WNBA Odds, Picks & Projections for 4 Friday Games, Including Sparks vs. Sky, Fever vs. Aces & More (Friday, May 28)

WNBA Odds, Picks & Projections for 4 Friday Games, Including Sparks vs. Sky, Fever vs. Aces & More (Friday, May 28) article feature image
Credit:

Ron Hoskins, David Sherman & Jeff Bottari/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured from left: Tiffany Mitchell #25 of the Indiana Fever, Sylvia Fowles #34 of the Minnesota Lynx and A’ja Wilson #22 of the Las Vegas Aces.

  • Friday night's WNBA slate features four games, including Mystics vs. Suns, Sparks vs. Sky, Lynx vs. Storm and Fever vs. Aces.
  • WNBA betting analyst Michael Arinze breaks down how to bet all four of Friday's WNBA games below.

It’s been a good start to the season for the WNBA as viewership is up all over North America. According to ESPN, the league averaged 357,000 viewers across its ABC, ESPN, and ESPN2  networks during the first five games of the 2021 season.

That’s a 74% increase from the 2020 average and a 45% jump from 2019.

The WNBA has done a great job with marketing new stars like Sabrina Ionescu, but I think the real story is the parity among this year’s teams. You could probably make a case for eight different teams that can win the title this year.

Competition creates an opportunity for bettors, and with four games on the Friday schedule, hopefully, we can stay hot after going 3-0 in our picks on Tuesday.


Projected WNBA Odds

Click on a matchup to skip ahead
Matchup Time Proj. Spread Proj. Total
Mystics at Sun 7 p.m. ET Sun -4.81 154.09
Sparks at Sky 8 p.m. ET Sky -7.92 162.05
Lynx at Storm 10 p.m. ET Storm -6.34 170.20
Fever at Aces 10:30 p.m. ET Aces -10.55 160.87
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Mystics vs. Sun Odds

Mystics Odds +8.5 (-115)
Sun Odds -8.5 (-105)
Moneyline +260 / -350
Over/Under 156.5 (-115 / -105)
Time 7 p.m. ET
Odds as of Friday afternoon and via BetMGM.

Injuries & News

I’m starting to lose hope regarding when we’ll actually see Elena Delle Donne back on the court. The Mystics star remains out indefinitely, and the information regarding her possible return has been scarce, to say the least.

Kiara Leslie (2.7 PPG) could be on the bench on Friday after missing the last two games due to illness. She’s currently listed as a game-time decision.

As for the Sun, Alyssa Thomas is the only player listed on the injury report. She’ll miss the entire season with a torn Achilles.


Will the Real Mystics Please Stand Up?

I’ve been particularly down on the Mystics after failing to cover two points for me on a teaser against the Fever in the front end of a two-game series in Indiana. Washington did manage to bounce back in the second game and won by 16 points.

However, the fact that the Mystics lost the first game by 12 points still leaves me sour after watching them dismantle the 5-1 New York Liberty 101-72 just three games ago. Heck, I’m not sure if Mystics head coach Mike Thibault knows which team will show up from one game to another.

That type of uncertainty puts bettors in a precarious situation, and I’m unwilling to back a side in this matchup.

However, my model shows a significant edge on the under, which opened as high as 161.5, and it’s already moving in my direction. But, given with the Mystics’ unpredictability, it wouldn’t surprise me if they get hot shooting the ball. After all, Washington ranks third in 3-pointers made per game (9.2).

I have a much better read on the Sun, who might be the most consistent team in the league, given that they’re ranked first in both offensive (106.0) and defensive (93.1) ratings.

As far as the tempo is concerned, both teams are right around the same pace with roughly 81 possessions per game. That’s where efficiency will come into play, particularly for a Mystics team ranked ninth with an effective field goal percentage (eFG%) of 44.6%.

Lean: Under 159.5 at FanDuel. I wouldn’t play this any lower than 156.


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Sparks vs. Sky Odds

Sparks Odds +4 (-115)
Sky Odds -4 (-109)
Moneyline +140 / -175
Over/Under 169.5
Time 8 p.m. ET
Odds as of Friday and via DraftKings.

Injuries & News

There are no players listed on the injury report for Los Angeles, while Chicago lists three players.

The Sky will be without Candace Parker (16.0 PPG) for the third straight game with an ankle injury. Also out are Allie Quigley (7.0 PPG) and Stefanie Dolson (4.0 PPG).

Quigley hasn’t played since the first game of the season due to a strained hamstring. Dolson’s absence isn’t injury-related, as she’s involved in qualifications for the inaugural 3×3 basketball tournament at the Olympics.

