Friday WNBA Odds & Picks: 5 Bets, Featuring Sun vs. Sky, Mercury vs. Dream & More

Friday WNBA Odds & Picks: 5 Bets, Featuring Sun vs. Sky, Mercury vs. Dream & More article feature image

KeShawnEnnis/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Candace Parker

  • The WNBA slate is loaded tonight, with five intriguing matchups across the board.
  • The highlight is Sky-Sun, but we've got you covered with betting recommendations for the other four, as well.
  • Continue reading for a full breakdown of Friday's slate, including analysis and picks.

This will be my first column for the Action Network, so let me briefly introduce myself and my bona fides. I have been a sports writer for the past decade, covering just about every sport imaginable during my time at newspapers, blogs, websites, apps, and everything in between.

I was a diehard New York Liberty fan growing up in the Golden Years, and have written about the W since 2014.

After a few years of testing the ins and outs of a betting model, I have gone public with my picks this year for the W, as well as MLB and PGA. My year to date results have been quite successful, with a 10.5 percent overall ROI and a 26.9 percent ROI on an admittedly very small sample of 29 WNBA bets that you can find on Twitter.

My goal here is to lay out the groundwork for you to make the most advised bets you can on the sport we all love (and that we all hope the sportsbook start to love a little bit more and give us some better options for betting!).

I am going to be tracking all my recommended bets now on the Action Network app, and will be linking to articles on Twitter, so make sure to give both a follow, as I'm very excited for us to all hopefully win some money together! Let's get this started with a breakdown of Friday's WNBA slate.

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WNBA Odds, Picks

Click on game to skip ahead

Sky vs. Sun7 p.m. ET
Liberty vs. Fever7 p.m. ET
Storm vs. Wings8 p.m. ET
Mystics vs. Lynx8 p.m. ET
Dream vs. Mercury10 p.m. ET

Sky vs. Sun

Sky Odds+6.5
Sun Odds-6.5
Moneyline+210 / -265
Time7 p.m. ET
Odds via FanDuel . Get up-to-the-minute WNBA odds here.


Connecticut's Jasmine Thomas remains out for the season with a torn ACL.

Julie Allemand of the Chicago Sky is questionable to make her season debut, as she has made it through customs and is expected to get her first 2022 action on either Friday or Sunday.

Game of the Night

Let's lead off with what should be the most fun showdown of the evening, and one of the best games of the season so far. It's not just that these are the top two teams in the East and two of the three best in the league, it's that they match up well together, too.

Both teams do some of their best work in the post, but they go about that success in different ways. The Sun, as they have for multiple seasons now, make their living on the offensive glass, with a mind-melting 39.2 percent offensive rebound rate that would break the all-time record if it held (38.6 by the Sacramento Monarchs in 2007) — of course there's still lots of season to be played.

The Sky, on the other hand, rely on great ball movement to create open looks in the paint, with their assist rate (72.1 percent) ranking second in the W this season. No team taking a higher percentage of shots from 0-3 feet than the Sky this season, per Basketball-Reference.

Then What Will Decide the Game?

There are a few factors that are leading me to take Chicago to cover the generous 6.5-spread">point spread tonight. First of all, there is this excellent nugget from Richard Cohen in his weekly WNBA Dissected column for Her Hoops Stats:

The good news is that their [Sky] current starting five of Courtney Vandersloot, Allie Quigley, Kahleah Copper, Emma Meesseman and Candace Parker has a net rating of 11.4 in 94 minutes. That's a figure that would be challenging Connecticut and Las Vegas for the league lead if it was for a full team

Now, as Cohen points out right after, this is a very small sample, but the fact is the Sky are healthy are look to be getting back to those levels that brought them the franchise's first-ever title last season.

There's also the fact that the Sky rank in the bottom three in the league in fouls per game, and the Sun are incredibly reliant on the charity stripe, with their nearly 20 points a game from the free throw line easily leading the W right now. The Sky are an incredibly experienced and disciplined team — Candace Parker and Co. aren't going to get baited into some of those easy points less-experienced teams often hand the Sun.

