How to Bet Friday Night's WNBA Slate

WNBA betting analyst Michael Arinze previews Friday's slate of four games: Liberty at Fever, Lynx at Aces, Storm at Mercury and Dream at Sun.

The games are starting to wind down for the WNBA as we’re into the final weekend before the All-Star Game and the Olympic break. With each team already reaching the halfway point of the season in terms of games played, we should have a good idea of who the contenders are and the pretenders.

Two teams that figured to be near the top were the Las Vegas Aces and the Seattle Storm. Both have lived up to the hype coming in as the top two teams in the league. At 15-4, Seattle has a one-game lead over the Aces for the best record.

I would also put the 12-6 Connecticut Sun in that top tier. After all, you could make the argument that the partnership of Jonquel Jones and DeWanna Bonner is as good as any tandem in the league.

My second tier includes the Minnesota Lynx (10-7) and Chicago Sky (10-9). Both teams have rebounded nicely after slow starts with the absence of some key players. I’m talking, of course, of Napheesa Collier for the Lynx and Candace Parker for the Sky. Each player has now returned, and the recent form of both teams highlights their impact. Minnesota has won seven of its last 10 games, while Chicago has won eight of its last 10.

The third tier includes the New York Liberty, Dallas Wings and Phoenix Mercury. All three would be in the playoffs if the season ended today. Phoenix recently went on the road to defeat Las Vegas, but its success relies very much on Diana Taurasi’s health. The veteran point guard has battled injuries late in her career and has already missed 10 games this season.

The race for the last few remaining playoff spots might be the most compelling thing to watch down the stretch, but we’ve still got some time for teams to jockey for position.

Let’s now turn our attention to Friday’s four-game slate and finish strong before the break.

Projected WNBA Odds

Matchup Time Proj. Spread Proj. Total
Liberty at Fever 7 p.m. ET Liberty -5.82 163.99
Dream at Sun 7 p.m. ET Sun -10.16 161.56
Storm at Mercury 9 p.m. ET Storm -5.78 165.16
Lynx at Aces 10:30 p.m. ET Aces -7.77 169.74

Liberty at Fever Odds

Liberty Odds -3.5
Fever Odds +3.5
Over/Under 162
Time 7 p.m. ET
Odds as of Friday via PointsBet

Injuries & News

New York lists three players on its injury report: Rebecca Allen ( 8.9 PPG) is doubtful with a foot injury, while Natasha Howard (14.5 PPG) and Jocelyn Willoughby have both been ruled out. Howard should return after the Olympic break after suffering an MCL sprain in her left knee. Willoughby is done for the season after tearing her Achilles in a team scrimmage.

Indiana’s Bernadett Hatar (4.9 PPG) has been ruled out. Hatar has returned to Hungary for further evaluation from her personal physicians on her ankle injury.

Letdown Spot For Fever Off A Win

I’m not sure what to make of this 1.5-point move to Indiana after New York opened as a three-point favorite. Surely Allen isn’t worth 1.5 points to the spread. Now, don’t get me wrong, I like Allen and her ability to create spacing with her 3-point shooting, but let’s not get carried away here.

Perhaps the line move has to do with Indiana’s 73-67 win over the Sun. Have they now turned the corner? I’m not ready to go there yet. I see that game as really just a poor outing by the Sun. And if you’re Connecticut’s head coach, this is a game in which you can pretty much burn the tape.

All three of Connecticut’s All-Stars shot below their season average. They also made three fewer three-pointers than their season average (7.2 per game), and Indiana needed a career game by Danielle Robinson, who scored 19 points, to pull out the win. Note that Robinson’s averaging 9.3 points this season and 9.2 points in her 10-year career.

I think, if anything, Indiana’s win was an aberration at best, and every team is entitled to a mulligan now and then.

Keep in mind that since last season, Indiana is 0-7 ATS off a win. As a result, I see no reason to back them in this spot.

Just as I was wrapping this up, the line has now swung back to the Liberty by a full point.

Pick: Liberty -2.5 or better

» Return to the table of contents «

Dream at Sun Odds

Dream Odds +13.5
Sun Odds -13.5
Over/Under 159.5
Time 7 p.m. ET
Odds as of Friday via BetMGM

Injuries & News

Atlanta has ruled out two players for Friday: Tiffany Hayes (17.6 PPG) will be out four to six weeks after suffering an MCL tear, while Chennedy Carter (14.2 PPG) is out indefinitely due to suspension.

