WNBA: O'Sully picks Storm v Sky, Sun v Wings, Mystics v Aces, Dream v Mercury, Liberty v Lynx, Fever v Sparks
I know I’ve complained about the lengths I have to go to in order to deliver these picks. Sportsbooks rarely post WNBA lines before the morning of the game, so living on the West Coast but delivering to an East Coast editor forces me to get up at the crack of 8 am, etc. But after two weeks of having to figure out time zone differences between L.A. and Tokyo, in order to predict what amount to glorified all-star exhibitions, I’m ready to dive back into full day-to-day, WNBA mode. So let’s attack today’s stuffed docket.
Seattle O’Sullivan so far: 73-60-1
Seattle Storm at Chicago Sky, 4 pm Eastern
The Pick: Seattle +6.5 (-110)
Apparently, I needed to get up at the crack of 7 am. This line opened at Chicago +5.5, which meant someone in Vegas put it up without the benefit of coffee because that was ridiculous. Evidently, sharps who are more morning people than I, affected that line quickly. If you are one of those bright-eyed, bushy-tailed sharps, I tip my cap to you. Now it’s swung too far the other way. Yes, yes, Seattle has several players returning from the Olympics, but potential fatigue didn’t seem to affect them on Thursday against Connecticut. They’re still the favorite to win the championship. I do like Chicago to win the game but the moneyline price (-280) is too high. But I like the Storm to cover.
Connecticut Sun at Dallas Wings, 4 pm Eastern
The Pick: Dallas +4.5 (-110)
Connecticut got pasted on Thursday night. So I do think they’ll come out ready to play today. But yes, since I didn’t get to use the phrase during the Olympics…this is a “home dog alert.” I still think the Wings are a dark horse to do some damage come playoff time, and their offense is third in the WNBA. True, the Sun’s defense is the league’s best, but I like the points here.
Washington Mystics at Las Vegas Aces, 6 pm Eastern
New York Liberty at Minnesota Lynx, 7 pm Eastern
The Pick: Moneyline parlay - Las Vegas (-700)/Minnesota (-250) - True price (-167)
The Pick: Minnesota (-250), Minnesota -6 (-110)
Las Vegas giving 11.5 points scares me off a straight bet here, but if they don’t take care of business I’ll wake up at 7 am tomorrow. Going into the Olympic break, Minnesota was playing better than any team in the league, and their frontcourt of Napheesa Collier and Sylvia Fowles is measures better than New York’s. The price for the Lynx is cheap enough for me to put some down on just them. The spread is small enough to try to sop up a little gravy.
Atlanta Dream at Phoenix Mercury, 6 pm Eastern
The Pick: Atlanta +5.5 (-110)
Why yes, I’ll take another underdog, thank you. Before the break, both of these teams were inconsistent but the Mercury were particularly maddening. This season they are 3-6-1 against the spread at home, while the Dream are 6-3 against the spread on the road. Also, Phoenix is a team whose Olympians might be affected by the break; Diana Taurasi has been battling injuries and while her stats have been good, Skylar Diggins-Smith plays too inconsistently for my liking.
Indiana Fever at Los Angeles Sparks, 9 pm Eastern
The Pick: Los Angeles (-200)
Los Angeles star Nneka Ogwumike is expected to play today, and that’s enough for me to take the Sparks here. Ogwumike is certain to be playing angry since she was passed over for the Olympic team (though to me, she has no real complaint as she has been injured the whole year). Indiana was playing a bit friskier than their 4-16 record indicates, and they were 9-11 against the spread. But Ogwumike is the best player on the floor, the Sparks are at home, and she’s sure to be chomping at the bit to prove she was snubbed unjustly. So I’ll risk a little on the moneyline just to get a taste.