The WNBA playoffs pick back up Friday night with a pair of crucial Game 3s in each five-game series.
The Mystics will be hoping Elena Delle Donne can play (questionable, bone bruise), while the Mercury, despite absolutely insane heroics from Diana Taurasi in Game 2, face a home elimination game vs. the juggernaut Storm.
Here’s a look at those key games in what continues to be an incredible WNBA playoffs you should be checking out and investing in.
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Atlanta Dream at Washington Mystics
- Spread: Mystics -2.5
- Over/Under: 158.8
- Time: 8 p.m. ET
- TV channel: ESPNews
Here’s my hot take: I like the Mystics here whether EDD plays or not.
She’s been the best player in this series, as the Dream’s suffocating help-side defense has proven vulnerable to Delle Donne’s spin moves, size and aggressiveness.
If EDD can’t go, the Mystics still have the best guard in this game in Kristi Toliver, who can get blistering hot and carry them offensively, and the Dream’s offense has been pedestrian, averaging just a 102.5 offensive rating through the two games.
The Dream parlayed a super hot run into a bye, but the Mystics still have a ton of momentum. I’ll ride that wave with Washington playing at home, though if EDD misses time beyond tonight, my attention will turn to Atlanta down the road.
The pick: Mystics -2.5
Seattle Storm at Phoenix Mercury
- Spread: Phoenix -2.5
- Over/Under: 172.5
- Time: 10 p.m. ET
- TV channel: ESPNews
Here’s a crazy one: Since 2005, the Mercury have been a home favorite in the playoffs coming off a 2-game losing streak five times. They are also 4-1 in those situations.
The Mercury know they can beat Seattle.
The Storm are tough, but Phoenix has shown signs of improvement. The Mercury gave up 28 spot-up shots to the Storm in Game 1, and only 17 in Game 2.
That shift is huge, and much of it came from Brittney Griner handling rotations much better before she fouled out.
It took overtime and an increasing overload of coverage to stop Taurasi in Game 1. The Storm will not be able to handle her at home.
Seattle is the better team and will win this series, but backs against the wall at home against a team they know they had chances against in both games up North … I think the Mercury respond.
And with a line that low — you can get it as low as 2 at some books — Phoenix has the margin to manage.
The pick: Mercury -2.5