WNBA Saturday Best Bets: Wings look to capitalize on an injury-plagued Mystics

Los Angeles Sparks forward Nneka Ogwumike (30) shoots against Minnesota Lynx center Sylvia Fowles (34).

We have 3 more WNBA games headed our way to close out the week. Today’s matinee between the Aces and Fever should be a favorable outing for Las Vegas before they head home to face a troubling Chicago Sky team. Our evening plans consist of 2 rematches from Thursday’s contests between Los Angeles and Connecticut and a do-or-die outing for Dallas and Washington.

Las Vegas Aces at Indiana Fever prediction: 1st Half Under 82.5 (-110)

Las Vegas and Indiana have squared off twice before, with the Aces claiming 2 home victories by 23 and 36 points, respectively. On the other side, Indiana has gone 4-2 in their last 6 games. This is a tricky one, as the Fever only lost to a red-hot Mercury squad by 4 and should have beaten an inconsistent Sparks team. 

Las Vegas provided WNBA fans some excitement on Thursday night as the Aces were down at the conclusion of both the 1st and 2nd quarters against the Atlanta Dream. The Aces rallied back in the 2nd half, outscoring the Dream 38-23 to secure the win. Las Vegas continues to lead the league in scoring at 88.8 points per game, while Indiana is 2nd-to-last in scoring (75.2 ppg) and 3rd worst in points allowed (84.3 ppg). Indiana typically gets out to a slower start, especially against strong teams, while the Aces have not scored the ball as well as they had in the 1st half of the season. 

Los Angeles Sparks at Connecticut Sun prediction: 1st Half Sun -6.5 (-105)

The Connecticut Sun continue to prove why they are the best in the league. With both Most Valuable Player and Most Improved Player candidates on their squad, the Sun seem to be peaking at just the right time. They go for their 8th consecutive win today in what should be another defensive showdown between the league’s two best defenses.

The Los Angeles Sparks have ruled out Chiney Ogwumike and listed Kristi Toliver as questionable for today’s rematch in Connecticut. As injuries have plagued the Sparks’ squad for the majority of the season, the team has been unable to find consistent on-court chemistry. After scoring an unsettling 10 points in the 1st quarter on Thursday, the Sparks stormed back to drop 29 points in the 2nd quarter to claim a 3-point lead at half. The 2nd half was an all-out defensive battle as the Sparks were within 2 points during the final minute of the game. We did hit the +11.5 spread on Thursday, but I expect the Joneses to dominate the paint again tonight–especially with C. Ogwumike sidelined. It also isn’t likely the Sun will give up 29 points in a single quarter again. 

Mystics' Natasha Cloud drives past Sun's Jasmine Thomas

Dallas Wings at Washington Mystics prediction: Wings ML (+102)

Thursday night’s highly-anticipated matchup between these 2 teams ended in a late-call thriller, leaving fans puzzled as Elena Delle Donne exited the game early in the 2nd quarter. This plays into the debate as some question the urgency of having her return this season with Washington currently not set to make the playoffs.

With the win on Thursday night, Dallas jumped ahead to 7th in the playoffs after being tied for 8th with the Los Angeles Sparks. Arike Ogunbowale was outstanding for the Wings, scoring 26 points to lead all scorers while dishing out 9 assists. Isabelle Harrison also stepped up by contributing a double-double with 21 points and 10 boards. Tonight’s game would be a great victory for the Wings in hopes of adding some separation in the playoff standings. Los Angeles is set to face off against the Connecticut Sun today, as well, so the Wings could gain ground. With Washington’s Delle Donne listed as questionable and Tina Charles ruled as out, the Mystics may struggle to find enough players to score the ball. Natasha Cloud was practically absent on offense on Thursday as she merely chased around Ogunbowale on the defensive side of the ball. Washington simply does not have enough offensive weapons without Delle Donne and Charles.

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