WNBA Fantasy and Betting Tips for Thursday

Each day of the WNBA season, our team of fantasy and betting experts break down every game on the slate, noting everything from injuries and lineup changes to recent trends and more.

All odds are provided by Caesars Sportsbook. Times are ET.

Here’s what to look for in today’s list:

Phoenix Mercury at Connecticut Sun
7pm, Mohegan Sun, Uncasville, CT

The line: Sun (-11.5)
Money Line: Sun (-700), Mercury (+500)
Total: 164.5 points
BPI Win%: Sun (78.2%)

Doubtful: Diana Taurasi (quad)

Excluded: Kia Nurse (knee), Bria Hartley (knee)

Fantasy you need to know: This will be the second game between these two teams in the last two days, they played at Mohegan Sun on Tuesday and the Sun blew out the Mercury 87-63. It was the Mercury’s second straight loss by 20 or more points. The Suns have already clinched a playoff spot and have a 99.4 percent chance, according to ESPN BPI, to finish in the top four in the regular season standings, which would give them home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs . The Mercury are currently in seventh place but are closely followed by four other teams who are all within a game of them. This will be a high-leverage game for Phoenix, who currently has a 62.7 percent chance of making the playoffs.

Let’s take a look at Phoenix first, as they have been using the same starting lineup since June 25th when the team parted ways with Tina Charles. Sophie Cunningham filled in for Charles and has been phenomenal since being thrust into the starting line-up (available in 32.8% of leagues). In her last 13 games, all as a starter, she has played the most minutes on the team and is averaging 16.3 PPG, 5.0 RPG and hitting over three 3-pointers per game. If you have the opportunity to add her to your team, do it now.

Shey Peddy would be the biggest steal if you can get her, she’s pretty much available in most leagues, even though she’s a starter (available in 68.6% of leagues). She has had 20 or more fantasy points in each of her last nine games. And it’s not just because he’s a scoring threat, he’s been a great rebounding guard over his last nine games (11.1 PPG and 6.1 RPG). She also contributed in relief and defense in that span, adding 3.0 APG and 2.2 SPG.

Another player to watch for this game is Diamond DeShields (available in 27.6% of leagues). If she’s on your roster and she’s been on IR, consider putting her in the lineup because there’s a chance she’ll play today since she’s off the injury report before today’s game (she’s missed the last 5 games with an injury at the hip). She is the third-leading scorer on the team with 12.5 PPG and 3.9 RPG, both her best in 2019.

The Connecticut Sun have four of their five starters listed in 90% or more of the league right now (Jonquel Jones, Alyssa Thomas, DeWanna Bonner, Courtney Williams). But the only starter not listed by many leagues is Natisha Hiedeman, and she’s been on fire lately (available in 84.3% of leagues). She is coming off Tuesday’s game where she had a game-high 16 points and went 4-6 from 3-point range. Since the beginning of July, Hiedeman has gone 11 straight games hitting a 3-pointer and shooting 47 percent from beyond the arc, which is second best in the league during that span.

Best bet: Sun (-11.5)

The Mercury this season are 1-5 against the spread when down by eight or more points, 0-6 straight up, and all six games have been on the road. They have been terrible on the road this season with a 4-13 record, second worst in the league. And in the last two games, the Mercury have lost by an average of 22.0 PPG.

Aces from Las Vegas to Dallas Wings
8 p.m., College Park Center, Arlington, TX

The line: Wings (-8.5)
Money Line: Aces (-440), Wings (+335)
Total: 171 points
BPI Win%: Aces (57%)

Doubtful: Arike Ogunbowale (ankle)

Out: Satou Sabally (ankle)

Fantasy you need to know: This game will be the fourth ace of a five-game road trip. They have already clinched a playoff spot, but are currently second in the standings and hoping to steal the number one seed from Sky. they’ve still clinched a playoff spot, but ESPN’s BPI gives them a 96.7% chance to make the playoffs.

Nothing much has changed for the Aces, they’re still extremely heavy on their starters, so there’s not much to choose from there (all five starters are in 88% or more of the league). But if you have any of these starters on your team, definitely play them anytime because they will bring you major fantasy points. They don’t have much of a bench to pick players from as this season’s bench is averaging just 13.2 PPG off their bench, which is the lowest in the league. The Wings certainly have more players to choose from, especially Kayla Thornton (available in 55.1% of leagues) and Veronica Burton (available in 98.2% of leagues). Thornton has started 29 of the team’s 30 games this season and is averaging 7.2 PPG, 6.1 RPG, 1.8 APG and 1.1 SPG. She has been on a tear as of late, averaging 23.6 fantasy points per game over her last seven games.

Veronica Burton hasn’t been outstanding this season, but with Arike Ogunbowale missing the team’s last game with an ankle injury, Burton started in her place and made a splash in her first start with 8 points, 9 assists, 3 steals and a block. . If Ogunbowale misses today’s game, it is likely that Burton will start again in her place. I would expect her to get a bit more playing time as well, even with Ogunbowale back in the lineup.

Best bet: Below 171

I’m picking below because in recent weeks, head coach Becky Hammon has said that defense is their main focus right now. And over the past eight games, they’ve shown they can play lock-down defense, giving up just 77.0 PPG to their opponents, which is second-fewest in the league during that stretch. They have also hit the sub in seven straight games. What helps is that the Wings are playing at the second slowest pace in the league and will most likely try to slow down the pace to stay with the Aces, so that bodes well for this game hitting under.

Best bet: Aces 1H (-250)

It’s all about the programming place and the talent disparity. The Wings upset the Sky in their last game, even without their best player Arike Ogunbowale, so I’m expecting a flat start from a team that is still looking for a win. Additionally, Ogunbowale is expected to sit out again with an ankle injury and Dallas will also be without Satou Sabally. Meanwhile, the Aces are arguably the best team in the league and just lost to the Mystics. The playoffs are coming up and Las Vegas is playing for the top seed, so I expect a focused and determined performance from the start. The Aces should dominate this game and complete the season sweep. — Doug Kezirian

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