WOW was the first night of the WNBA playoffs on Tuesday a wild ride! The first game was close until halfway through the fourth, when Connecticut ran away from Chicago in what turned out to be a high scoring game (I had the under, unfortunately). But it was the night cap that had everyone buzzing. The surging Washington Mystics (+4) took it to the Phoenix Mercury for most of the game, holding a double digit lead until Diana Taurasi and Skyler Diggins-Smith ran off a 17-0 run in the 4th to put the Mercury in the lead. The Mystics just would not go away, and took the lead in the final minute, setting the stage for yet another win in their miracle run.
And then this happened.
Down two with 4.2 seconds left, Diggins-Smith found Shey Peddy open on the wing,(who was released in the Wubble by the Mystics as it happens) who had the presence of mind to fake the defender and calmly hit the game winning three to put Phoenix into the 2nd round of the playoffs on a killer buzzer beater. Heartbreak city for the Mystics, who honestly deserved better. But that’s basketball.
Two more single elimination games before we get to the semi-finals.
The first game pits the cardiac Phoenix Mercury against the stoic Minnesota Lynx. Minnesota opened as a -2.5 (o164.5) favorite and the line didn’t change (o165). This is an interesting match up. Minnesota is 16-4-1 ATS historically against the Mercury (19-2 straight up), while Phoenix has been hot -- 6-3 ATS (8-2 SU). Minnesota is a weird team; they generally beat everyone except the teams ahead of them in the standings. Minnesota HAS excelled at scoring; 6 of their last 7 have gone over. So while Minnesota has dominated the Mercury I have a sneaking feeling about this game, so the Over looks like the better call. Nia Coffey for the Mercury is questionable while Lexie Brown for the Lynx suffered a concussion and may not play.
THE PICK: O164.5
The second game has the Connecticut Sun (11-12) taking on the Los Angeles Spark (15-7). Los Angeles opened as -4.5 (o165.5) and the line didn’t move. The Sun used a strong 4th to take out the trash ass Chicago Sky, but the Spark are no joke. Both teams have been .500 bets against the spread and on the O/U this year, so not much help there. Despite the Spark’s better record, lots of people are looking at Connecticut in this game. Both games this year between the two were CLOSE -- the Spark pulled out both victories, but didn’t cover in either game. The under hit in both games, too. Two of Los Angeles’ guards, Tierra Ruffin-Pratt and Sydney Wiese, are banged up but should play. Connecticut has scored 85 or more in 4 of their last 5. L.A. has shot just 38% and 41% from the floor in their last two games, both losses in which they scored 70 and 72 respectively. This is a TOUGH game to call.
THE PICK: Sun +4.5
We’ll be back this weekend to preview the Best of 3 series coming up! Keep on letting these women make you money, because in the end, that green knows no gender. It only knows winners.