The WNBA playoffs tipped off last night, and the games were filled with surprises and disappointments. The surprise was the New York Liberty taking down the Chicago Sky in a shootout that Chicago would typically win. In the later game, a disappointing performance by the Las Vegas Aces. While they won by 16, they failed to cover and had an abysmal 3rd quarter.
Tonight marks the start of the other two first round series, and these games are going to be great. I’m especially anxious to see the Storm host the Mystics, in what will be the best first round series.
Dallas Wings (#6 Seed) @ Connecticut Sun (#3 Seed)
The Sun host the Wings, in what many believe will be a close game. These teams faced off three times this year, with Dallas taking 2 of those contests. Dallas is sneaky good and can score the basketball in bunches. Arike Ogunbowale is an excellent ball player, and this team had some nice victories down the stretch. The Sun were also hot down the stretch, winners of 4 out of 5 and really clicking offensively.
The key for Connecticut tonight is going to be their size advantage down low. The Sun are a bad matchup for Dallas on the glass, which is the area where they will capitalize. Jonquel Jones will be double teamed in the post; this will open looks for Courtney Williams and Natisha Hiedeman on the perimeter.
This line opened at 10, and has been bet down to 9.5 on BetRivers, favoring the home team. The total on tonight’s game is 163.5. This is the playoffs, and both teams will come out stronger on the defensive end of the floor. We see this in the NBA all the time. The natural regression of the offense based on the added intensity of the defense. We saw 2 of their 3 matchups this year going under 163.5, and that will happen again tonight. My first Wicked Wager on this game will be the full game under, and I would play it down to 162.5.
If you’ve been tailing me, you know that I love isolating quarters in basketball, and this game is no different. BetRivers currently has the first quarter line at -3 for tonight’s game. That’s a number that the Sun covered at home in both meetings this year. They have covered that number in 8 of their last 10 outings as well. Sun have been playing excellent ball lately, and I like them to cover this number again tonight.
The Sun haven’t lost a game to a team not from Las Vegas or Chicago since June and they don’t they lose tonight. However, Dallas can stay within the number and cover a big 9.5 point spread – for the final Wicked Wager.
Wicked Wagers – Full Game u163.5 (play down to 162.5) / Sun 1Q -3 / Wings +9.5
Washington Mystics (#5 Seed) @ Seattle Storm (#4 Seed)
This series is going to be great. The two best defensive teams in the league square off in a heavy weight fight. Seattle has won 2 of their 3 meetings on the season. They also blew the Mystics out in their lone meeting at Climate Pledge Arena this year. The Storm finished 5-5 over their last 10 but showed flashes of what they could be now that Tina Charles is fully integrated. Oh, and they also happen to have the AP POY in Breanna Stewart. Stewart is one of the best players in the game right now and is a tough matchup for most teams. Most teams don’t have Elena Delle Donne, who is great in her own right.
The Mystics closed the season 7-3 and seem to be hitting their stride at the right time. For some perspective on the potential outcome of this series, the Storm have the 3rd shortest odds to win the title at +500, while the Mystics sit at +800.
BetRivers opened this game with Seattle favored by 4, and a total of 159. The line has dropped to -3.5, still in favor of the Storm while the total hasn’t moved since yesterday. Two of the three games this year have gone under 159.5, with the lone over only being 162 points. BetRivers allows us to move the line, and I can move it to 160 (-125). This is about as much juice as I’m willing to give up getting that extra wiggle room. Both teams won’t get to 80 points tonight, and I feel very comfortable sweating out an under.
Seattle will win this game tonight, and I’m not shying away from the 3.5. The Storm would have covered 3.5 in both victories this year, and I see them doing that again tonight. 3.5 is 2 possessions, and a close game will favor the Storm who shoot a higher percentage from the free throw line. I also really like the 1Q line here too. Bet Rivers is giving us a plus money gift with -1.5 @ +100. You can take -1 @ -113, but I like hoping for the 2-point lead at the end of 1 for a chance to double my money.
This is going to be a good, competitive game tonight, and I can’t wait.
Wicked Wagers – Storm -3.5 / Storm -1.5 1Q / Full Game u160