WNBA Odds, Picks, Predictions: 4 Bets From Thursday’s Slate, Including Mystics vs. Storm (June 23)
Stephen Gosling/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Natasha Cloud
There’s nothing I love more than accountability, especially when it comes to sports betting. I think it’s essential to know how the person you’re reading is doing on the whole before diving into the advice.
So with that in mind, I’m going to keep a few different tallies at the start of these articles so you know what you’re getting into, and I may use an introduction here and there to dive into some trends from these articles: Are we missing on unders, hitting on spreads, etc.
This is just my fifth article for Action, and how I am defining units for these articles is one unit to a “play” and a half unit to a “lean”. So far, the articles have produced a 2.1 percent return, as 10 of the 19 plays have landed.
However, that’s a very small sample of course. Overall, on the season, with picks on Twitter and picks on here, I have a 16.0 percent return, with 29 of 48 bets landing.
And just so you know that I’m not cherry-picking, I’m also going to include my bets on the app here, which because of misplaying a few best bets is negative so far, at -17.0 percent return with just 11 of 26 bets landing.
I am glad that the largest sample is also the best return so far, but I am going to be tracking these all year so that you can see them before we begin–I won’t dive into as much depth each time, but will just include them right before the main article.
I would recommend that everyone track their bets and look to see where they are doing best and worst. In my case, it has led me to target the quarters bets less often because those have been a struggle, while moneyline and spread bets have been far more profitable. Hopefully we have even more player bets and even same game parlays available some day, but for now, it’s good to know what are the best markets to attack with the options we have available.
Let’s get on to today’s action.
WNBA Odds, Picks
Click on game to skip ahead
|Fever vs. Wings||8 p.m. ET|
|Mercury vs. Lynx||8 p.m. ET|
|Mystics vs. Storm||10 p.m. ET|
|Sky vs. Sparks||10:30 p.m. ET|
Fever vs. Wings
|Moneyline||+320 / -417|
|Time||8 p.m. ET|
|Odds via Caesars. Get up-to-the-minute WNBA odds here.|
The only player out for either team is Satou Sabally who has already been ruled out for her fifth straight game.
Go Big or Go Home
We’re going for a little double entendre with today’s header. The first reading of “go big or go home” is about how the Fever will be looking to score on the Wings.
No team in the W takes a higher percentage of their shots from 0-3 feet than the Fever, who take nearly 30 percent of their shot from up close. That’s driven in part by a big-heavy offense, but also by wings and guards who prefer to do their work near the rim, like Emily Engstler and Tiffany Mitchell.
The good news for the Fever is that Dallas struggles to protect the rim. Their 75.6 percent field goal percentage allowed in that 0-3 foot range is by far the worst in the W.
Coincidentally, despite such a high percentage of their shots coming from 0-3 feet, Indiana also struggles far more than any team in terms of actually getting in the basket when they’re there, coming in at just 54.4 percent, due in large part to those wings and guards who go in amongst the trees and can’t quite finish.
As such, here’s where the second part of “go big or go home” comes in. The Fever are 3-6 in their last nine games. In their six losses, not a single one has been by fewer than this 8.5-point line we have right here. On the other hand, they have those three wins, including an impressive W over the Sky last time out. So I’m going to offer two plays here and hope this game doesn’t thread the needle.
The two game scripts I see value in are the Wings’ interior defense not mattering that much because Indiana’s wings and guards just can’t finish near the basket and that 8.5-point spread isn’t an issue. BUT the other possible script I see is Indiana being able to score on the interior after all and clawing out the road victory.
So I’m going to suggest you go one of two routes. The clean Dallas -8.5, or make a pair of smaller bets: Indiana moneyline and over 168.5. I’m going to go with the second route here for my pick, and the former for my lean, and you can choose your own adventure with how you play it.
Pick: Half a unit on the Fever moneyline +320; half a unit on over 168.5
Lean: Dallas -8.5
Mercury vs. Lynx
|Moneyline||-120 / +100|
|Time||8 p.m. ET|
|Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute WNBA odds here.|
As has been the case all season, the Phoenix injury/news section has to lead off with Brittney Griner who has been wrongly detained in Russia for more than 100 days.
Sophie Cunningham also remains out after injuring her elbow on June 5, and Kia Nurse has yet to make her 2022 debut.
For the Lynx, they are almost back to full health. Napheesa Collier remains away from the team during maternity leave, but the only other name on the injury list is Sylvia Fowles, who is the reason this line was posted so late because she may return to the lineup tonight after missing the last five games.
