WNBA Playoffs Odds, Picks, Predictions: Betting Analysis for Mercury vs. Storm & Sky vs. Lynx (Sunday, September 26)

WNBA Playoffs Odds, Picks, Predictions: Betting Analysis for Mercury vs. Storm & Sky vs. Lynx (Sunday, September 26) article feature image
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Kena Krutsinger/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Candace Parker (right).

The semifinals of the WNBA playoffs get underway next Tuesday.

But first, the opponents of the top-seeded Connecticut Sun and Las Vegas Aces still need to be decided. That’ll take place on Sunday when the Seattle Storm hosts the Phoenix Mercury, followed by the Chicago Sky traveling to Minnesota to take on the Lynx.

The league will use a  single-elimination format for this round, with the winner advancing to the semifinals in a best-of-five series. Now that we’re all caught up on the playoff formalities let’s get to the two games on the card.

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Projected WNBA Odds

Matchup Time Proj. Spread Proj. Total
Mercury vs. Storm 3 p.m. ET Storm -3.78 164.11
Sky vs. Lynx 5 p.m. ET Lynx -2.69 166.72

Mercury vs. Storm

Mercury Odds -3.5
Storm Odds +3.5
Over/Under 163
Time 3 p.m. ET
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute WNBA odds here.

Before I can even offer an opinion on this matchup, the injury report is where we need to begin with this handicap.

First, let’s start with the visitors as Diana Taurasi has missed the team’s last five games, including Phoenix’s 83-82 victory over New York in the first round of the playoffs.

Taurasi is dealing with an ankle sprain, and the fact the injury was severe enough to keep her out of a single-elimination playoff game is very concerning. Phoenix finished the regular season 1-3 without her, and to say they were fortunate to get past the Liberty in the first round would be an understatement.

As for the Storm, Breanna Stewart picked up what’s described as a foot injury against the Mystics on Sept. 7. She went on to miss the team’s last two games of the regular season.

By no means would I say things are perfect in the WNBA — or anything else for that matter. But if I could recommend one area for improvement, I would support more transparency and a more streamlined approach to how injuries are reported. By now, the league should produce one injury report that can be disseminated to the media and its fans. That’s not being done today.

After all, we do bet on this sport. Okay, I’m off my soapbox so let’s get back to the game.

Seattle won two of the three meetings this season. What’s disappointing is that Taurasi and Stewart were never on the court together for either of the three games. It’s tough to get involved in this game without knowing the status of both players.

However, I will say this. I believe Jewell Loyd instantly becomes the best player on the court if both Taurasi and Stewart are out.

In their final meeting of the regular season, Loyd went off for a career-high 37 points with 4-for-7 shooting from behind the three-point line and 9-for-9 from the free-throw line. She even tied a WNBA record with 22 of her 37 points coming in the first quarter. Her ability to shoot the three-point shot can leave the Mercury playing catch-up because they’re not as good a perimeter team.

I would lean to Seattle at the current number, but this is a bet that you’d be better served making when you know the status of both players, and that might not occur until we get closer to tip-off.

Lean: Storm +3.5


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Sky vs. Lynx Odds

Sky Odds +4
Lynx Odds -4
Over/Under 165
Time 5 p.m. ET
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute WNBA odds here.

I’m surprised we can grab the Sky in this underdog role getting four points. Both teams split the season, but Minnesota’s 101-95 victory over Chicago on Aug. 21 was when Candace Parker was sidelined with an ankle injury. Parker did play in Chicago’s 105-89 road victory on Jun. 15, which was much more convincing, with both teams relatively at full strength.

This is a game that I think benefits Chicago because they essentially got a dry run in the first round while Minnesota might show some signs of rust, having last played a week ago on Sunday.

I know Chicago defeated a young Dallas team in the first round, but the Sky were impressive in the first round — jumping out to a 25-14 lead in the first quarter. Note that Chicago was 1-2 against Dallas during the regular season.

I’m not sure we’ve seen the Sky play their best basketball as injuries plagued them for much of the season. Chicago’s Pythagorean expectation suggests they should have won two more games than their 16-16 regular-season record.

But here’s what really excites me about the Sky in this spot. Road playoff underdogs getting four or fewer points are an astounding 17-5 for 11.12 units.

If you’re looking to take a position in any second-round games, Chicago is the side you want on your betting slips.

Pick: Sky +4.5 (1.5 units)


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