The Money Line: WNBA odds for Thursday, May 18

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - JULY 15: Maya Moore /

I was hoping that after watching the debacle that was Game 1 of the NBA Eastern Conference Finals, a game in which the Cleveland Cavaliers could have won by 40 points if they had wanted to, that the WNBA would provide a more entertaining game. Yeah, that didn’t happen.

The Phoenix Mercury, in my opinion, had a predictable bounceback game after a poor season opener. The Indiana Fever were the victims of what proved to be a career night for Brittney Griner (career-high 32 points and 10 rebounds), as the Mercury cruised to an 85-62 victory at home.

The spread was never in doubt, but as a bonus, the scoring slowed in the second half the ensure the under as well. We are back to .500 and try to pick up another perfect game tonight.

Season record
Spread: 4-4
Over/under: 4-4

Minnesota Lynx (-4.5, -110)
New York Liberty (+4.5, 110)
Total: 153.5

For what its worth, I believe this is the most difficult game to pick thus far in the young WNBA season. Both the Lynx and the Liberty are 1-0 after opening against far less talented teams, the Chicago Sky and the San Antonio Stars, respectively. I don’t know what we learned about either team other than trying to guard Sylvia Fowles or Tina Charles one-on-one on the block is a terrible idea.

The Lynx didn’t play up to their normal standards against the Sky, pulling it out late in a 70-61 victory. The team shot just 37% from the field, was 3-of-20 from deep and got out rebounded 44-39. So how did they win? Well, the aforementioned Fowles had plenty to do with it, pouring in 26 points while pulling down 10 rebounds. The team also did a great job on defense, forcing the Sky into a sky-high (see what I did there?) turnover percentage of 28.6%. The Lynx also did a nice job crashing the offensive glass as they finished the game with an extremely solid 29.3% offensive rebounding percentage.

Fans in the Big Apple, meanwhile, got to witness a far less interesting game than the 73-64 score against the Stars might indicate. Up 17 points after the third quarter, the Liberty took their foot off the gas a bit but were still able to coast to victory behind a balanced offensive attack.

Charles led the way with 12 points, but Epiphanny Prince had 11, while Shavonte Zellous, Brittany Boyd and Cierra Burdick all chipped in 10. Though there is plenty to improve upon, as head coach Bill Laimbeer was more than happy to get into during the post game press conference, this team has all the makings to be one of the best team’s in the East yet again this season.

I would really feel a lot more comfortable if this spread was lowered to say, 1.5-2.5, but 4.5 is the best I can find on our goto site, so its what we will go with. This game being in New York makes it even tougher for me, but I’m still leaning towards the Lynx, so I’ll go with them right now, hoping that line drops even more before tip. As for the over/under, despite the defensive prowess of both squads, I’ll take the over.