The BUCKETS podcast WNBA experts break down their favorite picks from the day’s slate.
You can read about their picks below, and be sure to subscribe to BUCKETS for WNBA picks and predictions all season long on Tuesdays and Fridays.
Fever vs. Mystics, 7 p.m. ET
Jim Turvey: To me, this is easily the most fun game to prognosticate of the night, in part because this is by far the most chaotic.
There’s a lot we don’t know right now. The Mystics have a lot of injuries. Shakira Austin has been out for a while. That Queen Egbo move was an awesome pickup, but she’s not Shakira Austin. Elena Della Donne missed the last game and is now questionable for this one, and Natasha Cloud, who played the last game, is now questionable.
Then we have to think about the fact that the Fever have lost five straight but have hung around in a lot of these games.
I like Indiana +3.5. This line is going to be moving all over the place with injury news, but there are a couple of reasons I like to grab the points now.
First of all, this Fever team’s problem isn’t that they’re getting blown out. This season, it’s these tight losses. So even if Cloud plays and not EDD, or EDD but not Cloud and they have an off night, grabbing the points in general isn’t a terrible idea.
Even more so, there is the potential for this line to move far more toward the Fever than there is to move toward the Mystics. If EDD and Cloud play, you’re looking at a line around 6.5, which is not great if you bet the Fever +3.5, but it would not be the end of the world. If neither play, the Fever could almost be favored here.
We saw what the Mystics looked like without Austin and EDD last game; they really scuffled on offense. A little bit of that was some bad shooting luck; they went 4-of-25 from 3.
But part of that is if you don’t have those strong interior presences in EDD and Austin, teams are just going to load up on the perimeter and say, “we’re not going to let you beat us there.”
Ariel Atkins and Brittney Sykes are the two most obvious players to pick up the slack in terms of scoring, so they’ll get a lot of the attention if three-fifths of the starting lineup is out. I’m going to grab the points with Indiana here, but I’m going to be watching this game like a hawk for injury news.
Dream vs. Sky, 8 p.m. ET
Jim Turvey: If this line stays at Dream +1.5, I’m going to be on the Dream. This is a team that, of the two teams that have three-game winning streaks, I believe in a little bit more.
This is a team I was high on in the preseason, so maybe some of it is confirmation bias. Rhyne Howard really did not like that snub from the All Star Game. She seems like she’s really out to show folks that right now.
This is a good team that has impressed me on the offensive end. It’s the other side, the defense, where they have been way worse than I expected. That’s the side of the ball that is a little more effort driven. Maybe they start to kind of get annoyed as a team and say, “we shouldn’t be a 5-8 team.”
The rest advantage slightly favors the Sky; they’ve had about five days off, and the Dream played on Wednesday. If you’re a bettor who relies heavily on rest and you’ve found an edge on that, then maybe roll with the Sky.
Personally, I’m going to go with the team that I believe is superior, even if they’re on the road and have a slight disadvantage in terms of rest. I like to grab the point and a half or the moneyline with the Dream.
Aces vs. Wings, 8 p.m. ET
Jim Turvey: These are two teams with great pace that often hit overs. With the travel time in between games, I’m going to be looking at the second half for an over.
It’s not available at every book, but if you look around out there, you can find it. The overall over is around 175.5, so the second half over should be something in the high 80s.
I’ll be betting the second-half over as these two push each other down the stretch and rack up the points down the line.
Pick: 2H Over 87
BUCKETS WNBA Picks for Friday, July 7
- Fever +3.5
- Dream +1.5 or Moneyline
- Aces/Wings Second-Half Over