In search of their fourth straight win, the Mercury arrive in Seattle as the WNBA odds-on favorites. Will they be able to cover the large number?
The Mercury are on a roll and now enter Seattle as the big-time favorites to add another win to their tailly. They're favored by 7.5 points here on the road. Keep tracking the live line movement over at SBR odds; that way you can jump on the best number and maximize your handicapping endeavors.
If we look at the total, we see 145.5 on the board, which is over 10 points less than what we see in one of the night's other contests between the Sky and Lynx. That's because the Storm have been awful offensively all season long, so odds makers aren't going to get carried away despite Phoenix's surging ways.
We're over a month into the season and the Storm have still only won just three games. They're losers of three in a row and have an overall record of 3-10 heading into tonight's battle with Phoenix. They've already played the Mercury once this season and lost that game by 12, and it should be noted that Phoenix was without Brittney Griner too.
Things obviously haven't improved all that much for the Storm, and we can assume it's not going to get any better tonight either.
There just hasn't been any particular area where Seattle has been performing at a high level, which is why they find themselves in the basement in the Western Conference. The Storm are ranked 12th in scoring and rebounding, and are seventh in both assists per game and points allowed per game. They may have won their most recent game at home, but they still have a losing record there for the season, so we're not all that nervous about the home-court advantage having a big factor.
While the Storm remain stagnant and out of touch in the WNBA, the Mercury have found their edge again, winning three games in a row to improve to 6-5 for the season, which puts them in third in the conference.
During the win streak, Phoenix has topped the Sparks, Shock and Stars, and their latest victory (over a resurgent Los Angeles team) came on the road. The return of Griner has obviously made the Mercury much better on both ends of the court, and we're seeing what this team is really capable of now.
That's not to say Griner has been carrying the team on her shoulders. Quite the opposite. DeWanna Bonner has been the team's best overall player, averaging 18.4 points, 6.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists through the team's first 11 games. Candice Dupree has also played a big role, putting up 15.6 points and 5.1 assists a contest. With Griner now involved again, the Mercury have a trio of players that can take over during a game, so, needless to say, we're expecting a much better second half to their season now that health isn't as big of an obstacle.
Well, we like what we've seen from the Mercury lately, and we don't enjoy the thought of backing the disappointing Storm with our WNBA picks.
So yes, we're going to be recommending Phoenix in this spot, regardless of the relatively high number. Phoenix has looked like a much more threatening team since the return of Griner, and the Mercury simply have a lot more firepower within their squad than do the Storm, who have sporetd the league's worst scoring average so far this season.
Phoenix should set the tone early in this one and we don't mind taking on this kind of chalky number. We feel confident in the Mercury's ability and think they'll cover in Seattle this evening.
WNBA Pick: Phoenix Mercury -7.5 at BetOnline