Jordan’s WNBA Picks 34-36-1
Connecticut Sun at Minnesota Lynx
The Sun have been on a tear lately and for the Lynx, this will be a tough game. Connecticut may be the most balanced team in the WNBA right now and while they may not have the best odds to win the championship, they are almost surely headed for a double-bye in the playoffs.
As far as tonight goes, the battle between Jonquel Jones and Sylvia Fowles will decide this game. While the Odyssey Sims and Seimone Augustus battle against Courtney Williams and Jasmine Thomas will also be entertaining, whoever controls the paint on offense and defense is going to win this game.
With that in mind though, I think we can handicap this game a little differently than normal. I’m usually pretty analytic, but the numbers and spread are so close here that I think we have to narrate this one.
With Augustus back for Minnesota in their last game, they dominated the Dream down in Atlanta. The Lynx already play well at home, but with Augustus making her home debut, they could have some juice on their side of this one early in the ball game.
While I do think defense will settle in later in the game, early on this one could get to look more like a track meet than a basketball game.
Connecticut has been scorching the earth with pace lately, especially early in ball games. Over their last five first quarters, the Sun are posting a pace of 102.7 and they are averaging 114.8 points per 100 possessions in those five first quarters.
The Lynx, on the other hand, have also played at a first-quarter pace over 100 in their last five, but they are allowing 114.6 points per 100 possessions in their last five first quarters.
It still points over even in the season-long stats. Connecticut averages 105.8 points per 100 possessions in the first quarter this season. On the road, it only dips to 102.9, but their defense is allowing 103.9 points per 100 possessions in those same games.
With a first-quarter total of only 39.5, I’m attacking the over once again.
My Pick: OVER 1Q
Best Line Offered: Pinnacle
Chicago Sky at Las Vegas Aces
The late game on the slate should be a good one, as the Sky look to hang on to their playoff seeding with a tough matchup against the Aces. While Las Vegas will still be without A’ja Wilson, they are still very much a dangerous team. Dearica Hamby has been playing outstanding in place of Wilson and between both teams, there will be plenty of offense in this one.
That’s because not only do these two teams play at fast paces, but the Sky have very little defense, especially in the first halves of their games.
Just look at the first meeting between these two teams. The first half was non-stop scoring with a final combined score of nearly 100 points. Things cooled off in the second half, but I think a similar style game is in store for us tonight.
Vegas plays at a first-half pace of 102, while the Sky aren’t far behind at right under 100. At home, the Aces keep that same pace but are averaging 104.1 points per 100 possessions in those 12 games.
However, this is more about how many points the Sky are going to give up, combined with how many they can score against this tough defense.
Chicago is good enough and diverse enough on offense to score on almost anyone. They are second only to Washington in first-half scoring this season and they actually average almost a point more per 100 possessions in the first halves of their road games.
The problem has been their defense in those games. Chicago is allowing 113.4 points per 100 possessions in the first halves of their road games. They have improved on that some lately, but they are still playing at an increased first-half pace lately too.
Add in their pace and poor first-quarter defense and you have a pair of plays for the first two quarters of this one.
My Picks: OVER 1Q and 1H
Best Line Offered: Pinnacle