Jordan’s WNBA Picks 49-45-3
Indiana Fever vs New York Liberty
Friday, 7:00 PM EST, Westchester County Center
The Fever and Liberty are almost set to enjoy a nice vacation, as both teams have failed to qualify for the playoffs.
However, despite there being some nice games on tonight with plenty of playoff implications, there is more derivative value in this game than in any of the other three contests on offer in my opinion.
Since inserting Teaira McCowan into the starting lineup, the Fever have been a different team. Big T has been a force on both ends of the court, and it appears the Fever have found their centerpiece (no pun intended) for years to come.
McCowan will undoubtedly put her stamp on this game. Not only will she be invaluable in slowing down Tina Charles, but McCowan has also been a big factor for this team on offense.
Since McCown has taken over the starting center job, the Fever defense has improved by nearly three points per 100 possessions, while their offense has shown some newfound reliable inside presence.
Considering the Liberty are tanking for draft positioning, I fully expect their defense to be out of order like always tonight.
New York is allowing a league-worst 104.9 defensive rating this season and over their last five games, that has ballooned to 116.2. In those first halves, New York is allowing 123.2 points per 100 possessions.
Even on the road, this is a nice spot for the Fever in the first quarter and half. There is little the Fever can do to help their draft positioning with a loss, but the Liberty are still in line for a top-two pick if they lose and assuming Dallas loses to Washington on Friday.
This could lead to the Liberty resting key players too, which could come with little warning. Asia Durr has already been ruled out, so lay the small amount of points with Indiana early in this one. They are a good play regardless.
Chicago Sky vs Connecticut Sun
Friday, 7:30 PM EST, Mohegan Sun Arena
When oddsmakers saw this game on the slate, they were probably sitting around modeling how high they could realistically go with this game total without getting hammered on the under.
Well, I think they found their numbers with the full game and first half lines, but the first-quarter total in this one needs some over action.
In their first two games of the season against one another, the Sun and Sky are averaging a combined 54 first-quarter points and with a total of 43.5 just sitting there at 5Dimes, I’m grabbing a slice of the over.
Outside of the Mystics, the Sun has the best first-quarter offense of any WNBA team and at home they are averaging 111.2 points per 100 possessions in the first 10 minutes.
Chicago, on the other hand, has a very dynamic offense to keep up, but also a very spotty and inconsistent defense. The Sky are allowing 108.5 points per 100 possessions in the first quarters of their road games, so expect plenty of points early in this one.
This game does have some playoff implications for the Sun, so after they toy around with the Sky early, their defense might increase a bit in the second quarter and beyond.
That being said, I see both teams piling on the points in the first quarter, so add the over to your WNBA Picks for Friday.