Washington Mystics vs. Chicago Sky Prediction, Preview and Odds - 9/12/21

A pair of Eastern Conference teams take the floor in WNBA action in the Windy City. The Washington Mystics are on the road as they make the trip to face the Chicago Sky Sunday afternoon. Washington knocked off Atlanta 82-74 at home in their most recent contest Friday night. Chicago split a home-and-home series with Las Vegas as they earned a 92-84 home victory in their most recent game last Sunday. The Mystics have won seven of the last 10 meetings entering this contest though the teams split two matchups this season with the road team winning both times. Chicago prevailed 70-56 on the road in the first meeting May 15 while Washington picked up an 89-85 overtime win on the road July 10 in the most recent matchup.

Washington Mystics Trying to Climb Into Playoff Picture

Washington snapped a three-game skid and won for just the third time in their last 10 games as they knocked off Atlanta in their most recent contest. The Mystics entered Saturday 11-18 on the season and stood ninth in the WNBA playoff picture, even with the Liberty for the final playoff spot with three games to play. Against Atlanta, Washington trailed by one after the opening quarter and still was down three midway through the second quarter before going on a 14-2 run to take a 38-29 lead with under a minute to play in the first half. The Mystics were up six at the half and then opened the second half with a 14-5 run to take a 15-point lead with 5:50 to play in the third quarter. Washington didn’t let Atlanta closer than six the rest of the way en route to the win. The Mystics shot 41.4% from the field, including nine of 24 from three-point range, and held a 46-41 edge on the glass in the game. Tina Charles led Washington with 26 points and 16 rebounds in the victory.

The Mystics are seventh in the league in scoring offense with an average of 79.9 points per contest this season. Washington comes in 11th in the league in rebounding (33.6 boards per game) and is 7th in assists by handing out 18.5 dimes a night. The Mystics are 9th in the league in scoring defense by allowing an average of 83.8 points a contest. Tina Charles leads the Mystics with 24 points and 9.6 rebounds per contest this season. Ariel Atkins is one of two other players scoring in double figures as she puts up 15.7 points a night. Erica McCall, Myisha Hines-Allen (13.8 points, 7.3 boards), Natasha Cloud, Theresa Plaisance, Sydney Wiese, Stella Johnson, Shavonte Zellous, Leilani Mitchell, Shatori Walker-Kimbrough and Megan Gustafson are key pieces for coach Mike Thibault. Washington is 11th in the league in field goal percentage as they shoot 40.7% from the floor as a team. The Mystics are second in the league in threes per game (nine) and stand 9th in the league in three-point percentage (32.7%) on the year. Washington is in the middle of the pack at the charity stripe as they are sixth in the league by sinking 81.1% of their chances this season. Elena Delle Donne made her season debut against the Storm August 22 after recovering from offseason back surgery. She has missed the last five games after leaving a contest August 26 early and is out again here. Hines-Allen (illness) has missed the last three games and is questionable here while McCall (undisclosed) left Friday’s game and is questionable here. Atkins (personal) has been ruled out for this contest and Sunday’s tilt with the Sky.

Chicago Sky Looking to Earn Second Straight Win

Chicago snapped a two-game skid and won for the fourth time in six games as they won the back half of their home-and-home set with Las Vegas last Sunday. The Sky entered Saturday 15-14 on the season and enter this game sixth in the WNBA playoff picture. They have clinched a playoff berth. Against Las Vegas, Chicago led by eight after the opening quarter, by as many as 12 at the half and by eight at halftime. Chicago saw their lead trimmed to three after three quarters and didn’t let the Aces even again as they held on to the win. The Sky shot 50.7% from the field, including seven of 19 from three-point range, and held the Aces to 41.1% shooting in the game. Allie Quigley paced Chicago with 22 points in the victory.

The Sky is 3rd in the league in scoring offense as they muster 83.6 points per contest this season. Chicago is sixth in rebounding (35.7 boards a night) and first in assists by dishing out 21.9 dimes a game. The Sky is above average on defense as they are seventh in the league by allowing an average of 81.1 points a contest. Kahleah Copper is one of five players averaging in double figures for the team with 14.8 points plus 4.4 rebounds a night this season. Candace Parker (13.4 points, 8.8 boards), Astou Ndour-Fall and Ruthy Hebard are solid secondary options. The Sky can also look to Diamond DeShields (11 points), Courtney Vandersloot (11.2 points, 8.9 assists), Allie Quigley (13.4 points), Stefanie Dolson, Brittany Boyd-Jones, Azura Stevens, Natasha Mack and Stephanie Watts to contribute for coach James Wade. Chicago is 6th in the league in field goal percentage as they shoot 44.1% as a team. The Sky are in the middle of the pack in threes per game as they are 6th with 7.3 per contest: they are 5th in three-point shooting at 35.3%. Chicago comes in first at the free throw line this season as they are shooting 84.7% at the stripe. Copper (knee) is questionable for this contest.

Pick: Chicago Sky

This one basically comes down to the rotations that each team is going to put on the floor here. Washington is minus Delle Donne and Atkins with Hines-Allen plus McCall being question marks for this contest. Meanwhile, Chicago is pretty much at full strength with the lone exception being Copper being questionable. We saw the Sky take care of the Aces at home in their most recent contest and they have had a week off since that game to rest and get ready for the final week of the regular season. Chicago is a deep team and they have the weapons to work with that can make life difficult for Washington to deal with, especially when they are shorthanded. Give the edge to the Sky in this one as they prevail at home.

Total: Under

We know that Chicago is more than capable of putting up hefty point totals as we saw last week against the Aces at home. The Sky averages 83.8 points per game at home, giving them an average total of 168.1 points per game as the hosts this year. On the season, Chicago has seen the over go 17-12 in their games this season. Washington has seen the over go 16-13 in their games on the year and hung 82 on Atlanta despite missing several key pieces. That game ended up half a point short of the total and snapped a three-game streak of overs by the Mystics. Five of the last seven meetings have ended up short of the mark and with the Mystics dealing with a rash of injuries, it could impede their offensive production. Look for this one to end 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.