WNBA Odds, Picks, Predictions: 3 Bets for Sky at Wings, Lynx at Mercury, Aces at Sparks (June 30)
Jeff Bottari/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Las Vegas Aces standout Kelsey Plum.
- We have three interesting games on Wednesday's WNBA schedule.
- Michael Arinze takes a look at the matchups, featuring the Sky at Wings, Lynx at Mercury and Aces at Sparks.
- Check out Arinze's best bets below for these showdowns.
It’s been six days since our last WNBA preview and quite a bit has happened in the league during that time.
For one, there was the overtime thriller Sunday between Seattle Storm — there league’s best franchise — and the Las Vegas Aces. Seattle led by as many as nine points in both the second and third quarter, but just couldn’t put the Aces away, as Las Vegas rallied to a 95-92 home win in a game where it shot 54.5% from behind the 3-point line.
There was also the return of two of the league’s biggest stars, as Connecticut’s Jonquel Jones wrapped up her international commitments with Bosnia in the 2021 European Women Basketball Championship. The Mercury also got their star player back in Diana Taurasi after she missed nine games with a fractured sternum.
Both players made immediate impacts and were key to their teams’ most recent win.
Lastly, the Indiana Fever managed to reach a new low, as it waived former Baylor standout Lauren Cox, who they selected third overall in the 2020 WNBA Draft. Let’s be honest, waiving a first-round pick after just 25 career games isn’t exactly what qualifies as player development.
The Fever are just 1-15 on the season with 11 consecutive losses, and one thing that’s clear about Cox’s departure is that Indiana’s problems aren’t just on the court, but in the front office as well.
However, enough about the Fever. Discussing their ineptitude as an organization is tiring enough on its own. We need to conserve our energy, because we have three games on the Wednesday card that require attention.
So, without further ado, let’s get right to it.
Projected WNBA Odds
|Matchup||Time||Proj. Spread||Proj. Total|
|Sky at Wings||8 p.m. ET||Sky -2.15||162.10|
|Lynx at Mercury||10 p.m. ET||Mercury -0.64||162.83|
|Aces at Sparks||10:30 p.m. ET||Aces -13.91||164.02|
Sky at Wings Odds
|Time||8 p.m. ET|
|Odds as of Wednesday via DraftKings.|
Injuries & News
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.
There are no players listed on the Dallas injury report.
Free-Throw Shooting Could Be Key to Over
I’m probably going to approach this game more so from a modeling standpoint, because I think we know quite a bit about these two teams at this point in the season.
I initially projected Chicago as less than a half-point favorite before realizing I needed to make a slight adjustment to my power ratings, because Candace Parker missed eight games . I assess her value to the point spread at around two points, making the Sky a 2.15-point favorite with my model.
This line actually opened with Chicago as a 4.5-point road favorite, but was quickly bet down between 2-2.5 points. That puts the market right in line with my original projection, which I’ve often seen this season.
With that said, I’d actually look to target the total that opened at 159.5.
I think the bookmakers are giving the Sky a bit too much credit defensively, with the total opening as low as it did. Keep in mind the Wings lead the league with 20.8 fouls per game, while the Sky are third with 19.3 fouls drawn per game. Chicago also ranks first with a free-throw percentage of 87.5 percent.
I think we’ll see a fair share of free throws with the game clock turned off. Unfortunately, the total ballooned to 165, so I’d recommend using this game as part of a three-team 4.5-point teaser (+190) with the other picks below.
It’s also worth noting the total is 6-1 (+4.73 units) to the over when Chicago plays Dallas on the road.
That’s certainly a trend that I can get behind.
Pick: Teaser option for a 4.5-point teaser (down to 160.5)
Lynx at Mercury Odds
|Time||10 p.m. ET|
|Odds as of Wednesday via DraftKings.|
Injuries & News
Minnesota lists three players on the injury report: Aerial Powers (10 PPG) and Natalie Achonwa (3.8 PPG) are both out indefinitely. Powers sustained a UCL tear in her right thumb, and Achonwa has an MCL sprain in her right knee. 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 at training camp.
Bria Hartley is the only player ruled out for the Mercury, as she continues her rehab for a torn ACL last August. However, there is some optimism that she could return before the Olympic break in early July.
Back Lynx to Stay Hot in Phoenix
Sometimes you can look at a point spread and inherently tell that it’s askew. That’s the first thing that came to mind when I saw the Mercury as high as a 4.5-point favorite against the Lynx. Perhaps oddsmakers view this as a letdown spot after Minnesota defeated the Aces, 90-89, at home. While that might make sense, from a power-rating perspective, this number is just too high at the moment.
I project Phoenix at a little better than a half-point home favorite. And if you’ve been following along with me throughout the season, you’ll know Minnesota is a team that I said will make a run at some point once Napheesa Collier returned from playing abroad.
The Lynx got off to an 0-3 start this season, but with Collier back in the fold, they’ve won seven of their last 11 games.
This is a rematch of the season opener when Phoenix narrowly edged out a Minnesota, 77-75, with Collier absent. And now we’re catching 4.5 points with the Lynx as underdogs?
Here’s something to keep in mind: Since 2016, Minnesota is a perfect 7-0 ATS on the road in Phoenix. I’ve got to trust my projections here as I think the extra four points in value are just too good to pass up in this spot.
Pick: Lynx +3.5 (-105)
Aces at Sparks Odds
|Time||10:30 p.m. ET|
|Odds as of Wednesday via BetMGM.|
Injuries & News
Angel McCoughtry is the only player listed on the Aces’ injury report. McCoughtry suffered a torn ACL during a preseason scrimmage and is out for the season.
Los Angeles lists four players on its injury report: Nneka Ogwumike (16.4 PPG), Chiney Ogwumike (9.0 PPG), and Jasmine Walker have all been ruled out with knee injuries. Kristi Toliver (9.8 PPG) is listed as questionable with an eye injury.
Just Blindly Bet Under With Sparks at Home
I’ll keep this handicap somewhat brief, because I try to stay away from games where one team is significantly short-handed as those matchups are oftentimes more unpredictable.
Nonetheless, I’m more bullish on the Aces than the rest of the market for this game based on my model projecting them as close to a 14-point favorite. However, I think if you’re considering playing this game, I’d prefer to look to the total, because I’m not sure the Sparks can hit the 80-point mark, particularly with the Ogwumike sisters still sidelined.
Both teams faced one another in the second week of the season, with the Aces securing a 97-69 win in a game in which both the Ogwumikes played in.
Note that Las Vegas is 3-1 to the under on the road against Los Angeles, but the truth is anytime the Sparks are at home, the under is worth a look.
This season, they’re 7-4 to the under, and historically, they’re 155-114-1 (58%) to the under for +33.05 units. I started with this game just being a lean for me, but I think I’ve talked myself into the under here as well.
Pick: Under 167.5
Bonus Play: Three-team 4.5-point teaser: Sky-Wings over 160.5, Lynx +8, and Aces-Sparks under 171 (+190)