.

All odds are provided by Caesars Sportsbook. Times are ET.

Here's what to look for during today's slate:

Chicago Sky at Las Vegas Aces
10:00 p.m., Michelob Ultra Arena, Las Vegas

Line: Aces (-1.5)
Money line: Sky (+105), Aces (-125)
Total: 176 points
BPI Win%: Aces 64.7%

Ruled out: Li Yueru (personal), Dearica Hamby (knee)

Fantasy need to know: This is a pivotal game in deciding who will finish the season as the one seed and get home court advantage for the entire playoffs. The Sky are one game ahead of the Aces, but whoever wins this game owns the tiebreaker in their head-to-head matchups if they finish with the same regular season record. Right now ESPN's BPI gives the Sky a 53% chance to get the one seed and the Aces a 47% chance. The Sky have dropped a couple games down the stretch going 4-3 in their last seven games including losing their last game to Seattle. But they have yet to lose consecutive games this season. The Aces also have struggled going 2-2 in their last four games. Both teams are still first and second in the league in scoring offense so we should see a lot of scoring like we did when these two faced each other in the Commissioners Cup.

The Aces will be without two-time All-Star forward Dearica Hamby who suffered a right knee bone contusion on Tuesday. But in the last two games the Aces have been trying a different starting lineup that had Hamby coming off the bench. That starting lineup included Kiah Stokes (available in 94% of leagues) instead of Hamby and you can bet she's going to get even more playing time tonight while Hamby is out. She's been a rebounding machine which has helped her reach double-figure fantasy points in seven of her last eight games (13.5 fantasy PPG over last eight games).

The Chicago Sky starters are all rostered in 82% or more of leagues, but unlike the Aces they have a decent bench to choose from. Their bench averages 22.5 PPG this season, which is the fifth most in the league. A big contributor off the bench is 32-year-old rookie Rebekah Gardner. She's not the most consistent player but if she's in your lineup when she goes off she could get you big numbers. She's had 15+ fantasy points in five of her last seven games. She averages 8.6 PPG, 3.3 RPG, 1.2 APG, and 1.4 SPG.

Best bet: Sky +1.5. I have to go with the Sky to cover here for a lot of reasons. The first being that the Aces are missing one of their key players Dearica Hamby and they haven't dealt with much injury this season so this is the first real test for them without a key piece of their big five. Second reason is that the Aces have struggled as favorites at home this season going 1-9 against the spread at home in their last ten home games. And third, the Chicago Sky are coming off a tough loss at home to the Seattle Storm on Tuesday and they are the only team in the league who haven't lost back-to-back games this season.

Connecticut Sun at Los Angeles Sparks
10:30 p.m., Crypto.com Arena, Los Angeles

Line: Sun (-11)
Money line: Sun (-700), Sparks (+500)
Total: 162.5 points
BPI Win%: Sun 70.3%

Questionable: Chiney Ogwumike (face)

Ruled out: Kristi Toliver (calf)

Fantasy need to know: The stakes for this game aren't too high, the Sun have already clinched a playoff spot and have secured a top 3 seed (93% chance to be 3-seed | 7% chance to be 2-seed). And the Sparks are trying to keep their playoff hopes alive, but it isn't likely they will go on to make the playoffs even with a win tonight (1% chance to make the playoffs according to BPI). The Sparks have struggled down the stretch losing eight of their last nine games with one of those losses coming to the Sun in their last matchup on Tuesday (97-71).

For the Sparks you will have to make some tough decisions because it's very dependent on if Chiney Ogwumike plays (available in 82.7% of leagues). IF she plays then she would be a great pickup since she's averaged 20.3 fantasy points per game in the last eight games she's played in. But we don't know if she's going to play today so if she doesn't, a good player to pick up would be rookie Olivia Nelson-Ododa. She's started in the last four games and since August 1st Nelson-Ododa has filled up the box score. She's averaging 7.2 PPG, 4.8 RPG, 1.0 APG, and 1.6 BPG since August 1st.

On the Sun a must have would be Natisha Hiedeman, she's been phenomenal this season and money from the three-point line (available in 86% of leagues). Since July started she's been averaging 10.0 PPG, 3.5 APG, 1.3 SPG and hitting over two three-pointers a game. She's been shooting 47.2% from 3-point in that span, the second-highest percentage in the league. She's also one of just eight players in the league to his 30+ threes since July 1st. Definitely someone you want on your roster!

Best bet: Under 162.5. My gut tells me to pick the under because there isn't much at stake for these two teams, their fate is already mostly set in stone. I think the Sun will not want to give their starters some rest as we approach the playoffs. Also the Connecticut Sun have a top three scoring defense in the league so they definitely could keep the Sparks to a low point total here. And to top it off these two teams have hit the under in six of their last eight matchups against each other.