Finally, while the Sky rank fifth in the league in blocks per game, the Sun rank dead last. If one team is more likely to lock up the post play of the other, I like Chicago to be the ones to at least slow Connecticut down.

Pick: Sky +5 or better at FanDuel

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Liberty vs. Fever

Liberty Odds-3.5
Fever Odds+3.5
Moneyline-155 / +135
Time7 p.m. ET
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute WNBA odds here.


New York's injured reserve remains busy, with Betnijah Laney (knee), Jocelyn Willoughby (quadriceps), and DiDi Richards (hamstring) all on the shelf for the foreseeable future.

On the plus side, Marine Johannes appears to be returning to the Liberty soon, but will almost certainly not be in game shape for tonight. AD was traded to the Atlanta Dream this week, ending their stint with the Liberty and making room for the Johannes signing.

No notable injuries or absences for the Indiana Fever.

Not So Much Game of the Night

Alright, if Sky-Sun is the Game of the Night, Liberty-Fever is its inverse … and I say that as a Liberty fan. The two teams are a combined 7-19 on the season, with injuries seemingly cutting into a promising season for the Liberty. On the other side of the court, the Fever were always looking to be in Build Mode for 2022.

That's not to say there won't be interesting storylines to focus on in this game, or that there isn't plenty of room to bet this game.

Crystal is the Key?

The top storyline to watch in the game (and to get ahead of myself, why I like the Liberty tonight), is the (re)breakout of Sabrina Ionescu, a breakout seemingly coming thanks in part to a few tweaks to the Liberty's expected plan this season.

The Liberty signed 2020 WNBA Rookie of the Year Crystal Dangerfield on May 21, after the Lynx parted ways with the 24-year-old during their massive roster shakeup last month. Dangerfield got solid minutes her first three games with the Lib, but it was after head coach Sandy Brondello decided to slot Dangerfield into the starting lineup that the team really clicked.

In the four games with Dangerfield in the starting backcourt, the Liberty are 3-1 and Ionescu is averaging 26.0 points per game. This coming on the back of a four-game stretch in which Ionescu totaled 26 points!

Combine this with the fact that the Liberty have the most stout defense from 0-3 feet (thanks, Natasha Howard and Han Xu!) and the Fever are very reliant on their offense from that part of the court, and it's a full unit play on the Liberty to take down the Fever in Indiana tonight.

Pick: Liberty to -5.5 at DraftKings

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Storm vs. Wings

Storm Odds-2
Wings Odds+2
Moneyline-130 / +110
Time8 p.m. ET
Odds via PointsBet. Get up-to-the-minute WNBA odds here.


The Storm appear to be back to full health at least in name, with Ezi Magbegor and Sue Bird playing in their second straight game back from COVID protocols in the Storm's win over the Dream on Tuesday.

Mercedes Russell also played in her third game of the season against Atlanta, and all three players appear to be rounding into shape as the season passes the one-third mark.

The Dallas Wings also appear to be in full health and rounding into shape, as Satou Sabally played a season-high minutes in their most recent game on Sunday.

Christmas Past versus Christmas Future?

On its surface, this game should be a pretty fun matchup between the team with arguably the most strong recent past against a team with as strong a set of young talent as you'll find in the league.

However, neither team has been setting the world on fire this season, with matching 6-5 records showing that neither team is Christmas Present.

Both teams rank in the bottom five in the league in pace, which leads me to my lean on the under for this game.

Two other factors lead this direction as well:

The Wings are top four in the league in both fewest threes allowed and opponent three-point percentage, and only the Liberty are more reliant on the three ball than Seattle this season.

The Storm have also not had a road game since games two and three of the season, which were a pair of double-digit losses (albeit without Breanna Stewart for one of them), and the Wings have been incredibly pedestrian at home this year (1-2 with the lone victory coming over Minnesota), and it seems like this may just be a slog of a game.

Now, if you follow me on the app, you'll see that I snagged this opening line when it came out way too high at PointsBet, with an opening number of 159.5. That line has dropped three points in the time since, making this more of a lean than a best bet.

Lean: Under 156.5 at PointsBet

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Mystics vs. Lynx

Mystics Odds-6.5
Lynx Odds6.5
Moneyline-278 / 225
Time7 p.m. ET
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute WNBA odds here.


