WNBA best bets, odds and predictions for Thursday, July 20

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WNBA Best Bets for Thursday, July 20

Atlanta Dream at Connecticut Sun -6, 167.5

8:30 a.m. PT/11:30 a.m. ET

 

The Dream (12-8 SU, 12-8 ATS) entered the All-Star break on a six-game win streak in which they covered five of those games. Then on Tuesday, they returned to play with a win and cover over the Lynx, 82-73, as six-point home favorites. Now they get to further prove themselves against a Sun team that looked lackluster in their first game back from the break. 

On Tuesday, Connecticut (15-6 SU, 11-9-1 ATS) lost on the road 72-66 to the Phoenix Mercury, a game in which they were favored by 7.5 points. The Sun shot just 36% in the loss, but I expect their offense to bounce back. The Dream lead the league in pace, and the Sun will need to keep up to get it done at home in this morning matchup. Still, with the way the Dream have been playing, they are more than capable of keeping this game close, even winning it, and have shown they succeed on the road at 7-3 ATS.

The last time Atlanta played Connecticut was at Mohegan Sun Arena on June 15th, a game that went to overtime and resulted in the Dream winning and covering as 8.5-point underdogs, 92-88. They also played on June 11th in Atlanta, a game the Sun won by 12, 89-77. Both games went over the total (162.5, 164.) This total opened around 165.5 and has been bet up to the point where I’m not interested in an Over.

Atlanta Dream +6

Los Angeles Sparks at Minnesota Lynx -2.5, 162

5 p.m. PT/8 p.m. ET

The Lynx (9-12 SU, 11-10 ATS) just lost on the road to the Dream, 82-73, and have now lost and failed to cover three straight games. However, those losses were to very formidable opponents: the Aces, Wings, and Dream. Now they get to host a team on an even larger losing streak than their own.

The Sparks (7-13 SU, 7-12-1) have been destroyed by illness and injury so far this season and have now lost six straight games, none of which they covered. On Tuesday, Sparks GM Karen Bryant announced that Chiney Ogwumike (foot) recently underwent an MRI and will be out for four-to-six weeks. Nia Clouden is also still listed as out. One bright spot in the injury report is Lexie Brown, who announced on Wednesday that she hopes to suit up for Thursday’s game and is now listed as questionable. Brown practiced on Tuesday and is considered day-to-day, but if she does play, she should add to the Sparks’ scoring. Los Angeles has only been able to score 80 or more points three times in their last 15 games. They are also only 2-7 ATS on the road this season. 

This line opened with the Sparks laying one point but quickly flipped to favor the Lynx at home. Minnesota has won and covered in all three matchups versus the Sparks so far this season, each time by 5-6 points, and they should be able to do it again at home. 

Minnesota Lynx -2.5 

Chicago Sky -2 at Phoenix Mercury, 157

7 p.m. PT/10 p.m. ET

The Sky (8-12 SU, 10-8-2 ATS) started the season off right, winning five of their first eight games and covering as many. One of those wins was in Phoenix on May 21st, 75-69. After that, they hit a six-game skid, and things haven’t gone their way since. Former head coach James Wade stepped down on July 1st, which means the Sky have now played four games without him. Chicago has now lost and failed to cover three straight games. All three games also hit the Under, which has mostly been due to the Sky’s faltering offense. 

Believe it or not, Phoenix (5-15 SU, 7-13 ATS) is fresh off a home win over the Connecticut Sun, 72-66. Unfortunately, Diana Taurasi exited Tuesday’s game with 4:32 remaining in the fourth quarter due to a hamstring injury. (Taurasi is now 71 points away from scoring 10,000 points for those who are still keeping score at home.) Her absence could explain the Sky being favored in this spot, and admittedly the Mercury have had scoring troubles of their own. Additionally, Chicago has shown they can still compete with the lower half of the league, having won recent games over the Fever and two versus the Sparks. I do wonder how the Sky will be able to compete with the Mercury’s size in the paint, having fared poorly against other teams with that advantage. Either way, this should be a struggle to score on both ends, even with the Mercury’s complete lack of defense (ranked last in defensive rating.) 

Under 157 

Las Vegas Aces -18 at Seattle Storm, 169.5

7 p.m. PT/10 p.m. ET

Aces’ spreads this season are out of control but somehow completely within their grasp. Out of their last 10 games as double-digit favorites, they have covered seven times. 

Las Vegas (19-2 SU, 12-9 ATS) is ranked first in points per 100 possessions, opponents points per 100 possessions, and assist-to-turnover ratio. Meanwhile, the Storm (4-16 SU, 10-9-1 ATS) have already lost to the Aces twice this season, first in their season opener at home 105-64, then in Vegas 96-63. Las Vegas will still be without Candace Parker, who missed the last three games leading up to the All-Star break due to an ankle injury, but even in her absence, I still expect Vegas to cover this measly 18-point spread. 

Seattle’s shooting star, Jewell Loyd, is chasing a season scoring record and is fresh off her win of WNBA All-Star MVP, so I expect to see a big game out of her. Outside of Loyd, points can be hard to come by, so I lean toward an Under on the total.