Connecticut Sun vs. Phoenix Mercury Prediction and Odds - 9/11/21

The two hottest teams in the league take to the floor in an interconference matchup in WNBA play down in the Valley of the Sun. It’s the Connecticut Sun making the trip west as they travel to face the Phoenix Mercury Saturday night. Connecticut comes in off a 75-57 road win over Los Angeles in their most recent game in the City of Angels Thursday night. Phoenix rallied for a 76-75 road win over Atlanta in their latest contest Wednesday night. The Sun have won seven of the last 10 meetings between the teams. That includes an 86-78 home victory back on May 16 and an 84-67 road triumph in the most recent meeting on May 21.

Connecticut Sun Seeking to Keep Rolling

Connecticut ran their win streak to 11 in the regular season as they took down Los Angeles on the road Thursday night. The Sun ran their league-leading record to 23-6 and entered Friday with a two-game lead over the Aces for the top spot in the WNBA playoff picture. In Thursday’s game, Connecticut put the game away in the opening six minutes of the contest to bury the Sparks. The Sun jumped to a 17-0 lead out of the gate and never let the Sparks closer than 11 the rest of the way. Connecticut shot 44.2% from the field, including three of 13 from three-point range, and hit 26 of 29 free throw attempts in the game while controlling the glass 32-19. Jonquel Jones led the Sun with 21 points and 14 rebounds in the victory.

The Sun are 9th in the league in scoring offense as they put up an average of 79.1 points per game so far this season. Connecticut is fourth in the league in rebounding (36.3 boards a night) while they stand 8th by dishing out 18 assists a game on the year. The Sun have been good defensively as they are first in scoring defense by allowing an average of 70.3 points per game. DeWanna Bonner is second on the Sun with 15.5 points, 6.8 rebounds and 3.6 assists a game. Jonquel Jones (team-high 19.9 points, 11 rebounds), Natisha Hiedeman and Brionna Jones (14.9 points, 7.2 rebounds) each are valuable contributors. Jasmine Thomas (10.5 points, 2.7 rebounds, 4.3 assists), Briann January, Beatrice Mompreier, Stephanie Jones, DiJonai Carrington and Kaila Charles are important pieces for coach Curt Miller. Connecticut is fifth in the league in field goal percentage as they shoot 44.7% as a team. The Sun are eighth in three-pointers per game (6.8) and sixth in three-point percentage (35%) on the year. Connecticut has been mediocre at the charity stripe as they convert on 80.8% of their attempts, which is 8th in the league. Alyssa Thomas is still out as she recovers from offseason surgery for a torn Achilles.

Phoenix Mercury Try for 11th Straight Win

Phoenix slipped past Atlanta on the road Wednesday night to run their win streak to 10 games. The Mercury improved to 19-10 on the season and entered Friday fourth in the WNBA playoff picture, two games behind the Aces for the second spot. They have clinched a playoff spot and were half a game behind third-place Seattle. Against Atlanta, Phoenix trailed 6-0 out of the gate and was down 11 after the opening quarter. The Mercury trailed by 14 at the half and by as many as 16 in the third quarter before cutting the deficit to six after three quarters. Phoenix trailed by eight with 2:49 to play but closed the game on a 12-3 run, capped by three free throws by Shey Peddy with 3.8 seconds to play, to get the victory. The Mercury shot 43.3% from the field, including eight of 18 from three-point range, and hit 16 of 18 free throw attempts in the game. Peddy led Phoenix with 18 points in the victory.

The Mercury are 4th in the league in scoring offense as they put up an average of 82.4 points per game. Phoenix is second in rebounding (36.8 rebounds) per contest and stand fifth in the league by handing out 19.6 assists a night. The Mercury are third in the league in scoring defense as they give up an average of 78.9 points per game. Skylar Diggins-Smith is second on the Mercury in scoring with 18.3 points plus 5.2 assists a night. Brittney Griner (20.7 points, 9.4 rebounds, two blocks), Diana Taurasi (15.2 points, 4.9 assists) and Brianna Turner (7.9 points, 9.6 rebounds) are solid scoring options. Kia Nurse (9.4 points), Kia Vaughn, Megan Walker, Sophie Cunningham, Shey Peddy and Alanna Smith are other role players for coach Sandy Brondello. Phoenix is fourth in the league in field goal percentage as they shoot 44.8% as a team from the floor. The Mercury is 5th in three-pointers per game (7.4 per game) and 8th in three-point shooting (34.3%) this season. Phoenix is 9th in the WNBA in free throw shooting as they cash in 79.5% of their chances on the year. Taurasi (ankle) will miss her second straight game here while Smith (quarantine) missed the last two games and is questionable for this contest.

Pick: Connecticut Sun

In a matchup of the two hottest teams of the league, you have to really pick apart the small things to determine how things may transpire. Connecticut has won 11 straight and perhaps most importantly, they’re at full strength. Alyssa Thomas remains out but she has yet to take the court all season, so the Sun aren’t missing anything. On the flip side, Phoenix has won 10 in a row but they are missing Taurasi here, taking away a veteran leader and floor general. She puts up more than 15 points a night and that’s tough to replace. Connecticut handled Phoenix twice in the early part of the season and they get the nod here as they are the league’s top team for a reason.

Total: Under

Connecticut has seen the under hit in 19 of their 29 games on the year and they just throttled the Sparks and Wings on the road in their last two games. The Sun are the league’s stingiest team when it comes to scoring defense while they are first in field goal percentage defense (40.7%) and third in three-point field goal percentage defense (31.9%) on the year. Phoenix is third in scoring defense while they are second in field goal percentage defense (41.3%) and second in three-point field goal percentage defense (31.1%) on the year. The under has hit in five of the last seven meetings between the teams. With Taurasi missing, the Mercury rely more on their defensive play and that keeps this one short of the mark.

Author Profile
Chris King

Chris King has been immersed in the world of professional and collegiate sports for more than three decades. Whether it's playing pickup games or being involved in organized sports to being a fan, he's checked all the boxes. From the NFL to arena football, the NHL to the KHL, the NBA to the WNBA to college hoops, and even MLB to the KBO. If it's out there, he's covered it and bet on it as well, as Chris has been an expert bettor in his career. Before joining Winners and Whiners back in 2015, his work appeared around the internet and in print. He's written books for Ruckus Books about college basketball, the NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, golf, and the World Cup. If you're looking for the inside track on hitting a winner, do yourself a favor and read what Chris has to say.