WNBA Playoffs Odds & Picks: Chicago Sky vs. Connecticut Sun Preview
Julio Aguilar/Getty Images. Pictured: Dewanna Bonner
Sun vs. Sky Betting Odds
|Connecticut Sun Odds||+3.5 [Bet Now]|
|Chicago Sky Odds||-3.5 [Bet Now]|
|Over/Under||165.5 (-115/-105) [Bet Now]|
|Time||7:00 p.m. ET|
The WNBA Playoffs get underway on Tuesday in a single-elimination format with the Connecticut Sun (10-12) taking on the Chicago Sky (12-10). The Sun started the season 0-5 but regrouped to win 10 of their next 17 games to earn their fifth consecutive playoff berth.
The Sky on the other hand got off to a fast start with a 4-1 record but only managed one win in their last five games to finish the season.
This will be their third meeting this season after splitting the regular season series.
Both teams will look a bit different from when they last faced one another as Connecticut G Bria Holmes will be unavailable after undergoing knee surgery. The Sky will be without F Azura Stevens, who is dealing with a knee injury, and G Diamond DeShields due to personal reasons.
With all three players essentially done for the season, let’s dive in to see if the bookmakers adjusted accordingly for their absences.
In their first meeting on Aug. 8, Chicago opened as a 3-point favorite before being bet down to -2.5. After posting a 100-93 win, the Sky then closed as a 6-point favorite on Aug. 14.
The Sun ended up winning that game as six-point underdogs, 77-74. Today, the Sky are 3.5-point favorites and while it’s probably easy to say the correct number is somewhere in between the first and second meeting, I think this line should be even lower given the loss of Stevens and DeShields for the Sky.
Both players last played on Aug. 20 in a 101-85 win over the New York Liberty that moved the Sky to 9-4 on the year. Since then, they’ve gone 3-6 SU and ATS. In their last nine games, the Sky have had to make up for the 18.3 PPG the duo averaged this season. Stevens was the Sky’s fifth double-digit scorer at 11.5 PPG and now the Sky are down to four double-digit scorers.
Although G Allie Quigley leads the way with 15.4 PPG, the fact that the Sky don’t have a player averaging around 20 PPG could be an issue for them in the playoffs and particularly late in-game situations when you need a closer to take over.
Experience Is Key for the Sun
The Connecticut Sun have a closer in DeWanna Bonner. Bonner is Connecticut’s best player and poured in 19.7 PPG along with 7.8 RPG. She should get some MVP votes after practically willing her team to the playoffs.
Connecticut was more competitive down the stretch and that could work to their advantage in this matchup. Let’s not forget the Sun made it all way to the WNBA finals last year and pushed the Washington Mystics to a decisive fifth game in the Championship Series before losing 89-78.
Jonquel Jones and Courtney Williams are no longer with Connecticut but they still have Alyssa Thomas and Jasmine Thomas as holdovers from the previous season. That’s a good pedigree as both players are double-digit scorers along with Bonner.
While the Sun will miss Bria Holmes, she was only averaging 4.9 PPG and playing around 16 minutes a game. Connecticut should be able to fill her minutes with other players on the squad.
Two of the most important stats I look at when handicapping basketball games have to do with three-point shots and rebounds. While the three-point shot is a major part of how basketball is played today, you better be able to guard the perimeter and you better be able to rebound those wayward misses.
The Connecticut Sun do two of these three things quite well. They’re 10th in the league with 5.9 three points made per game but they’re second in the league in allowing only 6.8 three pointers per game. As for rebounding, the Sun are third in the league with 35.5 rebounds per game but first in the league with 10 offensive boards per game.
I think these factors bode well for the Sun in tonight’s game.
My model projects this total at 165.94 which is right around the current number but it also shows value on the Connecticut Sun getting 3.5 points.
This number is still available at FanDuel and I’ll look to take the points there and back the dog in this matchup.
Bonner will be the best player on the court tonight and I wouldn’t rule out her leading the Sun to an outright win in this matchup.
The Bet: Sun +3.5 (Play down to +2)