WNBA Friday: Scorching O'Sullivan picks Lynx at Fever, Mystics at Liberty, Aces at Sky, Mercury at Storm
With Breanna Stewart out, can Sue Bird help lead the Storm to a win and a first-round bye?@WNBA on Twitter

WNBA Friday: Scorching O'Sullivan picks Lynx at Fever, Mystics at Liberty, Aces at Sky, Mercury at Storm

Minnesota Lynx at Indiana Fever, 7 pm EDT, Washington Mystics at New York Liberty, 7 pm, Las Vegas Aces at Chicago Sky, 8 pm, Phoenix Mercury at Seattle Storm, 10 pm.

Tonight and Sunday are the last two game slates before the WNBA enters the playoffs. Betting the playoffs is a whole ‘nother animal, and I’m excited to capture that animal, make it my pet, and show all of you how it coughs up moneyballs. But before we get there, let’s make some more boring, old, regular-season cash, shall we?

Seattle O’Sullivan so far: 128-97-1

“Seattle O’Sullivan’s ‘Whimsical “Home Dog”’ Parlay”

New York +1.5/Chicago +3.5/Seattle +2.5 - True Price: +599

This is a cherry on the top of the sundae; do not put much on this. I’m just posting it as something to add, a little fun…just to make you feel alive.

Minnesota Lynx at Indiana Fever, 7 pm Eastern

The Pick: Minnesota -475, Minnesota -9.5 (-110)

I’ve respected Indiana’s fight all year. They are tougher than you’d expect, especially at home. But at this point they’re suffering a ton of injuries: Jessica Breland is out, and both Danielle Robinson and Tiffany Mitchell are questionable tonight. Minnesota still has an outside shot at the two-seed (and a double-bye in the playoffs). Even with the Fever’s fight, they’ve lost their two games to the Lynx by double-digits. They’ll do so again tonight.

Washington Mystics at New York Liberty, 7 pm Eastern

The Pick: New York +1.5 (-110)

Finally, a convergence of my “home dog” and “playoff positioning” theories. New York’s an underdog in their own building, and they’re eliminated from postseason contention if they lose tonight. It’s all coming together! Of course, they’ve lost eight in a row and 11 of 12. But they beat Washington the last time they played; that game was in Brooklyn too. I think the Liberty lay it all on the line.

Las Vegas Aces at Chicago Sky, 8 pm Eastern

The Pick: Chicago +3.5 (-105)

Given that Chicago is locked into the sixth seed, this is only a “home dog” alert. Las Vegas center Liz Cambage is still working herself into shape after contracting COVID and will not be playing tonight. That, and the home court, is enough for me to take the points for the Sky.

Phoenix Mercury at Seattle Storm, 10 pm Eastern

The Pick: Seattle +2.5 (-110)

Nate Silver’s website fivethirtyeight.com lists this game as having a ‘4’ (out of 100) in “Importance.” Apparently Nate Silver doesn’t put much stock in byes. A half-game separates Seattle and Phoenix for the fourth-seed which, yes, you’re way ahead of me, means a first-round bye. Whoever wins tonight’s game will own the tiebreaker over the other team. I don’t know about you, but I’d rate a bye in the playoffs as more important than a ‘4’ - but I’m just a lowly WNBA gambler (who’s a scorching 32-14 in the last two weeks, but (shrug)). This is a big game. Y’know, “big” like “important.” Now, Seattle is without Breanna Stewart, whose left foot will be reevaluated for the playoffs (hey, getting your MVP candidate some more rest might be another reason a first-round bye might be, y’know, important). But Phoenix will be without Diana Taurasi. The Storm have been off these past few weeks, but I gotta think getting absolutely pasted by the Los Angeles Sparks on Sunday, and now getting a tasty 2.5 points at home, will motivate Sue Bird et al to fight for that first-round bye. Actually, they probably don’t care about the points. But you get my meaning. Home dog. Playoff seeding. It’s all coming together!

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