The defending WNBA champion Las Vegas Aces will play its first home game against the Los Angeles Sparks at Michelob Ultra Arena inside Mandalay Bay will take place at 6 p.m. Saturday, May 20.
It is no surprise that the WNBA champion Aces open the season as the +160 favorites at Nevada sports betting apps to win the WNBA title at Station Casinos. The 2022 WNBA runner-up Connecticut Sun is the second favorite at +325.
New WNBA schedule in 2023
The first home game of the season will be the third game for the champs in 2023. Las Vegas begins the season defending its championship on the road in Seattle and Los Angeles, respectively.
Six of the Aces’ first eight games of the 2023 WNBA season are on the road. Defending champions in the WNBA haven’t opened the season on the road in five years. The Aces’ longest home stand of the season is five games from June 24-July 5. Last season, the team’s longest home stand was four games.
|Noon, Saturday, May 20||Seattle Storm||Climate Pledge Arena, Seattle|
|7 p.m., Thursday, May 25||Los Angeles Sparks||Crypto.com Arena, LA|
|6 p.m. Saturday, May 27||Los Angeles Sparks||Michelob Ultra Arena, Las Vegas|
|6 p.m. Sunday, May 28||Minnesota Lynx||Michelob Ultra Arena, Las Vegas|
|4:30 p.m. Friday, June 2||Atlanta Dream||Gateway Center Arena, Atlanta|
|1 p.m. Sunday, June 4||Indiana Fever||Gainbridge Fieldhouse, Indianapolis|
|4 p.m. Tuesday, June 6||Connecticut Sun||Mohegan Sun Arena, Uncasville, CT|
|4 p.m. Thursday, June 8||Connecticut Sun||Mohegan Sun Arena, Uncasville, CT|
|Noon Sunday, June 11||Chicago Sky||Michelob Ultra Arena, Las Vegas|
|7 p.m. Thursday, June 15||Seattle Storm||Michelob Ultra Arena, Las Vegas|
|6 p.m. Sunday, June 18||Minnesota Lynx||Michelob Ultra Arena, Las Vegas|
|12:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 21||Phoenix Mercury||Footprint Center, Phoenix|
|6 p.m. Saturday, June 24||Indiana Fever||Michelob Ultra Arena, Las Vegas|
|7 p.m. Monday, June 26||Michelob Ultra Arena, Las Vegas||Michelob Ultra Arena, Las Vegas|
|7 p.m. Thursday, June 29||New York Liberty||Michelob Ultra Arena, Las Vegas|
|Noon Saturday, July 1||Connecticut Sun||Michelob Ultra Arena, Las Vegas|
|7 p.m. Wednesday, July 5||Dallas Wings||Michelob Ultra Arena, Las Vegas|
|5 p.m. Friday, July 7||Dallas Wings||College Park Center, Arlington, TX|
|4 p.m. Sunday, July 9||Minnesota Lynx||Target Center, Minneapolis|
|7 p.m. Tuesday, July 11||Phoenix Mercury||Michelob Ultra Arena, Las Vegas|
|7 p.m. Wednesday, July 12||Las Angeles Sparks||Crypto.com Arena, Los Angeles|
|7 p.m. Thursday, July 22||Minnesota Lynx||Target Center, Minneapolis|
|5 p.m. Saturday, July 22||Minnesota Lynx||Target Center, Minneapolis|
|4 p.m. Tuesday, July 25||Chicago Sky||Wintrust Arena, Chicago|
|3 p.m. Sunday, July 30||Dallas Wings||Michelob Ultra Arena, Las Vegas|
|7 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 1||Atlanta Dream|
|Noon Sunday, Aug. 6||New York Liberty||Barclays Center, Brooklyn|
|5 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 8||Dallas Wings||College Park Center, Arlington, TX|
|7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 11||Washington Mystics||Michelob Ultra Arena, Las Vegas|
|6 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 13||Atlanta Dream||Michelob Ultra Arena, Las Vegas|
|7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 17||New York Liberty||Michelob Ultra Arena, Las Vegas|
|Noon Saturday, Aug. 19||Los Angeles Sparks||Michelob Ultra Arena, Las Vegas|
|4 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 22||Atlanta Dream||Gateway Center Arena, Atlanta|
|5 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 24||Chicago Sky||Wintrust Arena, Chicago|
|4 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 26||Washington Mystics||Entertainment and Sports Arena, Washington, DC|
|4 p.m. Monday, Aug. 28||New York Liberty||Barclays Center, Brooklyn|
|7 p.m.Thursday, Aug. 31||Washington Mystics||Michelob Ultra Arena, Las Vegas|
|6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 2||Seattle Storm||Michelob Ultra Arena, Las Vegas|
|7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 8||Phoenix Mercury||Footprint Center, Phoenix|
|Noon Sunday, Sept. 10||Phoenix Mercury||T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas|
This season will be the longest for the WNBA, which expanded the schedule from 36 to 40 games. However, not all home games are slated to take place in the same venue.
