Tuesday WNBA Odds, Predictions, Betting Picks: Best Bets for Storm vs. Fever, Liberty vs. Aces, More (June 15)
David Becker/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Aces forward A’ja Wilson
- An over. An under. An underdog with backdoor covering potential. And a fourth play -- at the right price.
- WNBA betting analyst Michael Arinze previews Tuesday's trio of games: Storm at Fever, Sky at Lynx, and Liberty at Aces.
- Find his projected odds for all three, complete with his full matchup analysis and pick(s) for each game.
I was all ready to write a placid intro previewing the state of the WNBA heading into Tuesday’s games, and then I caught wind of an all-out Twitter beef that broke out between the Mercury’s Skylar Diggins-Smith and the Liberty’s Jazmine Jones.
You see, it all started with what seemed like an innocuous Bleacher Report tweet that highlighted a gorgeous misdirection play by Diggins-Smith that sent New York’s DiDi Richards the wrong way, which led to an open bucket.
Richards’ teammate, Jones, responded to the tweet by saying New York still won the game despite the bucket scored by Diggins-Smith.
Diggins-Smith then chimed with some unpleasantries, which then drew reactions from other WNBA players, including some official team accounts.
Girl shut tf up! They can’t post a highlight? Complain to your organization, first, why they only hype one person!
— Skylar Diggins-Smith (@SkyDigg4) June 14, 2021
What is usually a dark day for the league with no games scheduled on Mondays turned into essentially a battle royale on the internet. After some time, things later quieted down, but it made quite an interesting start to the week.
By the way, did I mention that we have three games on the card for Tuesday?
Projected WNBA Odds
|Click on a matchup to skip ahead|
|Matchup||Time||Proj. Spread||Proj. Total|
|Storm at Fever||7 p.m. ET||Storm -15||161.86|
|Sky at Lynx||9 p.m. ET||Lynx -1.69||106.72|
|Liberty at Aces||10 p.m. ET||Aces -11.21||169.34|
Storm vs. Fever Odds
|Moneyline||-1200 / +725|
|Time||7 p.m. ET|
|Odds as of early Tuesday afternoon and via BetMGM.|
Seattle’s Mikiah Herbert Harrigan will not play for the remainder of the season as she’s expecting a child.
Indiana’s Bernadett Hatar (6.7 PPG) has missed the last seven games with an ankle injury. She was initially listed as questionable for their game on Saturday against Chicago, but was later ruled out. There has been no update to her status at this time.
In addition, Aaliyah Wilson (foot) remains sidelined until late June.
Poor Draft Has Cost Fever Early
I’m going to get on my soapbox, because I don’t know what analysis I’m supposed to provide for an Indiana Fever team that is just 1-11 on the year, so I’m going to hold off a bit before breaking down this game.
I’ve got a few things to get off my chest.
Last year, Indiana finished 11th with a 6-16 record. I suspect the Fever would have actually finished last if New York’s Sabrina Ionescu didn’t pick up an ankle injury that cut her season short after just three games. But even with an 11th-place finish, surely the Fever would have been able to improve their roster through the draft?
At least that’s what I thought after the Fever ended up with seven picks: Two in the first round, two in the second and three in the third.
I’ll acknowledge that it’s tough to make the team if you’re picked in the lower rounds, so I’ll focus on their top pick: Kysre Gondrezick, who was selected fourth overall out of West Virginia. As a Mountaineer, Gondrezick averaged 17.1 points, 3.8 assists and 3.3 rebounds per game in three seasons.
I recall watching the draft live, and no one (including the broadcasters), saw her being selected in the first round — let alone fourth overall. And now, 12 games into her WNBA career, she’s averaging 10.7 minutes per game and 2.8 points per game.
You cannot afford to whiff on your picks first round, and it appears the Fever tried to outwit everyone else but ended up outwitting themselves in the long run.
Wilson was their second pick in the first round (11th overall), but she’s yet to make her debut due to a foot injury. And while I could give them a pass on Wilson, they don’t get a pass for Gondrezick. Especially when Michaela Onyewere from UCLA was still on the board — all she’s done is start all 10 games the Liberty have played this season and averaged 10.6 points per outing.
Okay. I feel much better since I was able to get that out.
Fever Are Only Worth A Fade
Now we can get back to the game at hand, and as you might suspect, I want no part of the Fever in this spot. The first line I saw for this game had the Storm listed as 12-point road favorites. My model makes them 15-point favorites, which was the same margin they won by in their earlier meeting in June.
