WNBA Odds, Predictions, Picks: Storm at Fever, Sun at Sky, More Thursday Betting Previews (June 17)

WNBA Odds, Predictions, Picks: Storm at Fever, Sun at Sky, More Thursday Betting Previews (June 17) article feature image
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Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Candace Parker.

Though the WNBA card has five games on the schedule for Thursday, three of them are rematches featuring the same teams that the league built into the schedule to reduce travel as a response to COVID-19.

While it may be pragmatic, it does have its limitations as the quality of the game could be somewhat hampered with each team knowing their opponent more intimately.

We’ll take a look to see if that scenario has produced any discernable trends thus far this season, and hopefully, we can add a few more winning tickets to our tally.


Projected WNBA Odds

Matchup Time Proj. Spread Proj. Total
Dream at Mystics 7 p.m. ET Mystics -1.90 166.73
Storm at Fever 7 p.m. ET Storm -17.01 166.17
Sun at Sky 8 p.m. ET Sky -2.07 156.56
Lynx at Wings 8 p.m. ET Wings -3.56 165.50
Liberty at Aces 10 p.m. ET Aces -14.78 170.13

Dream at Mystics Odds

Dream Odds -1.5
Mystics Odds +1.5
Over/Under 164.5
Time 7 p.m. ET
Odds as of Thursday and via BetMGM

Injuries

Chennedy Carter (15.7 PPG) is the only Atlanta player on the injury report. The former fourth overall pick is still out indefinitely after hyperextending her right elbow on May 29 against the Liberty.

Washington lists three players on the injury report: Sydney Wiese (6.2 PPG) is probable after missing the last four games with a sprained ankle. However, Tina Charles (24 PPG) has been ruled out as she’ll be attending the Tribeca Film Festival for a movie she directed and produced called Game Changer.

The Mystics would love to have their other star Elena Delle Donne suit up, but EDD is still out indefinitely following a second surgery on her back in December.

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Trouble Brewing In the Nation’s Capital?

It’s hard to imagine where the Mystics would be without Charles this season. The seven-time WNBA All-Star is playing even better than when she won the MVP in 2012. Though it would be a shame to squander a season in which she’s averaging a career-high 24 PPG, that might be where the Mystics are headed if they can’t turn their season around.

Washington was expected to contend for a title this year, but the injury to EDD has certainly dampened those plans. Nonetheless, what’s even more troubling is that the Mystics have underperformed, because even without EDD, they should be better than their current record at 4-6.

In May, Washington lost by double digits to a 1-12 Indiana Fever team. In fact, four of the Mystics’ six losses have been by double digits, and two of them were by 20 points. The Mystics also defeated a decent New York Liberty team 101-72.

There’s too much inconsistency for my liking, as you never know which team will show up on a given day. Some of that might be the coaching, but it wouldn’t surprise me if there’s some tension among the players.

Impact Of Charles’ Absence In Key Commissioner’s Cup Game

I’m not sure how this team will respond with Charles missing Thursday’s game for her movie screening.

Right now, the league is in the midst of the inaugural Commissioner’s Cup competition that designates a portion of the regular-season games in the first half of the season to count toward the Cup standings. The competition has a $500,000 prize pool with members of the winning team possibly earning more than $30,000 each while the runners-up receive $10,000 per player. Those are funds the players can add to their salaries, which is a big motivator, particularly for players earning the minimum salary of $58,170.

Washington will face Atlanta again on Thursday in a rematch of the Mystics’ 101-78 loss on Sunday. Both games count toward the Commissioner’s Cup, and while I’m sure Charles probably cleared it with the organization to miss the game, I can’t imagine that everyone in the locker room is 100% thrilled.

This season there have been nine occasions in which two teams faced one another in consecutive games, and the result was six sweeps and three splits. However, it wouldn’t surprise me if the remaining players band together to put forth a good effort without Charles.

After all, it’s been that kind of season for the Mystics all year.

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Storm at Fever Odds

Storm Odds -16.5
Fever Odds +16.5
Over/Under 164.5
Time 7 p.m. ET
Odds as of Thursday and via FanDuel

Injuries

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) and Aaliyah Wilson (foot) have been ruled out. Hatar has missed the last eight games with an ankle injury, while Wilson isn’t expected to make her season debut until late June.

Can the Fever Get To 80 Points?

This is another game that features a rematch between two teams. I covered this game on Tuesday, and a key part of the handicap was whether the Fever could score 80 points against the Storm. I didn’t think Indiana could, and that resulted in me targeting the under in the ballgame.

