WNBA

Minnesota Lynx vs. Phoenix Mercury Analysis and Predictions

The Minnesota Lynx trail the Phoenix Mercury by a game for the seventh playoff spot and are a half-game out of the eighth spot with the regular season ending on Sunday.

The Lynx (13-20) have a golden opportunity with recent news of the Mercury (14-19) losing Diana Taurasi for the rest of the season with a quad injury.

WNBA odds today show Minnesota is favored by 4.5 points with an over/under of 163.5. The moneyline has the Lynx at -200 while the Mercury are +165. Let’s go over this Lynx vs. Mercury Betting Analysis to try and find out the best pick for this match.

WNBA Scoreboard Record

The Lynx converted 46% of their 3-point attempts in Sunday’s 81-71 home victory over the Atlanta Dream, another playoff hopeful.

Kayla McBride led all scorers with 20 points, and Moriah Jefferson added 18 points on 4 for five shooting from 3-point range.

Without Taurasi, the Mercury topped the New York Liberty – who are on the outside of the playoff picture as of now – 76-62.

Diamond DeShields stepped up and scored 25 points, albeit on 10 for 26 shooting. Shey Peddy had 20 points, and Sophie Cunningham added 18, while star guard Skylar Diggins-Smith also sat.

Lynx vs. Mercury Betting Analysis

The Lynx have performed considerably better against the spread than the Mercury, boasting 18-15 and 14-18-1 against the spread records, respectively. The over has hit a few times more with a 17-13-3 record for the Lynx while the Mercury are at 16-17.

Lynx Analysis

The best unit in the game is the Lynx’s offense. They rank fourth in averaging 82.7 points per game and with a 45.2% field goal percentage.

Lynx’s Offense

They are also the league’s best rebounding team at 37.3 per contest. They allow the second-fewest rebounds per game, 32.3 per contest. 

Having the legendary Sylvia Fowles is an advantage in and of itself, as there really isn’t a player of her caliber in the frontcourt that the Mercury can match against her.

Lynx’s Defense

Defensively, though, the Mercury are eighth, allowing 83.6 points per contest. Opponents convert 43.4% of field goal attempts, the fifth best mark defensively, though are 34.4% 3-point shooters (eighth).

Four Lynx average double figures, including the frontcourt duo of Fowles (14.6 ppg, 9.7 rebounds per game) and Aerial Powers (14.1 ppg). Following are the veteran guard McBride (13.5 ppg) and Jefferson (11.3 ppg). 

Mercury Analysis

It’s remarkable that the Mercury are in the playoff hunt at all because their season averages are underwhelming.

Mercury’s Offense

Offensively they are seventh, scoring 81.5 points per game, but have the third worst shooting percentage (42.6%) and second worst 3-point percentage (32.3%).

They are also the second worst rebounding team with 31.4 per contest and allow the most rebounds to opponents (37.7 per game).

Mercury’s Defense

It doesn’t get much better defensively, ranking 10th while allowing 84.4 points per contest and having the second worst 3-point shooting allowed to opponents (36.3%). The field goal percentage is ninth (43.9%).

Losing Taurasi means having to replace their second-leading scorer and assist generator (16.7 ppg, 3.9 apg).

Diggins-Smith leads the team in scoring at 19.7 points per game, with DeShields (13.0 ppg) and Cunningham (12.5 ppg) behind her.

Brittney Garnier’s Status

They’ve been without Olympic gold medalist Brittney Griner all year after she was detained in Russia in February. She was recently sentenced to nine years in prison.

Many discussions have been held about a prisoner swap. All of this has taken a toll on the Mercury, who have been asked about their friend and teammate throughout the season, leading to an emotional press conference last week.

WNBA Injury Report

Aside from Taurasi, the Mercury also have Diggins-Smith listed as out indefinitely due to illness.

Losing their top two players this season for the playoff push is far from ideal timing but leaves the door up to a dramatic finish in the league. Powers is questionable Wednesday for the Lynx with a knee injury.

Lynx vs. Mercury Betting Preview

The Lynx are 19-7 against the spread in Phoenix over the last 26 meetings. They are 36-15-2 against the spread in the last 53 meetings, regardless of location.

The under is 11-3-1 in the last 15 meetings in Phoenix, while the under is 10-4 in the last 14 meetings regardless of location.

It is hard to glean much from the large sample sizes, except these two teams have been fairly consistent with their stars over the years. Looking at this year, though, the Lynx are 3-0 against the spread, including as road underdogs.

The margin of victory for Minnesota has been 11 or better in each game. The over 164 and over 167 hit on July 12 and June 23, respectively, while under 168.5 hit on June 21.

Lynx vs. Mercury Betting Prediction

WNBA picks data show the public favors the Mercury, with 57% of public bets on them against the spread. That data show there are 57% of bets on the over as well.

With two stars out, the blowout potential is certainly there, and the Lynx have had Phoenix’s number already this season.

Another double-digit win should be in store, with Fowles and McBride taking advantage of their respective mismatches.

Who to Bet On?

A bet on the Lynx -4.5 means they would need to win by five to cover, while a bet on Mercury +4.5 means that Phoenix would need to lose by four points or less or win outright to cover.

A bet on over 163.5 means the two teams must combine for 164 points or more to cover, while a bet on the under requires them to combine for 163 points or less. Right now, the odds for all these bets are -110.

WNBA Pick: Mercury +3.5 (-110)

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