I would probably back the Storm at -14 or better, but the total does offer a bit of intrigue.
The question one has to ask themselves with a total that high is whether Indiana can score 80 points in this game. If the answer is no, then there’s tremendous value on the under. If the answer is yes, then I would play the game over.
I, for one, don’t think Indiana can put up 80 points, so I’d prefer to play the under in this spot.
After opening at 163, it’s already been bet up to 2.5 points. It could continue to inflate, so you could wait even longer, but I like the under at 165.5 or better.
Pick: Under 165.5 or better at BetMGM
Sky vs. Lynx Odds
|Moneyline||+145 / -175|
|Time||9 p.m. ET|
|Odds as of early Tuesday afternoon and via BetMGM.|
Astou Ndour-Fall (10.1 PPG) is the only Sky player listed on the injury report. She’s currently away from the team for an undisclosed amount of time due to a personal matter.
The injuries are piling up for the Lynx as they now list four players on Tuesday’s report: Aerial Powers (10 PPG), Natalie Achonwa (3.8 PPG) and Jessica Shepard (2.3 PPG) are all out indefinitely. Powers sustained a UCL tear in her right thumb, Achonwa has an MCL sprain in her right knee and Shepard is dealing with a strained abductor.
In addition, Rennia Davis — who was selected ninth overall in this year’s draft — is done for the season following a stress fracture in her left foot during training camp.
Too Early To Judge the Sky
It’s hard to upgrade the Sky in my power ratings off two wins against the lowly Fever. However, the wins did snap a seven-game losing streak to improve the Sky to 4-7 on the season. Their first two wins against the Mystics and Dream were so long ago, I’m not sure what to make of them at the moment.
I will say that the right team is favored in this spot as I expected the Lynx to play much better once Napheesa Collier returned to the team after playing abroad. It shouldn’t be a coincidence that, since then, they’ve won four of their last five games after starting the season 0-4.
I still think we’ll see the Sky make a run at some point, I’m just not sure that continues here. Bettors shouldn’t overlook the loss of Ndour-Fall as she started seven of the nine games she played in and averaged 24.3 minutes while contributing 10.1 points along with 7.6 rebounds per game.
I prefer to take a wait-and-see approach with the Sky, but the total in this matchup is worth a look.
Minnesota is one of the best teams in the league at drawing fouls as the Lynx are third with 20.2 free throw attempts per game. They also shoot 81.9% from the line, which is close to 17 free-throw baskets per game with the shot clock turned off.
The Lynx are 5-2 to the over when the total is set at 158.5 or higher this season. I like that trend to continue on Tuesday night.
Pick: Over 159.5 (or better) at BetMGM
Liberty vs. Aces Odds
|Moneyline||+525 / -835|
|Time||Tuesday, 9 p.m. ET|
|Odds as of early Tuesday afternoon and via DraftKings.|
New York’s Natasha Howard (14.5 PPG) will be out four to six weeks with an MCL sprain in her left knee, while Jocelyn Willoughby is done for the season after tearing her Achilles’ in a team scrimmage.
Angel McCoughtry is the only player listed on the Aces’ injury report. She suffered a torn ACL right before the start of the season in a preseason scrimmage.
A Contrarian Play To Consider
I thought my projection was spot on for this game, but I’m not surprised that the market has weighed in to bet up the Aces from -10 up to -13 (check live odds here).
This is one of those games that you’d probably want to bet right before tipoff.
I agree that the Aces should be double-digit favorites in this spot, but if you follow that reasoning, that means the Liberty will playing catchup in the fourth quarter. That also means the Liberty are more likely to be shooting plenty of 3-pointers to try to get back into the game.
That’s where the opportunity for a back door cover might be kept open just enough for New York to walk through. Keep in mind that the Liberty lead the league with 11.3 3-point field goals per game — almost two more than the second-ranked Storm, who average 9.7 per game. Contrast that with the Aces, who are dead-last with 4.5 3-pointers per game.
As for the total, you have to be careful playing an over that closes at 171.5 or higher.
Historically, that has been a losing proposition in the league, with a loss of 11.92 units. I project a combined score that is below 170 points. Thus, I would prefer to play this one under the total.
It would also make sense to play a two-team teaser at 4.5 points, allowing you to grab New York at +17.5.