WNBA Odds & Picks: Betting Preview For Tuesday’s Games, Including Dream vs. Mystics, Fever vs. Sky (May 24)

WNBA Odds & Picks: Betting Preview For Tuesday’s Games, Including Dream vs. Mystics, Fever vs. Sky (May 24) article feature image

Stephen Gosling/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Candace Parker

  • We've got a solid WNBA slate on tap with four games this evening.
  • Our WNBA analyst has analysis for all four games and bet recommendations or leans on three of them.
  • Continue reading for a full breakdown of the four games, including Fever vs. Sky and Liberty vs. Lynx.

It took a while for us to tap in, but we're raring to go with our first WNBA slate breakdown of the season. But first, a few things have already caught my eye, so here are my top three early observations thus far.

Addition By Subtraction For Aces

We're seeing a much sleeker version of the Las Vegas Aces this year after opting not to re-sign free agent Liz Cambage. Her absence has allowed Kelsey Plum to step into the lineup, which means more of a dynamic perimeter game plan for the Aces.

2022 Class Better Than Expected

I approach the WNBA draft much differently from the NBA in that I'm looking more so for quality players with staying power in the league as opposed to how deep the draft is. However, this class has a bit of both as the top four picks in Rhyne Howard (Kentucky), NaLyssa Smith (Baylor), Shakira Austin, and Emily Engstler (Louisville) all look like bona fide future stars.

But then there are also players drafted in the third round who made a WNBA roster, such as Amy Atwell (Hawaii), Hannah Sjerven (South Dakota), and Jasmine Dickey (Delaware). Even more impressive is that none of those players are from your typical blue blood college programs. Thus, given the quality in even the later rounds, it's understandable to see why many are clamoring for expansion in the WNBA.

What's Wrong With Sabrina Ionescu and the Liberty?

Some might've viewed Ionescu as the heir apparent goat in women's basketball. While I think she's tremendous for the game, the expectations she has to deal with are far too unrealistic.

It's rare to find a point guard in this league that's the best player on a team. My reasoning goes as far back to the inception of the league. And if you're thinking Diana Taurasi, I'd argue that she's more of a point-forward because of her size.

Until the Liberty can get a true swing perimeter player to compliment Ionescu, I don't see them taking the next step to becoming a legitimate playoff contender.

Now, let's dive into Tuesday's slate.

Projected WNBA Odds

MatchupTimeProj. SpreadProj. Total
Wings vs. Sun7 p.m. ETSun -11.10158.94
Dream vs. Mystics7 p.m. ETMystics -4.64159.86
Fever vs. Sky8 p.m. ETSky -16.08164.95
Liberty vs. Lynx8 p.m. ETLynx -4.66162.72

Wings vs. Sun

Wings Odds+8.5
Sun Odds-8.5
Moneyline+310 / -420
Time7 p.m. ET
Odds via FanDuel. For up-to-the-minute WNBA odds, click here.

Injuries & News

No injuries to report for the Wings.

DeWanna Bonner (17.0 PPG) should be back in the lineup for the Sun after getting a day off against the Fever. Unfortunately, starting point guard Jasmine Thomas (6.6 PPG) has already been ruled out following a knee injury on Sunday.

Betting Breakdown

The Wings' defense has improved immensely following the insertion of Allisha Gray (+16 net rating) and Isabelle Harrison (+10 net rating) into the starting lineup. Per WNBA's Advanced Stats, Dallas had a 98.7 defensive rating compared to a 103.0 rating last year.

However, with Satou Sabally now back with the team following her overseas commitments, will the Wings continue with Harrison at the forward position? While Sabally is talented, she's yet to finish with a positive net rating (-25 in 2021) since she's been in the league.

We know Connecticut will likely bring its defensive A-game whenever it takes the court. That's just the type of team the Sun are given their veteran presence. Connecticut leads the league with a 90.5 defensive rating — 3.5 points better than the second-ranked Sky. The Sun can also guard the perimeter as they rank second in the fewest 3-point attempts allowed (18.2 per game).

Offensively, Connecticut could be a bit stagnant, particularly without Thomas to run the point. Both teams rank in the bottom half of the league in terms of pace as Dallas averages 79.08 possessions per 40 minutes and Connecticut 79.90 possessions.

The under is on a 5-0 run in this series, and I think we'll see another one on Tuesday night.

Pick: Under 159.5 (Bet365)

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Dream vs. Mystics

Dream Odds+8.5
Mystics Odds-8.5
Moneyline+320 / -430
Time7 p.m. ET
Odds via FanDuel. For up-to-the-minute WNBA odds, click here.

Injuries & News

Tiffany Hayes (17.7 PPG in 2021) could make her season debut with the Dream on Tuesday after returning from overseas. The UConn product started 19 of the 21 games she played with the Dream last year. Monique Billings (7.8 PPG) remains day-to-day due to a non-disclosed illness.

