Koerner: How I’m Betting Tuesday’s Sparks-Mystics Matchup

Koerner: How I’m Betting Tuesday’s Sparks-Mystics Matchup article feature image

Photo Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Candace Parker

  • In Tuesday's WNBA affair (10:30 p.m. ET, CBS), the 4-3 Washington Mystics will travel to L.A. to take on the 4-3 Sparks.
  • Using his WNBA power ratings, Sean Koerner gives his projected spread and total for the game so bettors can find immediate value when sportsbooks post odds.

Editor’s note: This story was published before odds posted, but features Koerner’s projected spread and total, and what he’s looking to bet.

Candace Parker is set to make her 2019 debut against the Mystics. While she may not be in her prime at 33 this season, I still have her being worth around 2 to 2.5 points on the spread. She’s likely going to be eased back from her hamstring injury, so for her return I’m giving the Sparks a 1.5-point boost.

She’s solid on both ends of the floor, so her impact on the total is negated a bit. The Sparks are eager to brush off their embarrassing seven-point loss to the Liberty at home. Look for the entire team to be up for this game and motivated by Parker’s return.

The Mystics suspended Emma Meesseman due to passport issues a few games back. She’s their second-leading scorer, and I had originally pegged her loss being worth only 1 to 1.5 points on the spread and total for the Mystics.

The Mystics were able to beat up on the two worst teams in the league without her in the lineup but have struggled in their last two games against better competition. The under has hit with ease in their last three, so it’s a trend worth factoring in against the Sparks.

I’m setting the Sparks as a -2 favorite here. With Meesseman out and Parker back, I have both teams close to even, so the Sparks get the home-court edge here.

I think there’s a chance the Mystics open up as slight favorites here; if that happens, I’ll want to pounce on the Sparks before the market adjusts. Anything between Sparks -1 to -3.5, I’ll probably avoid making any bet against the spread.

For the total, I have it pegged at 162 and think the opening line should be pretty close to that. The Mystics have been trending to the under lately while the Sparks have been trending over. In fact, the Sparks’ last game was the highest-scoring game of the season so far.

Books may anticipate heavy over action and tack on an extra point or two here. I’ll be looking to bet on the total if it ever falls outside the 159.5 to 164.5 range.

UPDATE: As of 3:45 p.m. ET, the total is listed at 166.5 around the market, and it’s climbing.

One angle I may look for on the total is to bet it in-play roughly 3-4 minutes into the game. The Sparks totals have been either way over or way under lately. As the team with the second-highest pace in the league, there could be more value seeing what kind of pace they are using early on to get an edge over the in-play market, which won’t be able to adjust fast enough.

Projected spread: Sparks -2
Projected total: 162

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