That ticket proved to be a winner, and the oddsmakers have pretty much opened this game using the closing numbers of their first meeting.

It’s worth noting that Seattle has faced the same opponent in consecutive games three times this season, and on two occasions, the Storm have split the series. Seattle is also 3-3 against the spread (ATS) in this spot, and the total is also even at 3-3. As for Indiana, the Fever are 2-6 ATS in this spot, and the total is 6-2 to the over. However, six of those games closed with a total below 165, which is where the current is at the moment.

Despite my model’s 166-point projection, I still don’t see how the Fever can get to 80 points against a Storm team ranked third with a 95.7 defensive rating. As a result, the under is the only way I could look to play this matchup. 

Pick: Under 164.5 (down to 163)


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Sun at Sky Odds

Sun Odds +4.5
Sky Odds -4.5
Over/Under 165.5
Time 8 p.m. ET
Odds as of Thursday and via BetMGM

Injuries

Jonquel Jones (21.6 PPG) will miss Connecticut’s next four games while competing in the FIBA Women’s EuroBasket 2021. Jones is a native of the Bahamas but has held Bosnian citizenship since May 2019. In addition, Alyssa Thomas is expected to miss the entire season after tearing her Achilles while playing overseas in January.

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.

Fade the Short-Handed Sun

The Sun got a taste of life without Jones on Sunday as they got trounced by the Storm at home, 89-66. Now they head to Chicago to take on a Sky team that’s won its last three games, including an impressive 105-89 victory on the road against Minnesota.

Earlier in the season, I speculated about the potential of Chicago being an elite team defensively with the acquisition of Candace Parker. However, perhaps I should have paid more attention to its offense that’s scored more than 80 points in each of their last three games.

I worry about the Sun in this spot against a surging Sky team, but judging Connecticut off one game without Jones might be a bit harsh especially considering the Sun were facing arguably the best team in the league.

This point spread is a bit rich for me, with the Sky as 4.5-point favorites. This is higher than my projection with Chicago as roughly a 2-point favorite after accounting for Jones’s absence.

As a result, I’d prefer to actually play the Sky in the first half and bypass the full game spread.

Pick: Sky 1H -1.5 at FanDuel


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Lynx at Wings Odds

Lynx Odds +4.5
Wings Odds -4.5
Over/Under 167.5
Time 8 p.m. ET
Odds as of Thursday and via BetMGM

Injuries

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.

There are no injuries to report for Dallas.

A Teaser Worth Considering

The Wings are one of the most exciting teams to watch this season with their high-powered offense. This is a team I fully expected to recover from a 1-4 start once Satou Sabally wrapped up her season overseas and returned stateside. Dallas is currently seventh in the league, but the Wings are on their way up as the three teams ahead of them all have a negative point differential while Dallas has a positive point differential of 2.3.

However, what intrigues me most about this matchup is the total, as both teams average around 81 possessions per game, but my model projects a pace closer to 85 possessions for both sides.

Another reason I like the over is Minnesota’s ability to get to the free-throw line. The Lynx are third in the league in averaging 20.9 free throws per game, and as a team, they’re shooting 80.9% from the charity stripe. That should bode well against a Dallas team tied for allowing the most free throws with 23.3 per game.

As a result, Minnesota should get plenty of scoring chances with the game clock turned off.

The total is 91-72-6 (+11.63 units) to the over in games involving Dallas. This actually opened at 163.5, and it’s now been bet up as high as 166. As a result, I can no longer recommend a play, but I would consider playing a two-team 4.5-point teaser to bring the total down to 161.5 and playing the over. I would pair this with the Storm-Fever game by teasing that up to 170 and playing the under.

2-Team, 4.5-Point Teaser: Over 161.5 (+103) with Storm-Fever Under 169


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Liberty at Aces Odds

Liberty Odds +15.5
Aces Odds -15.5
Over/Under 171.5
Time 10 p.m. ET
Odds as of Thursday and via BetMGM

Injuries

New York lists four players on its injury report: Sabrina Ionescu (13.7 PPG) is questionable with an ankle injury. In addition, Natasha Howard (14.5 PPG), Kia Stokes (2.2 PPG), and Jocelyn Willoughby have been ruled out. Howard will be out four-to-six weeks with an MCL sprain in her left knee while Stokes is overseas competing in the FIBA Women’s EuroBasket 2021 tournament. 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. McCoughtry suffered a torn ACL right before the start of the season in a preseason scrimmage.


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