Las Vegas will play 19 home games at Mandalay Bay this season. The last game of the Aces season will take place at T-Mobile Arena against the Phoenix Mercury on Sept. 10.
The Aces don’t play the Sun until June, when the teams play consecutive games against one another. On June 6, the teams play in Connecticut. Las Vegas returns home to play the Sun two days later on June 8.
This season the Aces will play most opponents four times. Las Vegas only plays Washington, Indiana, Connecticut and Chicago three times.
While the regular season will be different, the playoffs will remain the same. The WNBA Playoffs will once again consist of three rounds of series-play with a best-of-3-5-5 format.
The complete Aces home and road schedule can be found here.
Not happy about Las Vegas schedule
At least two superstars are not fond of the 2023 Aces schedule. Kelsey Plum and A’ja Wilson have each commented about the WNBA champions starting on the road.
Plum told Yahoo:
“We open up on the road the first two games. I don’t know if champs usually do that.”
Wilson tweeted similar thoughts, saying:
“How the hell the champs play on the road the first couple of games of the season.”
While champions haven’t opened on the road recently, it’s not unprecedented. Six of the 24 WNBA champions have opened on the road.
However, no WNBA champion has started the season away from home since the Minnesota Lynx in 2014.
While two WNBA champions feel disrespected by the league, they’re likely happier about the sportsbook oddsmakers heading into the 2023 season.
WNBA championship futures at Nevada sports betting apps
The Westgate SuperBook was the first Nevada sportsbook to offer 2023 WNBA championship futures odds in September. The Aces opened as 9/4 favorites to repeat as the WNBA championship once again next season.
Little has changed, as the Aces still have the shortest odds at Nevada sportsbooks to take home the WNBA title next season.
- Las Vegas Aces +160
- Connecticut Sun +325
- Seattle Storm +600
- Chicago Sky +600
- Washington Mystics +600
- New York Liberty +900
- Phoenix Mercury +1200
- Dallas Wings +1500
- Minnesota Lynx +2500
- Atlanta Dream +2800
- Los Angeles Sparks +4000
- Indiana Fever +5000
The Aces open the 2023 season with games against teams near the top and bottom of the odds. Las Vegas opens the season on the road in Seattle against the Storm (6-1) and then Los Angeles against Sparks (40-1).
Las Vegas’ home opener is against the Sparks. The Aces should open the first home game as the favorite.
Road to repeating for Aces superstars
The core of the 2022 WNBA champion Aces is returning for the 2023 season. This includes award-winning players and a superstar coach. The following Aces superstars will return for the 2023 campaign:
- A’ja Wilson, 2022 Regular Season MVP
- Chelsea Gray, 2022 Finals MVP
- Kelsey Plum, 2022 All-Star Game MVP
- Jackie Young, 2022 Most Improved Player
- Becky Hammond, 2022 Coach of the Year
A consistent star-studded roster and the best coach in the league are good catalysts for another Las Vegas WNBA championship.