WNBA Odds, Picks & Predictions: Fever vs. Wings (Friday, July 31)
Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Tiffany Mitchell.
Indiana Fever vs. Dallas Wings
|Fever odds||+3 [BET NOW]|
|Wings odds||-3 [BET NOW]|
|Moneyline||+135/-160 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||169.5 [BET NOW]|
|Time||8 p.m. ET|
What a start to the WNBA season. We backed the Mystics at -2.5 without Elena Delle Donne and Tina Charles and held firm while the betting markets overreacted to their absence against the Fever. The Mystics ended up winning in a blowout, 101-76, despite closing as a 1-point favorite. They may have even been an underdog at some point during the day.
I’ve watched the last few rounds of games and I’ve been extremely impressed by the competitiveness of all the teams and how enjoyable the WNBA product is. Forget the trite WNBA slogan “We’ve got next” because the time is now for this league and its fans.
I’m almost certain that by the time you’re reading this the lines would’ve already moved so I’m doing my best to get this out as soon as I can. When prepping for games this early in the season, normally I can get by using my previous year’s model, but given the unique circumstances in Orlando and players opting out, I’ve had to build a 2020 model much earlier than I would have thought.
In anticipation, I took copious notes on the Fever during their last game and here are some of the things that stood out to me.
Tiffany Mitchell is an absolute stud who creates massive problems for the opposing team. Her ability to drive to the bucket or pull up for a jump shot anywhere on the court makes her a formidable opponent. If there was a knock on her game, I would say that there’s room for improvement in her 3-point shot.
Kelsey Mitchell can rain shots from anywhere on the court. Yet, despite leading the team in scoring with 43 points, I think she can be even more aggressive as a scorer. Tiffany Mitchell is a ball-dominant player and at times the Fever have wasted drives to the hoop. With better spacing, Kelsey should be in better positions for a kick-out when Tiffany drives.
Julie Allemand is a steady player who can move without the ball. The Fever could probably run a few more plays for her to get her involved more quickly. She’s a good 3-point shooter but requires help to be able to get her own shot off.
Candice Dupree is a legend in the women’s game and her conditioning is probably better than her counterparts. If you watch the Fever play just once you can see what kind of an impactful leader she is.
Teaira McCowan and Victoria Vivians have done a good job thus far. As for McCowan, her game is straightforward — you know what you’re going to get from her as a player around the basket. Vivians is the more likely player of the two to threaten from long range. In her college days, Vivians was seventh in the SEC for career 3-point field goals made. She’s currently just 1-6 from beyond the arc.
Natalie Achonwa has given the Fever good minutes off the bench, though I think she’s still trying to get into game shape. A lack of conditioning has impacted the Fever’s ability to get stops down the stretch.
Fever vs. Wings Predictions and Pick
Indiana’s best players are in their backcourt. It makes sense for them to try to push the tempo considering they’re one of the younger teams in the league.
When they try to slow the pace down, their game becomes more stagnant. This is because they lack playmakers on the inside and their frontcourt is not set up with the type of players to stretch the opposing team. This is why conditioning is critical for this team, particularly with games coming almost every other day.
Right now, the Dallas Wings are almost a carbon copy of the Fever based on their age and style of play.
|Opponent 3-point attempts per game||19.5||21|
|Personal fouls per game||22||23|
|Possessions per game||86.5||88.8|
The difference is Dallas has a number of stretch-4 and stretch-5 players who can play around the perimeter. This should create an open game and more space on the floor as they look to draw the Fever frontcourt players away from the basket.
My model favors Dallas by 3, which is in agreement with the number sent out by oddsmakers.
However, I see the total on this game being too low and I would look to the over in this matchup. Indiana is 4-0 on the over in their last four games while the over is 5-0-1 in Dallas’ last six games, and 7-2 overall in their last nine games. I would feel comfortable playing this up to 172 given the playing style of both teams.
If you like scoring, this is a game that shouldn’t disappoint. Sit back and enjoy this one. It could be a barn burner.
The Pick: Over 169.5 (up to 172)