Connecticut lists only Alyssa Thomas on its injury report. Thomas is expected to miss the entire season after tearing her Achilles while playing overseas in January.

Fade The Double-Digit Home Favorite

It’s disappointing to see what’s going with the Dream right now with Carter suspended for conduct detrimental to the team. Neither side is commenting about the situation, and all we know is that interim head coach, Mike Petersen, pulled Carter after just six minutes against the Aces last Sunday.

Atlanta looked like a team ready to take the next step this season after a 4-2 start, but it’s gone 2-9 since then and was without Carter for six games and went 1-5 during that stretch. So stating that she’s a key cog in the team would be an understatement.

Carter returned on June 23, the following game after Hayes tore her MCL. Since Hayes has been out, Atlanta is 1-4. That brings us back to the July 4th game against the Aces, which resulted in a 118-95 loss.

But even with Carter being pulled early, Atlanta still managed to score 95 points on the road. That’s quite a feat anytime you can get close to the century mark against a top-two team in the league.

Let’s be honest, the reason why Connecticut got as high as a 16-point favorite is because of all the chaos that’s going on in Atlanta. A word of caution, though.

Teams laying at least 14 points are 40-63-6 for a loss of 25.15 units. And historically, Connecticut is just 1-11-1 for a loss of 10.13 units in this spot. This is a hold-your-nose type of game but do so with the points in your back pocket.

Pick: Dream at +14 or better

» Return to the table of contents «

Storm at Mercury Odds

Storm Odds -6.5
Mercury Odds +6.5
Over/Under 164.5
Time 9 p.m. ET
Odds as of Friday via DraftKings

Injuries & News

There are no players listed on Seattle’s injury report.

Diana Taurasi (15.6 PPG) is questionable with a hip injury. Bria Hartley remains out as she continues her rehab for a torn ACL last August. However, there is some optimism that she could return before the Olympic break in early July.

Taurasi’s Status Is Critical To Backing The Mercury

This is a tricky game because of Taurasi’s status, as I’m well aware of her injury problems in recent years. Phoenix is worth a look if she’s at full strength because while Seattle is the best team in the league, they also have the worst ATS mark at 7-12.

That’s a dichotomy that you don’t see too often, but its poor ATS record results from the lofty spreads it’s asked to cover each week.

Seattle has closed at no lower than an 11.5-point favorite in six of their last seven games, and they’re 1-6 ATS during that span. They’ve also failed to cover their last six games.

However, with Taurasi’s status up in the air, this game’s an easy pass for me with the Mercury as a 5.5-point underdog.

Pick: Pass

» Return to the table of contents «

Lynx at Aces Odds

Lynx Odds +6.5
Aces Odds -6.5
Over/Under 173.5
Time 10:30 p.m. ET
Odds as of Friday via BetMGM

Injuries & News

Minnesota lists three players on the injury report: Aerial Powers (10 PPG) and Natalie Achonwa (3.8 PPG) are both out indefinitely. Powers sustained a UCL tear in her right thumb, and Achonwa has an MCL sprain in her right knee. In addition, Rennia Davis, who was selected ninth overall in this year’s draft, is done for the season following a stress fracture in her left foot at training camp.

Angel McCoughtry is the only player listed on the Aces’ injury report. McCoughtry suffered a torn ACL during a preseason scrimmage and is out for the season.

Revenge Spot For The Aces

The first place to begin with this game is that Las Vegas opened as a 7.5-point favorite. Although the point spread has been bet down to 6.5, this might be a spot to back the Aces to bounce back.

Las Vegas is coming off a disappointing overtime loss to the Mercury at home. One of their five setbacks this season was a 90-89 overtime loss on the road against the Lynx.

Now they’re in a revenge spot and also coming off a loss in their recent outing.

The Aces have never lost back-to-back losses this season, and my model projects them at least as a 7.77 favorite. And while we’ll get a bit of a discount on them at the current line, I like the idea of parlaying them on the moneyline with New York’s money line at +136 odds over at BetMGM.

Pick: Two-team parlay: Liberty ML (-145) & Aces ML (-250)

» Return to the table of contents «