Atlanta (10-13) at Minnesota (19-2)
When: Thursday, August 3rd 2017
Where: Xcel Energy Center, St Paul, MN
Time: 8:00 ET | TV: ESPN 2
Opening Odds: Minnesota -14/169
The Minnesota Lynx will look to capture the season series with the Atlanta Dream when the teams meet in WNBA action on Thursday night at Xcel Energy Center. Minnesota, who own the league’s best record, have already clinched a playoff berth with 13 games remaining still. The Lynx, off to the best start in franchise history, lead the league in points scored and points allowed and are outscoring opponents by better than 10 a game. Sylvia Fowles, who is second in the league in scoring and third in rebounds and blocks, was named Western Conference Player of the Month for July – she has won the award all three times this season. “She is the MVP of our league up to this point,” said Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve. Maya Moore is no slouch either for the Lynx, averaging 16.7 points a game to go along with her 42% three-point shooting – second only to Seimone Augustus’ 45%. Minnesota will play seven of their last 13 games on the road and will travel to Indiana for their next game on Sunday prior to a Tuesday rematch with the Dream in Atlanta. The Lynx have won both meetings this season – 113-67 on May 5th and 90-80 on July 28th in Atlanta.
While the Lynx don’t have to worry about making the playoffs, the Dream are fighting for their lives with a couple of other teams just to get in. Atlanta sits in the eighth and final spot right now, owning a tiebreaker with Seattle, who have the same record as the Dream. Dallas, at 11-14, is just percentage points ahead of Atlanta in seventh. Earlier this week, Atlanta acquired center Imani Boyette and forward Tamera Young from Chicago in exchange for forward Jordan Hooper and the Dream’s first-round pick in the 2018 draft. Atlanta also received Chicago’s 2018 second-round pick. The Dream, who are second in the WNBA in block percentage, will pair the 6’7″ Boyette with 6’4″ center-forward Elizabeth Williams to form a superior front-court. Boyette, in her second year in the league, averaged 4.6 points and 4.4 rebounds in 22 games with the Sky. Young, who is averaging 10.2 points a game, should help Atlanta’s league-worst 3-point attack. The Dream are led by Tiffany Hayes (17.1 points per game) and Brittney Sykes (12.2), who was named rookie of the month for July.
It might take a few games for Boyette to settle in with her new team and the last time these two teams met in St. Paul, it was a massacre. The Lynx aren’t going to let-up even though they have a playoff berth in hand. I expect them to runaway with this game.
Pick: Lynx -14.5
- Dream are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games following a straight up loss.
- Dream are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 vs. Western Conference.
- Dream are 3-1-1 ATS in their last 5 Thursday games.
- Dream are 6-13 ATS in their last 19 road games.
- Dream are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games playing on 3 or more days rest.
- Lynx are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games playing on 3 or more days rest.
- Lynx are 20-6-1 ATS in their last 27 games following a ATS loss.
- Lynx are 14-6 ATS in their last 20 Thursday games.
- Lynx are 3-7-2 ATS in their last 12 home games.
- Over is 4-0 in Dream last 4 road games.
- Over is 8-1 in Dream last 9 vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
- Over is 7-1 in Dream last 8 overall.
- Over is 18-7-1 in Dream last 26 vs. Western Conference.
- Under is 11-5 in Dream last 16 Thursday games.
- Over is 6-1 in Lynx last 7 vs. a team with a losing straight up record.
- Over is 5-1 in Lynx last 6 vs. Eastern Conference.
- Over is 7-3 in Lynx last 10 games following a straight up win.
- Over is 8-1 in the last 9 meetings.
- Dream are 5-16 ATS in the last 21 meetings.
- Dream are 1-6 ATS in the last 7 meetings in Minnesota.