WNBA Odds, Picks & Predictions: Betting Analysis for Sparks vs. Fever, Sky vs. Mercury and More (Tuesday, August 31)

WNBA Odds, Picks & Predictions: Betting Analysis for Sparks vs. Fever, Sky vs. Mercury and More (Tuesday, August 31) article feature image

Adam Hagy/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Candace Parker #3 of the Chicago Sky.

I've meant to take a look at ATS records across the league for quite some time. But then came the month-long Olympic break, and I forgot all about the thought until now. It only took a bit of writer's block to jog my memory of what seemed like a useful idea.

Nonetheless, this can be a valuable exercise once you're at least a quarter of the way through the season. Today, we'll look at the top two teams in the league from an ATS perspective.

With a league-best 17-9 ATS mark, the Connecticut Sun also has the best win-loss record at 20-6. However, the Sun is still getting overlooked in the futures market, considering it has the third shortest odds (+300) on the board to win the title.

Connecticut also has the second-best point differential at +7.73. Those numbers prove that this is a team worth backing, even though it's not considered the favorite.

Phoenix has the second-best ATS mark at 15-9-1, and it also has an above-average win-loss record of 15-10. However, its point differential is only +2.2, which suggests to me that, at times, it's been incorrectly priced as an underdog.

Sure enough, our Bet Labs database shows that Phoenix is 5-1 ATS as a dog this season. Its Pythagorean win expectation is also in line with its season record, so this is certainly a bet on a team, especially if we find them as underdogs again down the stretch.

Moving forward, I'll try to go behind the numbers with two different teams to provide more insights into this league.

So with that now out of the way, let's get to Tuesday's card.

Projected WNBA Odds

MatchupTimeProj. SpreadProj. Total
Sparks vs. Fever7 p.m. ETSparks -3.95151.06
Sun vs. Mystics7 p.m. ETSun -7.53152.14
Liberty vs. Lynx8 p.m. ETLynx -9.55164.25
Sky vs. Mercury10 p.m. ETPick'em162.43

Sparks vs. Fever

Sparks Odds-4.5
Fever Odds+4.5
Moneyline-190 / +155
TimeTuesday, 7 p.m. ET
Odds as of Tuesday and via BetMGM.

Injuries & News

Los Angeles lists three players on the injury report: Chiney Ogwumike (7.8) is questionable with a knee injury. Kristi Toliver (9.4 points per game) and Jasmine Walker are both out with knee injuries.

Indiana lists four players on its injury report: Danielle Robinson (9.9 PPG) is questionable with an ankle injury, while Betti Határ (4.9 PPG), Chelsey Perry (2.2 PPG), and Kysre Gondrezick (1.9 PPG) have all been ruled out.

Defense Should Be Key For Indiana As Live Underdogs

I always run my projections before the lines come out, and this was a game I had circled because I was hoping we could catch the 5-19 Fever team at around a five to six-point underdog. Indiana has covered nine of its past 13 games after starting 2-9 ATS.

In fact, the Fever has won four of its last seven games after a 1-16 start to the season. Unfortunately, the bookmakers sent the number out with the Sparks as a -3 road favorite. I think Indiana is a live dog in this game against a Sparks that has overachieved by three victories in terms of its Pythagorean win expectation.

The one thing that does give me some pause is the status of Robinson. She's the team's fourth-leading scorer but is also the team's primary ball handler. Her 3.7 assists are a team-high, and I think Indiana's offense would sputter quite a bit without her.

This brings me to the total, which opened at 153.5 and I project at just a tick over 151. With Indiana playing better of late, I think this game is closer to the 75-70 scoreline the last time they met than the 98-65 score in the first meeting. Note that LA is on a three-game losing streak, and it's been held under 70 points in two of its last three games.

Historically, the total is 127-108 (+13.4 units) in Sparks games, lower than 153.5. I think we have a chance to see that again on Tuesday.

Pick: Under 152.5

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Sun vs. Mystics

Sun Odds-9.5
Mystics Odds+9.5
Moneyline-400 / +310
TimeTuesday, 7 p.m. ET
Odds as of Tuesday and via BetMGM.

Injuries & News

Alyssa Thomas is the only Connecticut player on the injury report. She is unlikely to play this season after tearing her Achilles while playing overseas.

The Mystics list Elena Delle Donne (13.7 points per game) and Tina Charles (25.4) on the injury report. Delle Donne’s issue is undisclosed at the moment, and she’ll be a game-time decision while Charles is out indefinitely with a hip injury.

