The 2018 WNBA season has kicked into full gear and no early season contest is going to draw more attention than when the Los Angeles Sparks travel to take on the Minnesota Lynx. These were the two teams that played for the WNBA championship last season, an epic series won in five by the Lynx.
This game will be televised on ESPN, which should tell you about how much importance that contest should have, as both teams will want to stake their claim as the team to beat.
Los Angeles Sparks
The Sparks finished 26-8 last season, the second-best record in the league. The team has one of the best frontcourts in the league with three former MVP winners, including 2016 winner Nneka Ogwumike. This group has played incredibly well together and they are smart, talented, and gutsy. If the group wasn’t dangerous enough as it is, Los Angeles may have had the steal of the draft when they selected C Maria Vadeeva.
Their backcourt will be the question mark for this team this season, with Chelsea Gray and Odyssey Sims reunited for another season, which should better the team chemistry for the two. If they can improve their outside shooting, they will make their forwards even more dangerous and this team may be unstoppable. To make this backcourt even more dangerous, they signed Cappie Pondexter, who should add some experience that will not only make them better but also should be a mentor to the two as well.
The 2o17 WNBA champs finished 27-7 last season, the best record in the league, and they defeated Los Angeles in the Finals. The Lynx have the 2017 MVP returning in Sylvia Fowles and have the best player in the league in Maya Moore. This is a team that has all the right pieces to make another title run.
Included in that mix is head coach Cheryl Reese, who signed a five-year contract extension. She has now won five WNBA titles and is the cream of the crop.
The one area where there may have to be concerned is that this team is getting old. They have the oldest squad in the league, and this is why they need to start adding talent from the draft if they are going to stay competitive. They added Alexis Jones (No. 12 pick overall) and Lisa Berkani (N0. 24), but Reese may have to start looking at the free agent market if this team is going to stay competitive two years from now.
Odds (Provided by BetDSI Sportsbook):
Los Angeles (+155) vs. Minnesota Lynx (-5)
Over/Under – 155.5
Los Angeles Sparks
- Sparks are 9-3 in their last 12 against the spread when facing teams from the Western Conference.
- Sparks are 23-9 in their last 32 games against the spread.
- Sparks are 5-2 against the spread in their last 7 games on the road.
- Lynx have gone under in 25 of their last 33 games.
- Lynx have gone under in 15 of their last 20 games against teams from the Western Conference.
In the last nine meetings between these two teams, the total has gone under in seven of those contests and has gone under in six of the last eight in Minnesota. The Sparks are 5-2 against the spread in the last 7 meetings.
This should be a great battle, one that the Minnesota Lynx should win. Go with Minnesota in a low scoring affair, 71-68.
The Pick: Minnesota Lynx (-5.5)
Bonus Pick: Under 155.5
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