WNBA Odds, Picks & Predictions: Wednesday (5/15)

After a fun opening night of the WNBA season, we have two more games on tap for Wednesday. The Dallas Wings host the Chicago Sky in the early matchup, while the Atlanta Dream take on the Los Angeles Sparks in the late-night tip.

Let’s dive into top WNBA picks for both games as you enjoy the action this Wednesday, May 15.

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Wednesday’s Best WNBA Picks

Chicago Sky @ Dallas Wings 

The early matchup on Wednesday pits the Chicago Sky against the Dallas Wings. The spread is a big one, with Dallas favored by 9.5 points. It’s always risky backing a large favorite against the spread in a season opener, but we’re doing it here. 

Dallas is in a completely different tier of the WNBA than Chicago right now, and the spread is nearly double-digits for a reason. The Wings finished fourth in last year’s standings, lost in the semifinals, and are projected to be a top-five team this season. The Sky, meanwhile, are expected to be one of the league’s worst squads with a rebuild year on tap. 

The Wings begin the season without All-WNBA forward Satou Sabally, who’s sidelined until August. Though that is a big loss, Dallas still boasts plenty of talent to maintain its high-level play. Guard Arike Ogunbowale is one of the most dynamic scorers in the league and anchors the Wings’ backcourt. Natasha Howard, Teaira McCown and Kalani Brown form a strong frontcourt trio that can make up for the absence of Sabally. 

On that note, playmaker Jaelyn Brown is a key offseason addition for Dallas, who can help replace Sabally’s scoring early on this season. Brown, who’s played overseas for the past few years, scored 21 points in the Wings’ lone preseason game. She took the second-most shots behind Ogunbowale and could be a clutch under-the-radar source of offense. 

Now let’s get to the Sky, who could finish with the worst record in the WNBA this year. Chicago not only underwent an offseason coaching change with Teresa Weatherspoon now at the helm, but it also returns only three players from last year’s squad. Veterans Kahleah Copper, Courtney Williams and Alanna Smith are all gone. The Sky does have some solid talent returning in guards Marina Mabrey and Dana Evans, but there are many question marks around them.

Chicago is one of those WNBA teams looking to the future, with two 2024 first-round picks in town, Angel Reese and Kamilla Cardoso. Both could develop into elite pro players eventually, but the time isn’t now for them. Cardoso is actually out to begin the season, while Reese may see some growing pains early against better frontcourts like Dallas. 

Chicago’s roster construction is very unproven and lacking in overall skill compared to the top half of the WNBA. The Wings are firmly in that upper echelon and project to be a step or two above the Sky on paper. Even though the spread may be scary, let’s take Dallas to win big at home.

WNBA Pick: Dallas Wings -9.5 (-110)

Atlanta Dream @ Los Angeles Sparks

Wednesday’s late WNBA game features the Atlanta Dream against the Los Angeles Sparks. It’s a matchup of two teams that finished below .500 last season. This one should be on the lower-scoring side as we target the under. 

The Sparks are projected to be at or near the bottom of the WNBA standings this season. Los Angeles lost its two top scorers from last year, Nneka Ogwumike (19.1 PPG) and Jordin Canada (13.3 PPG), while two other key pieces (Karlie Samuelson and Chiney Ogwumike) left in the offseason. This team is seemingly looking ahead to the future and now relies on a young core led by 2024 first-round picks Cameron Brink and Rickea Jackson.

This season, the Sparks’ roster is also more defense-minded, especially in the frontcourt. The combination of Brink, Azura Stevens, Dearica Hamby and Li Yueru gives LA one of the better interior defenses in the league. The Sparks boast plenty of size, length and depth at the forward spots to limit opposing offenses.

On the flip side, the Los Angeles offense is a weakness with uncertainty following the departures of Ogwumike and Canada. The Sparks averaged 78.9 PPG last year (third-worst in the WNBA) and should take a step back now. Much of the Sparks’ scoring likely comes inside through all of those noted forwards. Meanwhile, their backcourt play is not a strength with a lack of top-end playmakers, especially with point guard Julie Allemand sitting the season out.

Unders will be the play for many Sparks’ games this season because of the team’s roster construction and defensive makeup. It’s a rebuilding team with rookies and unproven players in bigger roles than with other WNBA squads. 

As for Atlanta, it should win this season opener as the projected better team. All-Stars Rhyne Howard, Allisha Gray and Cheyenne Parker-Tyus return as the Dream’s top-three scorers from a year ago. Outside of them, though, the Dream could struggle to find consistent offense from the supporting cast, as was the case last season. 

The offseason additions of Crystal Dangerfield, Jordin Canada, Aerial Powers and former MVP Tina Charles should help Atlanta in terms of depth and potential in the long run. Still, there are plenty of question marks with each. Canada is out right now. Dangerfield and Powers are nice bench options but very up-and-down. Plus, Charles is a 35-year-old who hasn’t played since 2022. 

It could take a bit for the Dream to fully click and sort out their roles, especially offensively. Combine that with the Sparks’ defensive-focused and young roster, and the under is the play here. 

WNBA Pick: Under 159.5 Total Points (-112)