WNBA Picks | Odds, Predictions for Dream vs Wings, Aces vs Storm (Saturday, May 20)
Ethan Miller/Getty Images. Pictured: Candace Parker
Day two of the WNBA, and we have officially hit the ground running! We went 4-2 with our picks from the Opening Night preview, so hopefully we have some more winners for you, as four more teams make their season debuts on Saturday.
It’s an ABC doubleheader, as fans will get to see a pair of fun, young teams from the near-playoff tier of the league face off first before the reigning champs head to Seattle to face off with a rebuilding Storm side.
Let’s dive in.
Dream vs. Wings Odds
+128 / -158
+128 / -158
The Dream and Wings may live in the same general vicinity when it comes to preseason rankings in the W, but these are two teams who seem to be headed in opposite directions this year.
The Wings made the postseason rather handily last season, finishing sixth in the league with an 18-18 record. However, as covered in their season preview, they lost several key pieces in the offseason, choosing instead to replace those pieces with youth, for the most part. As a result, this is a team whose immediate present I am lower on than the market.
As for the Dream, they actually picked up one of those key pieces Dallas moved on from, in the form of Allisha Gray. One of the most underrated players in the league in Dallas, Gray now gets a chance to shine as part of a young, incredibly talented two-way core in Atlanta.
I actually have the Dream as the better roster on a neutral court, so being able to get them at +3.5, even on the road, is a spot I am looking to play.
My only worry about this pick, and why I am making Atlanta +3.5 a lean and not a full best bet, is Teaira McCowan. The fifth-year pro has tantalized us with potential each year but has never fully made the breakout that we’ve all been looking for. So even though it’s preseason, stuff like this is catching my eye HARD:
Teaira McCowan no hesitation from 3…wtf?!?!?
I've seen enough, Aces and Liberty are toast pic.twitter.com/NCytrEY1Ul
— Calvin Wetzel (@cwetzel31) May 13, 2023
If new head coach Latricia Trammell is the one to finally unlock McCowan, my feelings about this Wings team are much different.
As such, my best bet is going to be McCowan over points and rebounds if the books post a number before games start today. I would play over 13.5 points to -105 and over 8.5 rebounds to -110. The bet is also boosted by the fact that Monique Billings — who might not draw the exact matchup of McCowan but is a solid rebounder — is the only key player listed as questionable on the injury report for this game. (Lou Lopez Senechal will be out for several months for the Wings.)
It seems counter-intuitive to be on the Dream side but a Wings player prop, but this is all about perceived value, and while I think the Dream are undervalued in the market, I believe the books will not have adjusted for what McCowan might be able to do this season, so I will be on both sides a bit for this game.
The Lead: Dream +3.5
The Pick: McCowan over points + rebounds
Aces vs. Storm Odds
-114 / -105
-114 / -105
Well, one of our two superteams did not get off to the start they wanted in their season debut, so the Aces now have the chance to get the early season narrative on their side with what should be an easy win.
This spread is the largest of the first two days and with good reason. This Aces team is a fully loaded Death Star, most of whom are returning from last year’s title-winning season. They also added Candace Parker and Alysha Clark of course, and they will be with a fully healthy roster to start the season.
At least on the player side.
Head coach Becky Hammon has been suspended for two games for somewhat serious allegations related to the team’s handling of Dearica Hamby. How this will impact the team is hard to say. On the one hand, Hammon has proven herself one of the top coaches in the league already, but it does feel like a team and organization that can handle Hammon being out, especially for a notably short amount of time.
Originally, my favorite bet for this game was going to be Aces to cover in the first half (-7.5), and while I still like that as a lean, it is not a full best bet because of the slight unknowns regarding how the team will play without Hammon.
On the other side of the court, the Storm are going to be rolling out arguably the worst roster in the W. Jewell Loyd is an incredible talent (more on her in a second), and Ezi Magbegor has teased potential for several seasons now, but in a league where every roster has several incredibly talented players, the Storm’s roster just can’t keep up. The questions on offense are loudest, and as such, it feels like Loyd is going to have to do an even heavier job carrying the load this season.
In my preseason preview, I mentioned wanting to bet her to lead the league in scoring, so it’s no surprise that her points prop is a place I am going to be looking on Saturday. I would play over 19.5 to -115. Loyd also has an ability to score in bunches, so if there are any alt points props in the market (to score 25+ etc), I’d be looking at those as well.
The Lean: Aces first half -7.5
The Pick: Loyd over points
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