Thursday WNBA: O'Sullivan loves his 'dogs, picks Wings at Fever, Sky at Liberty, Mystics at Sparks
When Tina Charles is happy, the Mystics are happy.@WashMystics on Twitter

Thursday WNBA: O'Sullivan loves his 'dogs, picks Wings at Fever, Sky at Liberty, Mystics at Sparks

Dallas Wings at Indiana Fever, 7 pm EDT, Chicago Sky at New York Liberty, 7 pm EDT, Washington Mystics at Los Angeles Sparks, 10:30 pm EDT.

My first push in the WNBA season comes with a preamble, then an explanation:

By now, I hope readers of this piece understand I operate under three tenets: 1. When I win, it’s because I’m a genius; 2. When I lose, it’s because I’ve been personally screwed in an obscene injustice; and 3. I try to operate with full and honest transparency.

So please take me at my word when I relate the following: I live in California, which most of you know is not Eastern Time but Pacific Time. In a perfect world, where the WNBA and my sleep habits were respected, there would be early lines so I could write/make my picks the nights before games, but most sportsbooks do not post WNBA lines until the morning of the game. So I must get up at the crack of 8:30 am California time to check those lines and submit my pieces to my editor by the deadline (perhaps my fourth tenet is: I respect deadlines.)

Yesterday, I wrote my piece, picking the Atlanta Dream +2, and submitted it at 11:45 am Eastern Time, as they say in the business, “with time to spare.” Upon submitting the piece, I re-checked the lines and noticed Atlanta was now +4 (no doubt word of my analysis had leaked). Now, I could’ve resubmitted my piece, reflecting the favorable change in line. I decided, however, that I had stated an opinion and I was willing to stick with that opinion. Or, perhaps I refrained from re-submitting to my editor, who has been…ambivalent, shall we say, about me sending him multiple emails when lines change in my favor. Apparently “is not the ‘Paper of Record’.” (Right - I think it should aim higher.) So I refrained, and stuck with Atlanta +2…

…And so only pushed. Of course, none of this would have mattered if Atlanta didn’t piss away a nine-point lead with less than nine minutes to go in the fourth quarter. But again, to be fully honest and transparent with you, the readers, I had factored in the Dream’s late-game collapse in my analysis.

(sigh) Anyway. It’s a push. I’ll take the push. But you readers now know the truth.

Seattle O’Sullivan so far: 37-31-1

Dallas Wings at Indiana Fever, 7 pm EDT

The Pick: Indiana +8.5 (-106), Dallas (-420)

Dallas is coming off a disappointing loss to Connecticut on Tuesday and will be looking to rebound off that. Indiana has lost ten in a row. I’m not giving up on my Wings yet, but I think Indiana plays much tougher at home than they do on the road. They’re 3-4 against the spread when hosting at Farmers Coliseum, and 7-3 ATS when playing Dallas. I think the Wings get back on track, but I’m gonna try to middle this one.

Chicago Sky at New York Liberty, 7 pm EDT

The Pick: New York +7.5 (-115), Chicago (-320)

Chicago absolutely pasted New York on Tuesday, winning a 92-72 blowout that wasn’t that close. The Liberty live and die with the three-point shot, and if it’s possible, in that game they died twice, shooting 6-28 (21.4%). They also turned the ball over 16 times to the Sky’s 9. While I do think Chicago is starting to look quite dangerous, I think they’ll relax a little after the beatdown they delivered the Liberty earlier in the week. Tonight’s game will be tighter. I’ll try to middle it again.

Washington Mystics at Los Angeles Sparks, 10:30 pm EDT

The Pick: Los Angeles +3.5 (-105), Los Angeles (+155)

In their surprising, season-uplifting, personally devastating upset over the Seattle Storm on Tuesday, Tina Charles was Tina Charles, scoring 34 points and grabbing 16 rebounds. The key to me, however, was guard Leilani Mitchell, who scored 19 points, including five three-pointers, all of which she made having approximately…twenty-seven minutes to get her feet set, eat a sandwich, give a TED talk on wide-open jump shots, and then shoot. Yeah, I’ve got some thoughts about the Storm’s defense on Tuesday. Los Angeles head coach Derek Fisher should know a little something about role players getting open shots because the star is the focus of the other team’s defense; one could argue it’s why he has the job he has today. As I’ve said for weeks, the Sparks’ defense is good, and their guards Erica Wheeler, Brittney Sykes, Te’a Cooper, and Kristi Toliver should close on open Mystics shooters better than the Storm did. Make this the third home dog I’m taking today. No middle, however - I like the Sparks to win outright.

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