WNBA Friday Best Bets: Mystics head to New York for a Win-and-In opportunity

Storm guard Jordin Canada defends Lynx guard Crystal Dangerfield.

With only two days left of the regular season, 7 of 8 playoffs spots are filled. Washington at New York has playoff implications on the line as Washington sits in 8th place after New York has held that position for the majority of the season. A Washington win tonight secures a spot in the playoffs, as it would immediately eliminate New York and Los Angeles.

I can hardly contain my excitement, so let’s get started!

Minnesota Lynx at Indiana Fever prediction: Lynx 1H -5.5 (-108)

Minnesota and Indiana meet…again. This is the third and final time these two teams will face off, with Minnesota leading the series 2-0. While Indiana has already been eliminated from the playoffs, the Lynx have a possibility to jump into the 2nd overall seed with a win in Indiana and a win on Sunday against the Mystics. However, Las Vegas Aces would have to lose both of their remaining games as well in order for that to happen. Needless to say, Minnesota has something to play for.

The Lynx have come alive lately, averaging 89.5 points per game against the Indiana Fever. They shot a staggering 51.9% from the field and 37.5% from downtown in their two home contests against Indiana. On the other hand, Indiana has a better overall shooting percentage when playing at home, but score less points at home. In their two previous outings in Minnesota, the Lynx led both games at half by 5 and 10 points, respectively. Even though this is the Fever’s last home game of 2021, expect Minnesota to dominate throughout.

Washington Mystics at New York Liberty prediction: 1H over 81.5 (-115)

Washington and New York collide for the final time this season as it is a “win-and-you’re-in” game for the Mystics. The two teams have battled twice before, with the series tied 1-1. Washington blew out New York in game 1 of the series (101-72), while the Liberty answered in game 2 with their own victory (82-79). 

The Mystics are entering tonight’s contest on a 2-game winning streak, while the Liberty is on an 8-game losing streak. Looking at their previous two outings, the Mystics dominated the first half in both games–scoring 51 and 52 points in the first half. Neither team is known for its play on the defensive end, as both rank in the bottom 3 in defensive rating.

Phoenix Mercury at Seattle Storm prediction: Mercury -2.5 (-110)

With Diana Taurasi and Breanna Stewart both ruled out for tonight’s game, it should still be a fairly matched contest as both teams are down a superstar. However, Taurasi is missing her third straight game and 15th overall this season. Phoenix has played half of their games without Taurasi even available. 

Seattle’s first outing without Stewart came earlier this week against Los Angeles where the Storm only recorded 53 points. All-stars Jewell Loyd and Sue Bird failed to reach 10 points, while Loyd went 2-9 from the field and 0-4 from behind the arc. There’s no doubt the Storm are going to continue to struggle scoring the ball without Stewart, especially tonight against the Mercury defense. Brianna Turner, a strong candidate for Defensive Player of the Year, now won’t have to guard Stewart’s inside-out game. Phoenix has only lost once since the month-long pause and it was to top-seeded Connecticut. 

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