The Dream haven't been poorly by any means, but they could find it very difficult tonight in Phoenix against the surging Mercury. We've analyzed the WNBA odds inside.
As of now we see the Mercury favored by 8.5 points across the board at all of the top sportsbooks. They're certainly on a roll at the moment, and they'll be the home team tonight in another game in which they find themselves as the chalk.
If you're of the opinion a total play might be the way to go instead, you can find the O/U at 153 points. While the Dream are ranked seventh in the WNBA in both scoring offense and defense, the Mercury can be found in fourth place in both areas.
It's no coincidence that the Mercury are 5-1 since Brittney Griner returned from her suspension and re-joined the team. Phoenix has looked like a much more dominant team on both ends of the court now that Griner's in the fold again, and she's come through with averages of 17.8 points and 8.0 rebounds per game; she also already has 23 blocks through six games this season.
Griner's all-around game was on full display in Phoenix's recent 70-60 home win over Seattle. She had 26 points on 11-of-18 shooting and also chipped in with seven rebounds and two blocks. Elsewhere, DeWanna Bonner posted a 11/6/5 line, with that tandem's production making up for a shaky showing from the rest of the squad.
Still, the return of Griner brings with it excitement for the franchise; just imagine if Diana Taurasi (resting this season) was out there on the court. Either way, Phoenix is on a great run right now and has an excellent chance of picking up a sixth consecutive W here.
The Dream have won three of their previous four matchups overall, overcoming Washington, Seattle and New York while losing to Tulsa. Overall Atlanta is at 6-7 on the season, and in the wide open Eastern Conference, they're still very much in the playoff hunt, considering just two games separate first from last.
In this past Sunday's 84-76 triumph over New York, Atlanta couldn't really stop Tina Charles, but that didn't even matter given how downright unstoppable Angel McCoughtry was. She poured in 32 points on 9-of-12 shooting (12-of-19 from the charity stripe) and also put up six assists, four rebounds, two steals and a block for one of the best stat lines you'll see all season.
It's clear McCoughtry is the heart and soul of this team, but she's going to need help from players like Lyttle, Tiffany Hayes and Erika de Souza if the Dream are to make any real noise out east.
Yes, the Mercury are on a great roll right now and it's going to be tough to fade them considering how well they've been playing. That being said, we think they could be a tad overvalued based on this hot streak they've built up.
It's not like the Dream have been a scary team to face this season, but they've won three of four and have been very competitive throughout the 2015 campaign. They're not going to back down, especially since they've got the presence inside to cope with Griner and Bonner from ceaning up on the glass. McCoughtry and Lyttle will match up nicely in this spot, one major reason why we like Atlanta to cover.
The Dream are obviously going to find it tough to win this game straight up, but McCoughtry has been on another level so far in 2015 and we think she's in for another massive game tonight. We're expecting this tough-nosed Atlanta team to come out strong and at least hold their own by avoiding a blowout loss.
Pick: Atlanta Dream +8.5 at 5Dimes