Alysha Clark (5.0 PPG) is the only player listed on the Washington injury report. Clark is ruled out with a foot injury. And while we know the Mystics already have a plan of scheduled days off for star forward Elena Delle Donne (18.2 PPG), there is no news regarding her missing tonight's game.

Betting Breakdown

If you're looking for value in the futures market, the Washington Mystics are an excellent choice to win the title. While the prices in this market often range from book to book based on liability, I recently saw the Mystics as high as 12-to-1, and today, you can still grab them at 10-to-1 at DraftKings.

Much of the Mystics' success this season will be based on the health of Delle Donne. I think the books have almost forgotten about her quality despite being a two-time WNBA MVP.

Washington defeated the Dream 78-73 as a one-point favorite, with Delle Donne out on Friday. Her absences also impact my modeling because I thought the Mystics would be a slightly higher favorite than where I project them for today.

Betting Washington in the regular season will sometimes be tricky based on whether Delle Donne plays. As a result, I want no part of the side in this matchup. If anything, I'd look to the under, given that both teams just played four days ago.

Atlanta's completely overhauled its roster, and it's a much better defensive team with only Cheyenne Parker returning as a starter. This season, the Dream has gone from ninth (104.0) in defensive rating last year to third (94.9). And given Washington's veteran team, I don't think the Mystics will get sucked into playing the more up-tempo style that suits Atlanta's young players.

This season, the total is 6-1 to the under for Washington, and I think the familiarity after playing a few days ago will be enough to keep this one under the number.

Pick: Under 160.5 (888 Sport)

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Fever vs. Sky

Fever Odds+13.5
Sky Odds-13.5
Moneyline+680 / -1200
Time8 p.m. ET
Odds via FanDuel. For up-to-the-minute WNBA odds, click here.

Injuries & News

NaLyssa Smith (13.0 PPG) and Bria Hartley (0.0 PPG) are listed as game-time decisions for the Fever. Smith is dealing with an ankle problem, while Hartley has yet to play due to a hamstring injury.

Li Yueru is day-to-day for the Sky, but she's unlikely to play after only recently arriving in the U.S. on Sunday. The center has yet to play in the WNBA despite being drafted in 2019.

Betting Breakdown

I don't think you can get involved in this game under any circumstances without fully knowing the status of Smith. Since she suffered an ankle injury on May 15 against Atlanta, Indiana's lost four straight games.

Despite a 2-4 record, I like what I've seen from Indiana thus far. For example, it's playing a much more up-tempo style as it ranks second in the league in pace (82.52 possessions per 40 mins). You can't take that kind of approach without having decent offensive players.

Indiana now has a roster that's more threatening from the perimeter as it's averaging almost five more 3-point attempts (21.9 three-pointers per game) compared to last year. That's translated into an addition 2.2 3-point field goals per game.

Defensively, Indiana is prone to giving up fouls. Indiana is averaging 21.9 fouls per contest, which is the second-highest league. That tendency could hurt the Fever against a Sky team with the second-best free-throw percentage at 82.1%. Perhaps that's why this total is as high as 164.5.

Normally, I'd be looking to play the under with a total in this range, but when it involves the Sky, the over has actually been the way to go.

With an opening total of 164.5 or higher, the over in Chicago's games is 72-55-1 for 11.88 units. Moreover, the over with a total of 164.5 or higher is 8-4 this season, including a current 4-0 run. However, I can't see myself getting to the window without fully knowing Smith's status.

Lean: Over 164.5 or better

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Liberty vs. Lynx

Liberty Odds+5.5
Lynx Odds-5.5
Moneyline+176 / -225
Time8 p.m. ET
Odds via FanDuel. For up-to-the-minute WNBA odds, click here.

Injuries & News

The Liberty will be down to nine players as Betnijah Laney (13.3 PPG), Jocelyn Willoughby (6.8 PPG), Didi Richards (2.0 PPG) and Lorela Cubaj (13.3 PPG) are all ruled out. Han Xu is listed as questionable with a non-COVID illness.

After a hamstring injury, Minnesota could get Natalie Achonwa (2.5 PPG) back. Damiris Dantas (7.7 PPG in 2021) isn't expected to return for another week, but the most significant impact on the team will be not having Napheesa Collier (16.2 PPG) available. Collier isn't expected to return until July due to pregnancy.

Betting Breakdown

Despite my somewhat tepid assessment of the Liberty, I was all set to back them against the Lynx. My angle was simple in that I don't think this Lynx team should be laying this many points to anyone. I know the importance of Collier's impact on this team and anyone because the Lynx were a team I targeted as undervalued last year following their slow start when she was away due to overseas commitments.

One obvious thing is that Minnesota is much worse defensively without her. Last year, the Lynx ranked fourth with a defensive rating of 98.0. This season, that number is up to 108.7, which is dead last in the league.

This game certainly feels like it could have a ton of points. Minnesota will likely relish the opportunity to go against this Liberty team that's a bit handcuffed with a depleted roster. However, I'm not sure how much we can expect from New York to help push this game over the total.

Pick: Pass

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