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Sky Still Have the Edge Even With Parker Sidelined

The Los Angeles Sparks have had one of the more interesting starts to the season. Eight of the 12 teams in the league have played at least five games, two others have played four, and the Sparks have only played two.

I’m not exactly sure why they’ve played much fewer games, but it gives us a smaller sample size than the other teams. Nonetheless, I have the Sparks no higher than 11th in my power rankings after factoring in their offseason moves — or lack thereof.

Not having Candace Parker available is a massive loss for the Sparks, and they come into this game against the Sky with a net margin of -27.25 points. I’m sure this is a game that Candace Parker would have loved to play in if she wasn’t injured.

However, I still expect her to be a veteran presence on the bench and continue to coach up her teammates.

Pick: Sky -1.5 is readily available in the market. I would play this up to -3.


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Lynx vs. Storm Odds

Lynx Odds +6 (-115)
Storm Odds -6 (-109)
Moneyline +205 / -265
Over/Under 166
Time 10 p.m. ET
Odds as of Friday and via DraftKings.

Injuries & News

Napheesa Collier will finally be back on the court with her Lynx teammates on Friday. Collier missed Minnesota’s first three games due to the WNBA’s health and safety protocols.

However, the Lynx will be without Aerial Powers (11.0 PPG), who strained her hamstring while first-round pick, Rennia Davis, remains sidelined indefinitely due to a stress fracture in her foot.

Seattle has two players on the injury report as Katie Lou Samuelson (9.0 PPG) is also involved in qualify for the Olympics’ 3X3 basketball tournament. Mikiah Herbert Harrigan will not feature for the Storm the rest of the season as she expects a child.

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Collier’s Return Should Add Even More Pace To Lynx Offense

I’ve been looking forward to Napheesa Collier’s return to the Lynx as she emerged as one of the best players last year in the “wubble” with 16.1 PPG, 9.0 RPG and 3.3 APG.

Minnesota has really missed her on the court, especially given the team’s disappointing 0-3 start. I’m not sure that the Lynx can defeat the Storm in Collier’s first game back, but I am excited about the Lynx’s offense, which should look more fluid and dynamic with her on the court.

Minnesota is already ranked fourth in the league in terms of pace, with 83.83 possessions per 40 minutes. Last year, they ranked 11th (79.18 possessions per 40 minutes) in the same category.

My model projects the Lynx and the Storm to each have close to 86 possessions in the game. That fast-paced action should be a boost for over bettors. Keep in mind that the Seattle Storm is a perfect 5-0 to the over this season.

I like that trend to improve to 6-0 after Friday night.

Pick: Over 166 at DraftKings. I would play this up to 168.


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Fever vs. Aces Odds

Fever Odds +10.5 (-108)
Aces Odds -10.5 (-115)
Moneyline +500 / -715
Over/Under 166.5 (-114 / -110)
Time 10:30 p.m. ET
Odds as of Friday and via DraftKings.

Injuries & News

The Aces don’t have any players listed on the injury report, while the Fever list five players.

Indiana will be without Bernadett Hatar (6.7 PPG) due to an ankle injury. The Fever’s 2021 first-round pick Aaliyah Wilson will be sidelined again despite getting close to returning from a foot injury. The remaining players, Florencia Chagas, Temi Fagbenle, and Julie Allemand, are all opt-outs.


Two Leans To Consider

This game has the feeling of a possible letdown spot for the Aces

Do they really need to give max effort to defeat the Fever? Probably not. But that doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll cover the spread, which is now up to 11 points. As a result, the Fever are likely undervalued here.

Indiana’s offense has been better than expected coming into this season. The Fever rank ninth in offensive rating (95.4 points per 100 possessions), which puts them ahead of the Sky, Lynx and the Sparks. However, they are 10th in defensive rating with 103.8 points allowed per 100 possessions.

Indiana has the size inside to try to contain last year’s MVP in A’ja Wilson. The question is whether it can play defense without getting into foul trouble.

The Fever won’t have to worry about having a large deficit in 3-pointers as with other teams, because Las Vegas is one of only two teams with fewer 3-point field goals per game than Indiana (4.4 vs. 4.7). That’s certainly something that could help this game sneak in under the total.

Nonetheless, I’m more likely to sit this game out with the hopes of learning more about both teams, which could come in handy later in the season.

Betting Leans: Under 167.5 (Play down to 165) & Fever +11.5 (Play down to +10.5). Both are available at FanDuel.

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