WNBA Picks: Atlanta Dream vs. LA Sparks Betting Odds

Steven Suarez

Wednesday, July 17, 2013 12:35 PM GMT

A powerhouse matchup between the Sparks and Dream tips off late tonight. Inside you'll find our full matchup preview and sports picks for the game.

Odds Overview

Despite the fact Atlanta is the number one seed in the Eastern Conference right now, they are huge underdogs for this road game in L.A.

The WNBA odds have the Sparks favored by 10.5 points (the opening spread was as low as seven points on Tuesday morning), while the total has steadily risen from an opening number of 156.5 to its current mark of 160.5.

[gameodds]15/239237/?r3=43-999997-192/dec&r-1=43-999997-192/us[/gameodds]

Los Angeles Sparks 

The Sparks are the team to beat in the WNBA right now. They've won five straight games to push their record to 10-4 on the year. 

While the Minnesota Lynx are in the top spot in the Western Conference, L.A. has already played them twice and has beaten them by an average margin of 29 points. That tells you all you need to know about who's the truly elite team in the West. 

In this five-game winning streak of theirs, the Sparks have won by at least eight points in each victory. Three of those wins were at home, including triumphs over Minnesota (96-66), New York (97-89), and San Antonio (93-66).

L.A. has one of the best players in the game in Candace Parker, who's averaging 18.8 PPG and 8.9 RPG through 14 games this season.

Then there's Kristi Toliver (15.1 PPG), Nneka Ogwumike (13.4 PPG and 7.4 RPG), and Lindsey Harding (12.8 PPG and 5.5 APG) who all give productive minutes to the Sparks' cause. This team simply has too much talent for a lot of the other squads to handle.

Atlanta Dream

Things have turned for the worse for the Dream. They started out the season with a 10-1 record, including a streak in which they won six straight games, but they've lost two in a row heading into tonight's game in Los Angeles.

Three days ago they fell short in a 73-65 loss to Seattle, with the Dream shooting just 39.1 percent from the floor.

Erika de Souza had 16 points and 14 rebounds for Atlanta, while Alex Bentley (16 points on 7-of-13 shooting, five assists, four steals) and Courtney Clements (12 points) also had nice games in the defeat. 

It's going to be tough sledding for the Dream tonight unless they really elevate their game. 

Not only is Sancho Lyttle (14.3 PPG and 8.5 RPG) out for six to eight weeks after undergoing surgery to repair a fractured foot, but Tiffany Hayes (10.8 PPG, 4.2 RPG, 2.1 APG) is also expected to miss another game. There's also a chance leading scorer Angel McCoughtry (19.8 PPG/5.8 RPG/5.0 APG) could be unavailable.

Take a look at my WNBA Picks of the Day article.

WNBA Pick

We obviously missed out on a lot of basketball betting value, as we could have backed the Sparks at a mouth-watering number of -7, but we still feel as if they're going to beat down on Atlanta here tonight.

The Dream come in on the heels of two straight losses and haven't looked nearly as good on the road this season. They're also dealing with a lot of injuries right now and that's no good against a relatively deep L.A. team. 

On the other hand you've got the Sparks, who are a perfect 8-0 at home and who are playing by far their best basketball of the year at the moment. So, let's take on some heavy chalk and side with L.A. to cover this significant number. 

WNBA Pick: Los Angeles Sparks -10.5