Minnesota Lynx vs. Las Vegas Aces Prediction, Preview and Odds - 9/8/21

A pair of teams near the top of the Western Conference standings meet on the floor in the Silver State. The Minnesota Lynx are on the road as they make the trip to face the Las Vegas Aces Wednesday night. Minnesota comes in off a 93-75 home victory over Washington Saturday night in their most recent contest. Las Vegas split a home-and-home set with Chicago as they were beaten 92-84 by the Sky in the Windy City Sunday afternoon. The teams have split the last 10 meetings with the Lynx taking both matchups this season. It was Minnesota earning a 90-89 overtime win at home in the first meeting June 25 and followed that up with a 77-67 road win in the most recent matchup on July 9.

Minnesota Lynx Seek Third Win of Season vs. Aces

Minnesota won their fifth straight game and their 13th in the last 15 games as they withstood a furious rally by Washington to come up with the home victory their last time out. The Lynx entered Tuesday third in the WNBA playoff picture with an 18-9 record, three games behind the league-leading Sun. They have clinched a playoff berth. Against Washington, Minnesota started strong, using a 31-6 run spanning the first and second quarters to take a 23-point lead with 2:33 to play in the first half. The Lynx were up 15 at halftime only to see Washington climb within two with 42.2 seconds to play in the third quarter. Minnesota responded by ripping off a 17-0 run to go up 81-62 with 6:23 to play and cruised the rest of the way. The Lynx shot 52.9% from the field, including 11 of 25 from three-point range, while holding the Mystics to 38.7% shooting in the game. Napheesa Collier led Minnesota with 21 points and nine rebounds in the victory.

On the season, the Lynx are 6th in the league in scoring offense with an average of 81.9 points per game. Minnesota is 7th in rebounding as they collect 34.9 boards a night while the team is fourth in assists by dishing 20.3 dimes a night. The Lynx are third in the league in scoring defense as they give up an average of 78.3 points per contest this season. Sylvia Fowles is currently leading the team with 16.4 points plus 10.1 rebounds per contest. Kayla McBride (14.2 points), Crystal Dangerfield (7.3 points, three assists) and Aerial Powers (10.6 points, 3.6 rebounds, 2.3 assists) are solid secondary scoring options. Damiris Dantas, Napheesa Collier (16.3 points, 6.6 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 45.5% from the field as a team this year. The Lynx are 9th in the league in three-pointers per game (6.9) and tied for 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 83.7% of their attempts at the charity stripe. Clarendon (leg) is questionable at best here with a stress reaction in her right tibia. Rennia Davis (foot) is out indefinitely at this point in time. On Friday, it was announced that Dantas was done for the season.

Las Vegas Aces Trying to Maintain Western Conference Lead

Las Vegas had won three straight and six of their previous seven before losing on the road to Chicago in the second game of a home-and-home set Sunday. The Aces entered Tuesday 20-8 on the season and stood second in the WNBA playoff picture, 1.5 games behind the league-leading Sun. They have secured their spot in the postseason. On Sunday, Las Vegas trailed by eight after the opening quarter, by 12 in the second quarter and by eight at the half. Las Vegas rallied to tie the game on a couple occasions in the third quarter only to trail by three after three quarters. The Aces couldn’t get even again: they were within three with 2:18 to play but went scoreless down the stretch to wind up with the loss. Las Vegas shot 41.1% from the field, including five of 13 from three-point range, but allowed Chicago to shoot 50.7% from the floor in the game. Kelsey Plum led the Aces with 23 points off the bench in the loss.

The Aces come into this contest at the top of the pack in scoring offense, ranking first with 88.6 points per game. Las Vegas is 1st in the league in rebounding (38.9 boards a game) and stand third in the league in assists by handing out 20.7 dimes per contest. The Aces have been average on the defensive end of the floor as they are 6th in the league in scoring defense by allowing 80.6 points a game. A’ja Wilson leads the Aces with 18.6 points, 9.4 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game. Liz Cambage (14.7 points, 8.4 rebounds, 1.7 blocks), Jackie Young (11.7 points, 3.8 rebounds) and Kelsey Plum (13.6 points) are all solid secondary options on the offensive end. Coach Bill Laimbeer also can call on Chelsea Gray (11.3 points, 5.9 assists), Dearica Hamby (11.7 points, 6.9 boards), Riquna Williams (9.6 points), Ji-Su Park, Kiah Stokes and Destiny Slocum to contribute on both ends of the floor. Las Vegas is first in the league in field goal percentage as they shoot 46.5% from the field as a team this season. The Aces are 11th in the league in threes per game (4.9) and second in three-point shooting at 37% on the year. Las Vegas is currently fifth in free throw shooting at 81.6% on the season. Cambage (COVID-19) is questionable here after testing positive despite being fully vaccinated. Hamby (ankle) and Angel McCoughtry (knee) are both questionable here. Each missed the last two games.

Pick: Las Vegas Aces

Minnesota has been sizzling with 13 wins in their last 15 games. Their two losses in that stretch were a pair of road defeats at league-leading Connecticut, which is nothing to sneeze at. With that in mind, losing Dantas was a blow to the Lynx and with Clarendon battling an injury issue of her own at this point, it’s going to take a toll on them. The Aces were beaten on the road by Chicago Sunday but the chance of Cambage and Hamby returning is on the table here. Las Vegas is 11-3 at home and they have outscored the opposition by an average of 11.5 points per game in that stretch. Minnesota is above .500 on the road though they are just 7-6. The Lynx got the Aces twice but this time, Las Vegas turns the tables and prevails at home.

Total: Over

We’re looking at a matchup with a pair of teams that are capable of putting up big point totals. In the last 15 games, Minnesota has hung at least 85 points eight times. That’s a major reason why the Lynx have won 13 of their last 15. The over is now 14-13 in their games this season. Las Vegas put up back-to-back overs entering this contest, pushing the over to 17-11 in their games on the year. Four of the last five meetings between the teams have gone over the mark. Seeing how the Aces average 92.9 points per game at home this season, you have to lean toward this one being a high-octane game that 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.