A pair of games in the WNBA tonight and we’ll take a look at the game between the Phoenix Mercury (18-10) and the Atlanta Dream (7-20).
Phoenix at Atlanta Betting Odds
The Mercury are favored by 9.5 and the total on the game is down to 157.
The Mercury were my longshot pick to win the WNBA title and I looked pretty dumb for the first half of the season, as injuries and just not playing well plagued the Mercury. But being a veteran team, the Mercury just kept their feet on the ground and have now run off nine consecutive victories and look like they can give Seattle, Las Vegas and Minnesota a run for the title.
The Mercury have their ‘Big 3’ of Brittney Griner, Skylar Diggins-Smith and Diana Turasi, with all three averaging at least 15 points a game. Griner is a beast on the inside, while Diggins-Smith and Turasi have to be respected and open things up inside. The Mercury are shooting 44.8% from the field and 34% from 3-point range. Kia Nurse and Brianna Turner are solid players in their own right and make-up the starting five.
The Dream have their own ‘Big 3’ but only two of them are playing, as Chennedy Carter is still suspended. That leaves Courtney Williams and Tiffany Hayes to do the offensive carrying for Atlanta and Williams is a job to watch. If she had more help, she’d be a huge star in the league. She leads the team with 16.3 points per game and grabs 6.4 rebounds, which is second on the team and she also leads in assists.
The Dream are allowing 46.4% shooting from the field and 39% on 3-pointers, which might be trouble against the Mercury is Diggins-Smith or Turasi get hot from the outside. Atlanta shoots just 41.5% and Williams is just at 40.9%, although she shoots 38.9% from 3-point range.
Phoenix at Atlanta Pick
A bit of a tough game to handicap, but my projection on the Vegas game is 85-81 for the Aces, which is basically right at the side and the total. I have this one 89-74 for Phoenix, which gives a 5.5-point edge for the side and a 6-point edge for the total. The Dream are coming off a couple of low-scoring games with Dallas, but I think that has more to do with Dallas’ offensive struggles than improved defense by the Dream, so will play the biggest difference here and take the over 157.