Seattle Storm vs. Los Angeles Sparks Prediction, Preview and Odds - 9/12/21

A pair of Western Conference teams at opposite ends of the standings do battle on the floor in the City of Angels in WNBA action. The Seattle Storm are on the road as they travel to face the Los Angeles Sparks Sunday night. Seattle comes in off a 105-71 thrashing of Washington at home in their most recent contest Tuesday night. Los Angeles was dropped 75-57 at home by Connecticut in their most recent game Thursday night. The Sparks have won four straight meetings between the teams, including two triumphs this season. That includes an 84-74 road win on July 4 and a 71-62 home win in the most recent matchup on July 7.

Seattle Storm Trying to Solidify Playoff Position

Seattle won their second straight as they buried Washington at home in their most recent contest, though it did come with a price tag. The Storm entered Saturday 20-10 on the season and third in the WNBA playoff picture, 3.5 games behind the league-leading Sun. On Tuesday, Seattle gave up the opening bucket before reeling off 14 unanswered points to take an 11-point lead. The Storm never let the Mystics closer than eight the rest of the way while leading by 10 after one quarter, 15 at the half and by as many as 37 in the game en route to the win. Seattle shot a blistering 59.1% from the field, including 14 of 23 from three-point range, and won the rebounding battle 35-24. Jewell Loyd led the Storm with 20 points, six rebounds and six assists in the win.

The Storm comes into this contest second in the league in scoring offense with an average of 85.6 points per game. Seattle is fifth in rebounding (36.1 boards per contest) and is second in the league in assists by dishing out 21.5 dimes per night this year. The Storm are 5th in scoring defense as they allow 80.2 points a game so far this year. Breanna Stewart leads the team with 20.3 points and 9.5 rebounds per contest. Jewell Loyd (17.7 points, 4.2 rebounds, 3.8 assists) and Sue Bird (10.5 points, 5.5 assists) are solid secondary options. Coach Noelle Quinn has a solid group to work with as her team can get production from Katie Lou Samuelson, Jordin Canada, Ezi Magbegor, Stephanie Talbot, Kennedy Burke, Epiphanny Prince and Kiana Williams. The Storm are third in the league in field goal percentage as they convert 45.1% of their shots from the floor this year. Seattle is third in the league in three-point field goals made per game (8.6) and first in three-point percentage as they knock down 38.2% percent from beyond the arc. The Storm are above average at the line, ranking second in the league by converting 83.7% of their chances. Mikiah Herbert Harrington is out for the year as she is pregnant. Canada (knee) missed the last two games and is questionable here. Stewart suffered a foot injury September 7 against the Mystics and will miss the rest of the regular season prior to being reevaluated for the playoffs.

Los Angeles Sparks Hoping to Stay in Playoff Picture

Los Angeles started out of the post-Olympic break hot but they have been frigid of late, losing their last six games entering this contest. The Sparks entered Saturday 10th in the WNBA standings, one game behind the Liberty for the final playoff spot with three games to go. Against the Sun, Los Angeles was finished early as they gave up the game’s first 17 points and never got closer than 11 the rest of the way. The Sparks shot 41.8% from the field in the contest, including five of 19 from three-point range, and lost the rebounding battle 32-19 while turning the ball over 17 times. Nneka Ogwumike (seven rebounds) and Nia Coffey each had 12 points to lead the Sparks in the loss.

On the season, Los Angeles is 12th in the league in scoring offense as they average 72 points per game. The Sparks are last in rebounding (29 boards per game) and 12th in assists (15.4) this season. Los Angeles is 2nd in scoring defense as they give up an average of 77.9 points a night. Nneka Ogwumike leads the team with 14.1 points plus six rebounds a game this season. Chiney Ogwumike (seven points, 4.1 boards) and Kristi Tolliver (9.4 points) are solid secondary scoring options. Derek Fisher hopes to get more from role players like Brittney Sykes, Nia Coffey (8.4 points), Erica Wheeler (13.4 points, 4.7 assists), Te’a Cooper (eight points), Amanda Zahui B. (9.6 points, 5.1 boards) and Arella Guirantes. Los Angeles is 12th in field goal percentage on the season as they shoot 40.4% from the field as a team on the year. The Sparks are 9th in three-pointers per game (6.6) and 10th in three-point shooting as they convert 32.6% from beyond the arc this season. Los Angeles is 11th in success at the charity stripe as they cash in 76.1% of their attempts on the year. Jasmine Walker was lost for the season with a torn ACL that she suffered against Las Vegas May 21. Chiney Ogwumike is questionable again as she has missed 22 games with a knee injury this season. Toliver (hand) has been ruled out for this contest: she is expected to be out until late September.

Pick: Seattle Storm

Seattle has been up and down since the Olympic break and now has to contend with playing their final two regular season games without the reigning MVP. With that said, the Storm are an extremely deep team and they still have Bird along with Loyd to lead the way. Los Angeles has struggled when it comes to putting points on the board all season long and without Toliver, they are lacking a floor general. The Sparks have been brutal offensively this season and they have their injury woes as well. Los Angeles is in danger of missing the postseason but they get no help here as Seattle takes care of business and puts another one in the win column as they take another step toward a first-round bye.

Total: Under

Seattle has seen the under hit in 16 of their 30 games on the year. The Storm have turned in four unders in their last six games entering this contest. Facing a Los Angeles team that is excellent defensively and abysmal on the offensive end of the floor could keep the total in check. Factor in that Stewart is out of the mix here and that is another check mark in the under column here. Los Angeles put up a measly 57 points against Connecticut in their last contest and haven’t mustered more than 72 points in any of the games in their six-game skid. The Sparks have stayed under the total in 20 of their 29 contests and have recorded four straight unders coming into this game. Look for this one to be another low-scoring affair that ends up short of the mark.

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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.