​WNBA Betting Guide: Friday 9/10/21

Betting on the WNBA can be daunting to a newcomer. Even if you’re a longtime hoops fan, the W might look different to you than other pro leagues, and information like lineups and injuries is harder to track.

That’s why we’re here, though: numberFire will help you find the news and data that is the most relevant so you can get a handle on the day’s games. Our oddsFire section of the site is particularly handy, as it allows you to track line movement and see where the action is coming from on particular games.

Where does my projection model and how do the betting trends identify value for Friday, September 10th on NBA Finals odds?

Atlanta Dream (+180) at Washington Mystics (-225)

Spread: Mystics -5.5
Total: 156.5

After being a “stay-away” team for me earlier this year, the Atlanta Dream have kicked back into gear down the stretch and are playing pretty solidly.

Their last five games have seen the Dream win just once, but their losses have been relatively close. They lost by one to a (Diana Taurasi and Brittney Griner-less) Phoenix Mercury despite leading most of the game, by just four to the Dallas Wings, by only seven to the Western Conference-leading Las Vegas Aces, and by seven to the Chicago Sky in the middle of their hot streak. Atlanta might get forward Teanna Hawkins (questionable, foot) back for tonight, but even if she’s out, the B-squad has shown that it won’t just lie down and let the end of the season roll over it.

The Washington Mystics have more on the line in this one but are in a precarious position. Star forward Elena Delle Donne (doubtful, back) and Myisha Hines-Allen (questionable, illness) remain on the injury list, and the Mystics defense has been an abject nightmare lately. Over their last 10 games, Washington has given up 84 points or more six times, while topping out at scoring just 83 themselves in that same span of time. Over the last five, their 112.8 Defensive Rating is the worst in the WNBA.

This spread started in the 4.5-point range and is now already rising a full point above that. I would’ve taken the Dream at +4.5, and I’ll keep taking them as they get more and more points. Their prospects can only go up if Hawkins is given good news, and with Washington’s EDD on the wrong side of questionable. I’m also very interested in the under if the total rises a bit due to the slow pace that both of these teams deploy. Right now it’s close (I project this game at about 155 points), but I’d feel great if we could get the under at 157.5 or so.

Indiana Fever (+490) at Minnesota Lynx (-750)

Spread: Lynx -11.5
Total: 157.5

The Indiana Fever are another team that had seemed listless for the early portion of the season and now seem to have remembered that they enjoy playing basketball. While not posting remarkably strong performances or consistent production, the Fever have gone from abjectly terrible to middle-of-the-road, at 4-3 against the spread (ATS) since the All-Star Break. As a double-digit underdog since the start of July, the Fever have gone 4-1 ATS and are 2-1 ATS on the road since the break but are rolling out the second-worst Defensive Rating in the W over their last five games (109.8).

The Minnesota Lynx are on the flip side of the coin: they have been on a tear recently, going 6-3 since the break and scoring 88 or more three times. They’ve been hit-or-miss, however, also scoring 71 or fewer three times in that span. The Lynx have assembled the second-best defense over their last five games (92.0 Defensive Rating) but have just a league-average offense (97.0 Offensive Rating). The outlier quality for them is a faster-than-usual pace (80.4 possessions per 40 minutes), which is helping to fuel some of these blow-up games.

The line has continued to rise from a 10-point spread to 11.5, and we’ll soon be reaching a tipping point where I wouldn’t lay the points with the Lynx. At the moment, they are the lean, having gone 4-0 ATS when favored by 7.5 points or more, but Minnesota has been favored by double digits just once in 2021. If the spread continues to rise, the Fever should cover 12 to 13 points. Otherwise, I’d largely avoid this game.