WNBA Odds, Picks, Predictions: 3 Bets From Saturday’s Slate, Including Mercury vs. Aces (June 25)
(Photo by Joshua Huston/NBAE via Getty Images) Pictured: Breanna Stewart.
- There are a trio of games on the WNBA slate Saturday and our expert has picks for all of them.
- While the spreads are all a bit big, there is still value to be had.
- Jim Turvey breaks down all the matchups and shares his best bets below.
Three games on Saturday, and although the closest line is six and a half points, sleep on this schedule at your own peril as there are some interesting matchups and angles. The Washington-Las Vegas matchup in particular should make for an incredibly fun mismatch of styles.
We’re also approaching the halfway mark of the season, which means we’re starting to see second and even third matchups between teams. With this, we can go back and look at previous matchups, and — without overreacting too much — see if there are styles of play, or certain players, who really shine in certain scenarios.
Finally, as I noted last time we were here, I want to keep track of the picks you’re getting here.
I went back and added my picks from Twitter to the app, so we’re just going to have two categories: Article advice and on the app. Here are your ROIs for both:
Article advice: 11-13-0 (-10.3% ROI)
On the app, full season: 31-26-1 (5.5% ROI)
WNBA Odds, Picks
Click on game to skip ahead
|Mercury vs. Wings||8 p.m. ET|
|Sparks vs. Storm||9 p.m. ET|
|Mystics vs. Aces||10 p.m. ET|
Mercury vs. Wings
|Moneyline||+240 / -303|
|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 with Brittney Griner, who has been wrongly detained in Russia for more than 100 days.
Sophie Cunningham returned to the lineup last game and Kia Nurse has yet to make her 2022 debut.
For the Wings, Allisha Gray (ankle) is questionable for Saturday’s game, while Satou Sabally has already been ruled out of her sixth straight game with a knee injury.
Ships Passing in the Night
These teams are heading in opposite directions, the only question is whether they have passed each other already. I mean this both from a macro level, but also a micro level.
The Wings have won three of their psst four and only have two losses to sub-.500 teams all season — a pair of losses against the Atlanta Dream. The Dream, of course, were .500 right up until the Liberty beat them last night.
The Mercury, on the other hand, have lost four of five and have been wildly inconsistent all season. Of course, to be fair, they have had a lot on their plate, centered mainly around their best player being not just unavailable to play but involved in a very traumatic situation.
However, this season was going to be a pivot point for both these teams anyways. Phoenix made an incredible run to the championship last season, but their leader is 40(!) years old. As incredible as Taurasi can be at times, she is a clear and present threat to the team’s defense at all times on the court.
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On the flip side, the Wings have been the Bruno Caboclo of the W for years now, seemingly two years away from being two years away at all times. The young talent has been there, but the wins don’t seem to follow. This year has been a little different. Sure, they are stubbornly sitting right at .500, but their point differential paints the picture of an above .500 team and they’re doing that despite having played a harder than average schedule.
As noted earlier, Dallas is beating the teams they should beat and they are cutting out some of the mistakes that held them back in the past.
They also match up very well with this Phoenix team. The Wings pound the offensive glass, ranking second in the league in offensive rebounds per game and first in second-chance points. Phoenix, on the other hand, ranks in the bottom half of the league in defensive rebounding. It’s no surprise that Teaira McCowan, the Wings best offensive rebounder, had her best game of the season the last time these two teams met. She scored 18 points and collected 10 rebounds — both season highs in the Wings 93-88 victory on June 17.
I was a little surprised to see this line as hefty as it was upon release, but even still, I like the Wings here, just not with a whole lot of wiggle room.
Pick: Wings -6.5
Sparks vs. Storm
|Moneyline||+400 / -556|
|Time||9 p.m. ET|
|Odds via Caesars. Get up-to-the-minute WNBA odds here.|
The biggest unknown for the Sparks is Chiney Ogwumike who missed the Sparks last game for personal reasons.
Rae Burrell and Amanda Zahui B. have both been out the whole season with injuries.
Mercedes Russell is the only player out for the Storm.
Both Offenses Should Click
This is one of those games where each team’s offensive strengths mostly line up well with the opposition’s weaknesses.
For instance, the Storm rank second in the W in fastbreak points and no team in the league gives up more fastbreak points than the Sparks.
It goes the other way too, though. The Sparks score the most points in the paint of any team in the W, with an attack that eschews the three more than any other team in the league. And if there’s a weakness to the Seattle defense, it’s their post defense, which ranks fourth-worst in points allowed in the paint.
Another plus for Seattle will be the Sparks’ porous defense from beyond the arc. The Sparks allow the highest three-point percentage in the league, while also allowing the third-most attempts (no wonder they’re getting coaches fired). Meanwhile, the Storm rank in the top three in both threes attempted per game and three-point shooting percentage.
The only area where one offense might struggle is the Sparks reliance on free throws, where they rank fourth in the league, but the Storm are among the least foul heavy teams in the W.
Overall, this feels like a high-scoring game where Seattle has a definitive edge. Vegas set the spread pretty heavy to start, though, so I’m going to just make that pick a lean. I will note, however, that Seattle has been quite strong at home this year, while L.A. has been a trainwreck on the road.
Pick: Over 160
Lean: SEA -10
Mystics vs. Aces
|Moneyline||+290 / -375|
|Time||10 p.m. ET|
|Odds via Caesars. Get up-to-the-minute WNBA odds here.|
For the Mystics, the two names up in the air are: Elena Delle Donne, who isn’t listed on the injury report as of this writing, but has played in consecutive games only three times this season, and Elizabeth Williams, who missed Washington’s game Thursday to be at the NBA Draft with her brother. However, she should be back for Saturday’s game.
On the Las Vegas side of things, the overall good health has continued. Only Riquna Williams, who has now missed more than a month, is out.
Is Vegas Slightly Overrating Vegas?
At DraftKings, the Aces are currently -150(!) to win the WNBA title. That’s a patently absurd number. If you gave me one team to pick to win the title this season, it would indeed be the Aces, but if you gave me the Aces or the field, I’d take the field in a heartbeat.
It’s starting to look like the honeymoon is over for Becky Hammon and it’s time to handle the grind of the second half of the season and the playoff run. It’s not that I doubt the Aces won’t be able to handle it, it’s just that they’re not going to make it look quite as easy as they did during the first month or so of the season. The Aces are fresh off blowing the biggest lead in WNBA history and are just 1-4 against the spread in their past five games. That’s obviously a small sample, but I think — when combined with that insane DraftKings future — that it shows that the books are getting a little over their skis when it comes to valuing the Aces.
The Mystics are another proven team with years of chemistry, not all that dissimilar to the Sky team that just beat the Aces on Tuesday. Washington also plays with the slowest pace in the league and doesn’t commit fouls or hand over easy turnovers.
Now, all that being said, the Aces still terrify me. Although I’d never make a play based on a revenge spot, I’m also making this a lean and not a full recommendation, so read that as you will.
Editor’s note: this pick is based off of Delle Donne playing. If she is not, I’d be much less likely to take this number.
Pick: Washington +8