Indiana Fever vs. Minnesota Lynx Preview, Prediction and Odds - 9/12/21

It’s an interconference clash on the hardwood between a pair of teams at opposite ends of the standings in WNBA play in the Land of 10,000 Lakes. The Indiana Fever are on the road as they travel to face the Minnesota Lynx in the second game of a three-game set Sunday night. In the first game of the three-game series, it was Minnesota taking an 89-72 home victory to ensure a shot at a series win regardless of the outcome here. The Lynx have won four straight meetings and nine of the last 11 matchups between the teams. Will Minnesota earn a second straight win in the series and maintain their edge for home-court advantage in the playoffs or will the Fever spring an upset?

Indiana Fever Looking for Road Victory

Indiana lost their third straight game and suffered their sixth loss in the last eight games as they were dropped Friday night. The Fever entered Saturday 12th in the WNBA standings and are eliminated from playoff contention as they are 4.5 games behind the Liberty with four to play. Against Minnesota Friday night, Indiana led by one after the opening quarter and by five in the second quarter only to trail by five at the half. Indiana drew within one in the early stages of the third quarter before giving up an 18-2 run to trail 64-47 with 1:21 to play in the third quarter and never recovered after that. The Fever shot 42% from the field, including six of 24 from three-point range, and turned the ball over 17 times in the contest. Tiffany Mitchell led Indiana with 16 points in the loss.

The Fever comes into this game 11th in the league in scoring offense with 74.7 points per game. Indiana is eighth in the league in rebounding (34.9 boards per contest) and is 11th in the league in assists with an average of 16.4 dimes per game. The Fever are 10th in the league in scoring defense by allowing 84.2 points a night. Kelsey Mitchell is one of three players for the Fever averaging in double figures with 16.7 points a night. Teaira McCowan (11 points, 9.5 rebounds, 1.4 blocks) and Danielle Robinson (9.9 points, 3.7 assists) are good secondary options. Tiffany Mitchell (12.1 points), Jantel Lavender, Bernadett Hatar, Victoria Vivians, Jessica Breland, Lindsey Allen, Kysre Gondrezick and Chelsey Perry are looked at to contribute for coach Marianne Stanley. Indiana is 10th in the league in field goal percentage as they shoot 41.3% as a team on the year. The Fever are 12th in threes per game (4.7) while standing 12th by hitting 27.7% of their long-range attempts. Indiana is 10th in free throw shooting as they sink 78.9% of their chances at the stripe this season. Hatar is out indefinitely with an ankle injury while Gondrezick is taking a personal leave and has no timetable for return. Perry (knee) also has been ruled out for the year. Robinson (knee) is out indefinitely after missing the last four games. Breland (thumb) is questionable here.

Minnesota Lynx Trying to Maintain Recent Run of Success

Minnesota bounced back from a blowout loss to Las Vegas as they won for the 14th time in the last 17 games by pulling away for the victory in the opener of this three-game set. The Lynx entered Saturday tied for fourth in the WNBA playoff picture with a 19-10 record, four games behind the league-leading Sun. They have clinched a playoff berth. Against Indiana, Minnesota was down one after the opening quarter, by five in the second quarter by regrouped to lead by five at the half. With the Lynx holding a one-point edge in the third quarter, they reeled off a game-breaking 18-2 run over six-plus minutes to take control of the game for good. Minnesota shot 48.6% from the field, including seven of 19 from three-point range, and went 10 of 13 at the free throw line. Aerial Powers led the Lynx with 20 points in the win.

On the season, the Lynx are 5th in the league in scoring offense with an average of 82.1 points per game. Minnesota is 7th in rebounding as they collect 35 boards a night while the team is fourth in assists by dishing 20.6 dimes a night. The Lynx are third in the league in scoring defense as they give up an average of 78.9 points per contest this season. Sylvia Fowles is currently leading the team with 16 points plus 10 rebounds per contest. Kayla McBride (14.1 points), Crystal Dangerfield (7.3 points, three assists) and Aerial Powers (12.3 points, 3.4 rebounds, 2.1 assists) are solid secondary scoring options. Damiris Dantas, Napheesa Collier (16 points, 6.5 rebounds, three assists), Jessica Shepard, Layshia Clarendon (10.5 points, 5.7 assists), Bridget Carleton, Rachael Banham, Natalie Achonwa and Linnae Harper are looked at to be contributors for coach Cheryl Reeve. Minnesota stands second in the league in field goal percentage as they shoot 45.6% from the field as a team this year. The Lynx are 7th in the league in three-pointers per game (6.9) and 7th in three-point shooting as they hit 34.5% of their attempts from beyond the arc. Minnesota is 3rd in the league in free throw shooting as they hit 83.4% of their attempts at the charity stripe. Clarendon (leg) is doubtful here with a stress reaction in her right tibia. Rennia Davis (foot) is out indefinitely at this point in time. On September 3, it was announced that Dantas was done for the season.

Pick: Minnesota Lynx

The Fever has been knocked out of playoff contention and the fact remains that the team is shorthanded at best right now. Indiana has dropped three straight and six of their last eight games coming into this contest. The Fever hung in for more than a half Friday night but were unable to finish things off. While Minnesota is missing Dantas and probably Clarendon for this one, the Lynx have plenty of weapons to do damage with on the offensive end of the floor. We saw the Lynx pile up 89 points Friday night despite Collier scoring only eight points. Expect a better showing by her and the Lynx get the win here to put themselves in position for a sweep of the three-game set.

Total: Over

Indiana is the league’s second-worst scoring offense, ahead of only the Sparks, and the under has hit in 16 of their 28 games this season. The Fever faces a Lynx team that has seen the over hit in 16 of their 29 games on the year in this contest. Indiana has gone over the mark in each of their last two games while Minnesota has gone over the number in each of their last three meetings. The first meeting this season, both matchups last season and five of the last six contests between the teams have ended up going over the mark. Seeing how things have gone with Minnesota’s improving offensive attack, this one winds up over the total.

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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.