Both the Storm and Sparks are in the midst of considerable losing streaks, so we know the motivation will be there for both sides. Let's break down the WNBA odds and try and find an edge.
The Sparks were very disappointing their last time on the court, but they figure to have an easier time against the Storm this afternoon.
If we glance over the basketball odds, we find Los Angeles favored, but not by much. The Sparks are laying one and a half points at most of the top sportsbooks we've looked over. As for the game's total, that can currently be locked in at 146.5 points at BetOnline, which even action (-110) coming in on both the OVER and UNDER.
The losing streak is now at five games for the Storm, whose last victory came at home versus Tulsa on June 30th. It's been a rough month of July so far for the franchise, with four of those five losses coming by double figures no less. Heading into this afternoon's contest, Seattle is just 3-12 on the season, putting them dead last in the Western Conference.
Each of the Storm's latest two defeats came at the hands of Phoenix, with the most recent coming Sunday on the road. In that 70-60 setback, the Storm shot just 38.1 percent from the floor overall and had just one player score in double figures; Jewell Loyd had 16 points but didn't get much help throughout, and it didn't help that Sue Bird sat out either.
Now that the Storm have had a couple days to re-gain some strength and rest up back at home, they'll be eager to finally earn another win, but they're going to be coming up against an equally motivated and desperate team in the Sparks.
Los Angeles Sparks
Like the Storm, the Sparks are not playing their soundest basketball by any stretch of the imagination. It looked like they were starting to turn things around after they picked up their first two wins of the season in consecutive fashion, but they've since gone on to lose three in a row; they fell to Phoenix, San Antonio and Tulsa to drop to 2-10 overall, just a half game up on the Storm.
Four days ago Los Angeles fell apart in a 82-67 loss to the Shock. Nneka Ogwumike had a very effective performance, scoring 22 points to go with 12 rebounds and three assists, and Jantel Lavender came through with a double-double (14 points and 11 rebounds) as well. Kristi Toliver only scored nine points, a far cry from what she's been able to do since re-joining the team from overseas, but she figures to bounce back against the Storm.
For Los Angeles, Candace Parker remains out indefinitely, and Alana Beard hasn't been available for weeks now either. As we've mentioned previously, the return of those two would immediately make the Sparks a contender, but this awful start may indeed be too large of a hole to climb out of.
Although the Sparks suffered a letdown in a major way against the Shock, we're not going to hold that against them in what appears to be another favorable situation.
Simply put, we have more faith in LA than we do Seattle at this point in the season, yes even with the Sparks missing two of their most productive players in Parker and Beard. Toliver and Ogwumike have stepped up their play to help plug the holes, and while the results haven't been all that impressive, we have seen some signs of life in recent weeks.
So, although it's been a rough road trip for the Sparks so far, we expect them to close things out with a victory against the lackluster Storm. With your WNBA picks, consider adding LA as the short favorites to your tickets.
WNBA Pick: Los Angeles Sparks -1.5 at BetOnline