The Sparks will try to avoid a third straight loss when they take on the Shock on the road tonight. We've examined the WNBA odds and believe we've got a read on the best way to go.
It all depends on which sportsbook you use, but for the most part we see the Shock favored by either 5 or 5.5 points. If you think the Shock are the right side, you may want to jump on 5Dimes' line before it potentially moves.
Right now there's a total of 157.5 points on the WNBA odds board, which suggests we'll be in for a high-scoring back-and-forth game this evening. Tulsa has been one of the most efficient offensive teams in the league and will come up against a Sparks squad that's second-to-last defensively in terms of points allowed per game.
The Shock have been out of action for four days after earning a nice win over Atlanta at home. Plenette Pearson and Riquana Williams both had terrific scoring games and were the catalysts for the win. Tulsa's is 9-4 on the season and is right in the thick of things alongside the Lynx for the top spot in the Western Conference.
In the team's 85-75 win over the Dream, Pearson scored 24 points and pulled down five rebounds in 34 minutes of action, while Williams finished with 23 points, five boards, three assists and four steals in an outstanding all-around effort.
Though they were able to earn a win a few days ago, they're going to be struggling to keep afloat without two of their best players available to them. Skylar Diggins recently injured herself and won't be playing at all for the remainder of the season, while Odyssey Sims is out as well. Those are the team's leading two scorers, so the likes of Williams, Pierson, Karima Christmas and Courtney Paris will have to keep stepping up in their absence.
Los Angeles Sparks
Hoping to avoid a third consecutive setback, the Sparks really need to turn things around and consistently pick up victories if they want to have any chance of moving up the standings and reaching the playoffs.
Star player Candace Parker is still out indefinitely, and Alana Beard has missed extended time too. Kristi Toliver, however, has recently returned to live game action and she's been performing at an extremely high level. She's averaging 22.8 points and 5.6 assists per game. Inside, Nneka Ogwumike has been having big impacts, averaging 18.0 points and 11.3 rebounds through her first seven games of the 2015 season. Jantel Lavender has also been very productive for the team.
It's scary to think how good the Sparks would be at full strength with Parker and Beard on the court, but for now they'll continue to be shorthanded. Toliver will keep carrying a huge offensive burden, and Ogwumike will be called upon for a bigger role as well.
This appears to be a great situation to jump on board with the Sparks, as the public is going to be down on them because of their recent poor play.
Thing is, the Shock is missing some serious firepower, and while the Sparks are missing Parker and Beard, they have enough talent within their squad to cope and still be competitive on a game-by-game basis. We think Los Angeles is well worth a strong look in this situation as the WNBA odds-on underdogs.
We have a good feeling the Sparks will win this game straight, so naturally we don't mind getting the extra points as a cushion. With your WNBA picks, don't forget to give LA a good look tonight.
WNBA Pick: Los Angeles Sparks +5 at 5Dimes