Target The Over If Delle Donne Suits Up

My original projection for this game was Connecticut -9.53. However, I actually feel a bit more positive that EDD will play in this matchup. She missed the Mystics' last contest after playing in the three prior games. Washington's not giving a ton of information on what ails her, but it might have to do with the multiple back surgeries to repair a herniated disc.

I think the fact that she hasn't already been ruled out is a good sign. Instead, she'll be a game-time decision, and I project that she's worth at least two points to the point spread. Even with her status up in the air, I'm targeting the total for a play on the total.

Washington is ranked eighth with a 103-defensive rating. In the previous two meetings, both teams combined to score over 160 points.

And if EDD does play, her main contribution will have to be on the offensive end because I don't think Washington will expect a ton out of her defensively if she isn't at 100%.

Pick: Over 149.5

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Liberty vs. Lynx

Liberty Odds+9.5
Lynx Odds-9.5
Moneyline+350 / -480
TimeTuesday, 8 p.m. ET
Odds as of Tuesday and via FanDuel.

Injuries & News

New York lists two players on the injury report: Sami Whitcomb (12.8 PPG) is questionable with an ankle injury. Jazmine Jones (6.7 PPG) is already ruled out with a knee injury.

Rennia Davis is the only Lynx player on the injury report. The ninth overall pick in the 2021 draft is out for the season following a stress fracture in her left foot during training camp.

Liberty's Pace Should Lead Plenty Of Points

The New York Liberty are in free fall with just one win in its last eight games. At 11-16, the team occupies the eighth and final playoff position, but its average point differential (-7) is the second-worst in the league behind the Fever. Its Pythagorean expectation is also the second-worst, with an expected six wins on the season.

Defensively, it just hasn't been there for the Liberty, even with the return of Natasha Howard from injury. When you watch the games, you never seem to feel the team is fully committed on the defensive end. Clearly, the team is built around its star point guard in Sabrina Ionescu. But even Ionescu, at times, hasn't shown enough grit — particularly when fighting through pick-and-rolls.

New York likes to play fast as their 81.82 possessions per 40 minutes are ranked the second-highest behind Las Vegas. However, the Aces are ranked second with a defensive rating of 95 while the Liberty is 10th with a value of 104.4. The visitors also lead the league with 28.5 three-point attempts and 10.4 three-point field goals per game.

I don't think the Lynx will mind the pace or have any trouble keeping up.

I projected this total at around 164 points, so I was surprised to see it open at 160.5. However, it didn't take long before some sharp players bet it up to 164. New York leads the league with a 16-11 mark to the over. I'll look to bring the total down to 159.5 as part of a two-team 4.5 point teaser.

Pick: Over 159.5 for the first leg of two-team 4.5 point teaser (+103)

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Sky vs. Mercury

Sky Odds+1.5
Mercury Odds-1.5
Moneyline-106 / -114
TimeTuesday, 10 p.m. ET
Odds as of Tuesday and via FanDuel.

Injuries & News

Astou Ndour-Fall (7.0 PPG) is the only Chicago player on the injury report. She's listed as questionable with a foot injury and will be a game-time decision.

Phoenix lists two players on its injury report: Brittney Griner (20.7 PPG) is questionable with an ankle injury and will be a game-time decision. Bria Hartley remains out indefinitely as she continues her rehab after tearing her ACL last summer.

Double-Revenge Spot For The Sky

There's a good chance this will be the best game of the night as Chicago is coming off a dominating 107-75 victory on the road against the reigning WNBA champs, the Seattle Storm. In fact, Chicago swept the two-game series there that was played over the weekend.

This game should have a playoff feel to it as the Sky take on a Mercury team that's won eight of its last nine games, including victories over Las Vegas and Seattle.

However, its last six games have been against New York, Atlanta, and Washington. All three of those teams are below .500.

Now, you can only play who's in front of you, but Chicago comes into this game with a double revenge factor after losing the first two games in the season series by a total of four points. But I think Its performance on Sunday night against Seattle should buoy Chicago.

WNBA teams off off a game which they won by at least 20 points 222-200-6 for 10.14 units. I like the Sky in this spot, and I'll also play a piece of them as part of my two-team teaser.

Pick: Sky +1.5

Bonus: Sky +3 for the second leg of two-team 4.5 point teaser (+103)

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