We’ve arrived at the final day of the WNBA regular season and all hands are on deck as all 12 teams take the floor. There’s no playoff spots up for grabs but there is plenty of seeding at stake. The only teams that are locked into where they are at this point are Seattle, who clinched the top spot for home court advantage throughout the postseason and a bye to the semifinals, Minnesota, who is locked into the seven seed, and Dallas, who holds the eighth seed. Everyone else could potentially move up or down depending on what unfolds in today’s action.
Featured Game with strong trends
Los Angeles Sparks vs. Connecticut Sun
Line: Connecticut -4, Over/Under: 160
Two teams that are battling for the right to avoid playing in the opening round of the postseason lock up in an interconference clash in the New England area. The Los Angeles Sparks are on the road as they take on the Connecticut Sun Sunday afternoon. Los Angeles lost for the third time in four games as they fell 69-67 at the buzzer on the road against Washington Friday night. Connecticut reeled off their third straight win and their eighth in the last nine games as they downed Minnesota 96-79 at home Friday night. The Sun took the first two matchups this season, winning 102-94 at home on May 24 and 73-72 on the road back on July 3 so a win here would give them a season sweep.
Los Angeles once again had their chances but let them slip away in a road loss in the nation’s capital. The Sparks fell for the third time in four games and dropped to 19-14 on the year, which currently has them fifth in the WNBA playoff picture. Los Angeles led by five after the opening quarter, stood tied at the half and led by four after three quarters. The Sparks went cold late, getting outscored 15-9 and losing at the buzzer on a Natasha Cloud jumper. Los Angeles shot 37.3 percent from the floor, including six of 17 from three point range, in the loss. Riquna Williams led the Sparks with 14 points in the loss.
Connecticut got hot in the home stretch of the season as they won their third straight and eighth in the last nine games with the win over Minnesota. The Sun improved to 20-13 on the season and hold the fourth seed in the WNBA playoff picture: a win would lock up a first-round bye. Connecticut trailed by six after the opening quarter and by three at the half: they took the lead for good just over three minutes into the second half and opened the fourth with a 9-0 run to put the game away. The Sun shot 55.6 percent from the floor and hit eight of 18 three point attempts in the win. Jonquel Jones continued her hot stretch with 26 points, five rebounds and four blocks to lead Connecticut: she’s scored at least 13 points in eight of her last 10 games. In the two where she didn’t hit that threshold, she had nine.
Los Angeles is 1-5 ATS in their last six overall, 1-6 ATS in their last seven on one day of rest and 0-7 ATS in their last seven after an ATS win. Connecticut has gone 5-0 ATS in their last five against the Western Conference, 6-1 ATS in their last seven after a straight up win, 5-1 ATS in their last six at home and 5-1 ATS in their last six after an ATS win. Given the Sparks’ recent struggles and Connecticut surging down the stretch, you have to lean toward the Sun playing at home here.
Top Trends to Watch
Second Seed Up For Grabs Between Dream and Mystics
Atlanta had won 14 of 15 before they were knocked off in Phoenix by the Mercury. Meanwhile, Washington ran their mark to a perfect 8-0 since the All Star break by edging Los Angeles at the buzzer on Natasha Cloud’s jumper. Both teams go into their regular season finale with a 22-11 mark but Atlanta has the tie-breaker on the strength of a 2-1 season series edge. For Washington to steal the second seed and the bye to the semifinals, they have to win over Minnesota and have Atlanta lose in Las Vegas. Washington is 6-1 ATS in their last seven overall, 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games following a straight up win and 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games vs. a team with a winning straight up record. Meanwhile, Atlanta is 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games following a straight up loss, 7-0 ATS in their last 7 Sunday games and 7-0 ATS in their last 7 games vs. a team with a losing straight up record. Look for both teams to win, giving Atlanta the double bye while relegating Washington to the third seed.
Fireworks in Chicago
We saw one of the most entertaining contests of the year in the Sky/Fever matchup in Indiana Saturday afternoon. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see another high scoring affair in the back half of the home and set as the venue changes to the Windy City. Both teams have nothing to play for, which takes the pressure off and makes things much more open and entertaining. The Fever has seen the over go 3-1-1 in the second game of their last five back to backs. The over is 5-1 in the second game of Chicago’s last six back to backs, 4-1 in their last five on Sunday and the teams have gone over the total in 14 of their last 18 meetings in Chicago.
Under Consistently Hitting For Lynx
Minnesota has tried to ride their defense as much as possible but their offense hasn’t brought things along much. The Lynx are near the bottom of the league in scoring offense while ranking second behind Los Angeles in scoring defense. Minnesota has seen the under go 12-3 in their last 15 overall, 7-2 in their last nine after an ATS loss, 16-5 in their last 21 on one day of rest, 6-2 in their last eight after a straight up loss and 7-3 in their last 10 against the Eastern Conference. Washington has seen the under go 6-1 in their last seven after an ATS loss, 4-1 in their last five on the road, 4-1 in their last five on Sunday, 9-3 in their last 12 overall and 9-3 in their last 12 after a straight up win. With Danielle Robinson out with ankle surgery and Rebekkah Brunson questionable with a concussion, the Lynx will have to try and grind it out to keep the Mystics’ score down again.