Jordan’s WNBA Picks 27-30-1
Washington Mystics at Seattle Storm
It’s no secret that the Mystics are the top team in the WNBA this season. They have the best (healthy) player in the league in Elena Delle Donne and they are deeper and more experienced at guard than almost every team in the league.
However, the Storm are no slouches either, despite missing two of their best players coming off beating the Mystics last year in the Finals. These two teams have already duked it out once this season and I’m taking a couple of cues from that game, as well as their season stats to make a play on the first quarter odds in this one.
Both of these teams have had good first quarter offenses this season. Washington’s offense is good all game, but they have been particularly dangerous in the first 10 minutes of their games.
Washington has a 120.8 offensive rating in the first quarter this season and it’s 115.8 on the road.
Seattle has the league’s 5th-best first quarter offense and considering they have been without Brianna Stewart and Sue Bird all season, that is still really impressive. However, what makes me want to be the over on the first quarter total here is not just the offenses, it’s a lack of road defense from the Mystics and increased pace from both clubs.
Washington has allowed 101.2 points per 100 possessions in the first quarters of their last four road games and they have done it at a pace close to 99 possessions per game.
The Storm have played a little faster earlier in their home games this season, ranking 6th in first quarter pace at home. Combine that with the league’s best offense coming to town and we could see 45-to-50 first quarter points between these two teams. They put up a combined 50 first quarter points in their first meeting of the season back in mid-June and I doubt they put up less than 43 or 44 first quarter points in this one.