Without their star player out there on the court, the Sparks have still yet to win a single game this season. Will that change for them as the WNBA odds-on favorites at home vs San Antonio tonight?
Despite being winless on the year, the Sparks have still been installed as favorites for tonight's game at home. They're currently laying either five or five and a half points, depending on which sportsbook you check. If you like Los Angeles in this spot, you may want to jump on 5Dimes' line of five before it moves.
As for the game's total, the number is listed at 146.5 as of now. Both teams have struggled offensively, ranking 10th and 12th in terms of points scored per contest.
Los Angeles Sparks
Yes, the Sparks have been a mess to start the season, but we still haven't seen this team anywhere close to full strength yet. Candace Parker remains out indefinitely as she tries to rest up and get back to 100%, and her absence alone is a huge blow.
Then you throw in the fact Kristi Toliver just made her season debut, while Alana Beard and Nneka Ogwumike have also missed extended time, and you can see why Los Angeles has been struggling. As it stands, the Sparks are sitting at 0-7, which obviously puts them in dead last in the standings. Nonetheless, slowly but surely LA is getting everyone back, and that's going to spell bad news for the rest of the league.
We saw what Toliver is capable of in her season debut, as she went off for 30 points in the Sparks' 79-70 loss to the New York Liberty. Ogwumike added a huge double-double (13 points and 16 rebounds), but Jantel Lavender was the only other member of the team to score in double figures. LA will need a better all-around effort to get the better of San Antonio this evening.
San Antonio Stars
We last saw the Stars take the court Tuesday in a road loss against the Mercury. San Antonio hung around and was able to find success offensively, but they couldn't cope with Brittney Griner, who had 23 points, eight rebounds, three assists, four blocks and a steal.
San Antonio was led by Kayla McBride and Sophia Young-Malcolm, both of whom tallied 18 points in the loss. Danielle Adams chipped in with 12 points and for rebounds off the bench, but the Stars were manhandled in the paint as a team, getting outscored 50-26. No member of the Stars grabbed more than five rebounds.
Fortunately for San Antonio, they'll quickly get a chance to redeem themselves, though they'll remain out on the road, this time against the Sparks. The Stars, now at 2-7 overall this season, have not picked up a win away from home heading into tonight's battle.
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As bad as the Sparks have been, we believe tonight is an appealing situation for them to finally get on the board with a victory.
More rested and obviously motivated to grab their first win, Los Angeles comes up against a San Antonio team that hasn't been impressing anyone this season. The Stars have still yet to win a game on the road and now they have to run into a Los Angeles squad that's going to come out fired up.
So, even with Parker still not in the mix and some other ailments within the team, we look for the Sparks to take care of business at home and cover the spread in the process. Toliver's return is a big boost and there's a chance Beard will be able to play too, so we like LA's chances of earning the W over the mediocre Stars.
Pick: Los Angeles Sparks -5 at 5Dimes