Whenever the Mystics play, the biggest question mark is always Elena Delle Donne, and unfortunately for Washington but thankfully for people writing betting previews of tonight's action, that call has already been made in advance, and the Mystics star will be out against the Lynx tonight.

Not to be outdone by the Mystics, the Lynx have plenty going on in this section as well, with a "health swap" of sorts, as Sylvia Fowles has been ruled out indefinitely for Minnesota, while Damiris Dantas is probable to make her season debut tonight.

While that is a notable downgrade (and that's even before noting that Dantas will need to shake off the rust), there's at least a bit more good news in that Moriah Jefferson also appears likely to play for the Lynx tonight.

Napheesa Collier remains out on maternity leave, and Natalie Achonwa remains out indefinitely with a hamstring injury.

No EDD, yes SWK?

Missing one of the best pure players of all time (when healthy) is never a good thing, but the Mystics have adjusted relatively well to their star's abbreviated playing schedule in recent seasons.

This season, the Mystics are 2-2 in games Delle Donne has missed, with all four games coming on the road, like this one is. In fact, one of those two wins came over Minnesota back on May 8, but of course that matchup doesn't tell us much, as nearly the entire Lynx team looks different today.

The four games EDD has missed don't really tell us a whole lot either, as they defeated the two teams we'd imagine they'd beat (Minnesota and Atlanta) and lost to the two teams we'd also expect (Connecticut and Chicago). However, with Mike Thibault finally having a mostly healthy squad outside of EDD, the most recent outing saw Shatori Walker-Kimbrough receive a DNP-Coach's Decision last game.

With EDD out tonight, SWK should be back in the rotation — a plus in my eyes. Not that Walker-Kimbrough is better than Delle Donne, but she's a really solid player and one who is definitely deserving of minutes in this league. The depth of the Mystics and creative coaching of Thibault makes Washington in better position to cover a missing star than most teams.

Add that to the fact that Minnesota is heavily reliant on the charity stripe and Washington is one of the best teams at avoiding fouling; sprinkle in the the ball movement of the Mystics and the ball movement susceptible defense of the still-learning-to-play-together Lynx, and it all spells Washington.

Look for the Mystics to run away and hide in the third quarter and guard their lead well enough to cover.

Pick: Mystics -6.5 at BetMGM

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Dream vs. Mercury

Dream Odds+4
Mercury Odds-4
Moneyline+145 / -175
Time10 p.m. ET
Odds via PointsBet. 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 now been wrongly detained in Russia for more than 100 days.

The Mercury will also now be without Sophie Cunningham for the next few weeks after the Phoenix guard sprained her elbow during their last game on Sunday against the Sparks. Kia Nurse has also yet to debut in 2022 for the Mercury.

On the Atlanta side of things, Erica Wheeler is questionable, but given the information available it seems unlikely that she will play tonight.

Bit of a Stay Away

On a crowded night in the W, this is the game that jumps out as a stay away. Both teams suffered injuries to key players in their last game (with Wheeler being more central to Atlanta's plans than Cunningham is to Phoenix's, in all fairness), so we don't have information on the impact of either player missing just yet.

The Dream have struggled massively on offense all year, and Wheeler has been key to the few successes they have had. However, part of what the Dream have struggled so much with is a (by far) league-leading 18.8 turnovers per game. Wheeler contributed over three of those a game, tied for second-highest in the league. The question is whether Aari McDonald and the newly acquired AD will commit just as many turnovers when bumped up into that new playmaker role.

The good news for Atlanta is that the Mercury don't really force many turnovers, and furthermore, when they do, they're not always looking to get out and run, with their 8.8 fastbreak points a game ranking ninth in the league this season.

On the flip side, Atlanta has been strong at defending the three this season, while Phoenix is reliant on the long ball, another point in Atlanta's favor. However, I just can't get over the fact that I think the Dream without Wheeler are really going to sputter a bit here.

Overall, I'm going to lean to the under, but as noted, this is a bit of a stay away, with so many unknowns at play.

Lean: Under 155 at PointsBet

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