Sunday WNBA Odds & Picks: Minnesota Lynx vs. Seattle Storm (Sept. 20)
David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Alysha Clark.
- The Seattle Storm take on the Minnesota Lynx in a Sunday WNBA playoffs matchup.
- Michael Arinze thinks the Storm will keep up their past success against the Lynx.
- Check out Arinze's full preview with updated odds below.
Lynx vs. Storm Odds
|Lynx Odds||+8.5 [BET NOW]|
|Storm Odds||-8.5 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||163 [BET NOW]|
|Time||3:00 p.m. ET|
Quality is a standard that is recognized by all. It’s something you know right away when you see it.
That’s probably the best way to describe point guard Sue Bird and forward Breanna Stewart. Both players missed all of 2019 with the Seattle Storm after lifting the WNBA trophy in the previous season. Their absence was sorely missed, as their regular-season record dropped from 26-8 in 2018 to 18-16 in 2019.
Now the band is back together and the second-seeded Storm finished tied for the best record (18-4) this season with the Las Vegas Aces. Their No. 2 seed granted them a bye in the first two rounds, and they’ll take on the Minnesota Lynx, who come in with one playoff game already under their belt.
The bookmakers opened this game with Seattle as a 6.5-point favorite, and they’ve been bought up to -7.5 in the market. Both teams faced each other twice this season with Seattle covering the spread and winning both contests by double-digits.
Let’s explore this matchup to see why weshould expect more of the same in their third meeting.
Playing Without Fowles
The Lynx finished the season with a 14-8 record. They were fortunate to get off to a 5-1 start because, in their sixth game, they lost center Sylvia Fowles to a calf injury for the remainder of the regular season. Fowles managed to return for the playoffs, but she didn’t appear to be 100% as she spent most — if not all — of the second half on the bench.
Minnesota has had to adapt to a more up-tempo style of play in Fowles’ absence. In the first six games with Fowles, the Lynx were 2-3-1 to the over, but with her sidelined, they went 12-5 to the over.
While this up-tempo style is certainly more entertaining, some teams are more likely to turn the ball over when they’re sped up.
Jack of All Trades
Sped up is exactly what it can feel like when teams play the Seattle Storm. They can win in so many ways, whether it’s the pick and roll, pick and pop, 3-point shot, or even points in the paint. And that’s just what they can do offensively.
The Storm are also an exceptional defensive team, leading the league with the lowest opponent field goal percentage (40.1%) in the season. At times, you won’t even know when it hits you until you look up at the scoreboard and see they’re on a 15-2 run.
Fowles’ current status is questionable for the game. Frankly, I won’t expect much contribution from her if she plays. The problem the Lynx have when they show up against a team like the Storm is that Fowles needs touches on the inside, and that slows down the pace. The Storm are a savvy enough team to know when to start trading buckets inside the arc for 3-pointers in order to put the opposition in an even bigger hole.
Let’s look at the box scores of when these two teams first met.
While the Storm were the more consistent team in terms of field goal percentage (53%-33.9%), Minnesota can also do some things well in its own right.
In their first meeting, Minnesota made 10 more free throws than Seattle and shot 90% from the line, but the Storm made six more 3-point shots than the Lynx and shot a much higher percentage beyond the arc (44%).
In the second game, Minnesota was the more efficient team from long range (46%) and even made one more 3-point basket than Seattle. And even though the Lynx shot less free throws, they still managed to shoot 85.7% from the charity stripe.
None of it seemed to matter as Seattle still clobbered the Lynx both times.
The one common theme in both games was the turnovers.
The pressure to keep pace with Seattle can make their opponents play faster, which often leads to their demise. But the reality is they can beat teams in so many ways.
And with Bird and Stewart back in the mix, I see another double-digit win on the horizon for the Storm.
I’ll risk a half-unit of my bankroll on Seattle in this spot, and I’d actually play them up to 9.5.
The Pick: Storm -7.5 (up to 9.5) (half-unit)
Bonus: Two-team five-point teaser — Storm -2.5 + Sun-Aces Over 158.5
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