These two teams played just two days ago in Phoenix, with the Lynx winning handily, 84-71. These “double-headers” or “home and homes” are common in the WNBA, but there doesn’t seem to be much an overarching trend to take away from them.
When the two played on Tuesday, I was on the Phoenix side, with the logic being that the Lynx are the worst team in the W at defending the three, and the Mercury have leaned fully into the “chuck as many threes as possible” stage of life.
Instead, the Mercury took fewer threes than their season’s average, and it was the Lynx who outpaced their season’s average on three-point percentage, making them at a 40 percent clip — more than eight points above their season average.
The Lynx have actually been playing very respectable basketball over the past few weeks, with three losses before the Mercury win, but none coming by more than four, and two coming against the Aces and Storm — two of the better teams in the league.
This is where we need to address our priors. Coming into the season, the Lynx were not thought of as one of the worst teams in the league, instead they were projected right around the bottom half of the playoff bracket. It’s starting to look like, despite that shaky start and all the roster change over, that’s around where this team is — not a bottom feeder, but a decent low-end side.
However, Vegas has read that well, and this line gives some respect to Minnesota, making the game right around a pick’em. So instead, I’m going to look to the total, and I’m eyeing the under. I like to eye unders when a star player like a Fowles returns, as there is often rust on the offensive side. The matchup Tuesday also easily went under on this total, and I don’t see Minnesota shooting 40 percent from three again.
Lean: Under 165.5
Mystics vs. Storm
|Moneyline||+115 / -135|
|Time||10 p.m. ET|
|Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute WNBA odds here.|
For the Storm, Mercedes Russell remains out, but everyone else should be in the lineup, barring any last-second scratches.
For the Mystics, Elizabeth Williams is going to miss the game to be at the NBA Draft with her brother, Mark. However, they should have Elena Delle Donne who flew out to Seattle early, so it’s hard to imagine her then missing this game.
You never want to put too much stock into a regular season game in June, but I will definitely be watching this game with extra attention, as these two teams seem like near mirror images of each right now. Neither are in that top tier that they have been in the past, but they both have players who are in the running for best player in the world when healthy.
They are both hovering around that 4/5 seed, and it would almost be surprising if this wasn’t a first-round matchup at this point with the new set-up incoming later this summer.
The Storm currently sit higher in the actual rankings, but I think the Mystics have the higher ceiling overall. If you look at Pythagorean record, the Mystics are actually 2.5 games ahead of the Storm, with both teams having played a similarly difficult schedule. The Mystics have also had to deal with their best player having missed almost half their games.
This line opened at Seattle -2.5, which implies Vegas sees the two as near equals as well, but after moving down to -2, it suddenly jumped to -4.5 early Thursday morning, which leaves one wondering if Delle Donne is actually out (nothing has been reported as of this writing).
Both teams have impressive defensive stalwarts they can put on the other team’s best player, and there aren’t going to be any free baskets given away by these two veteran teams who both rank in the bottom three in terms of turnovers per game.
With all that said, I’m going to grab the points in what should be an excellent matchup,. But keep an eye on injury news with the line moving.
Pick: Washington +4.5
Sky vs. Sparks
|Moneyline||-260 / +210|
|Time||10:30 p.m. ET|
|Odds via PointsBet. Get up-to-the-minute WNBA odds here.|
The Sky don’t have anyone listed on the health report as of now, but I would tread cautiously on assuming Candace Parker will play. The Sky have been clear that they are not going to push Parker’s knee, and with Chicago having played an intense game just two days ago, she could be a late scratch.
For the Sparks, the big name that will be out is Chiney Ogwumike who has already been ruled out for personal reasons. Rae Burrell is still out for the foreseeable future with a knee injury
Do You Believe in Letdown Spots?
This has trap game written all over it. The Sky are fresh off an awesome win in which they came back from down 28 points on Tuesday to complete the biggest comeback in WNBA history, doing so against a team that many think is the best team in the league (despite Chicago still wearing the defending champs crown).
On the other side of the court, the Sparks just picked up their first win under new head coach Fred Williams on Tuesday, a two-point win over an EDD-less Mystics side. Everything about this game seems tricky, from the perfectly set six-point line to the just-high-enough 170 total to the fact that Parker might be a late scratch.
If you’re a believer in letdown spots, I do think that’s the one play I could potentially see, with a Sparks home cover, but I don’t like it enough to give as a recommended play.
Pick: Stay away