The Money Line: WNBA odds, predictions for Sunday, June 4

SAN ANTONIO, TX - MAY 19: Danielle Robinson
SAN ANTONIO, TX - MAY 19: Danielle Robinson /
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SEATTLE, WA – MAY 26: Tina Charles
SEATTLE, WA – MAY 26: Tina Charles /

Phoenix Mercury (-3.5, -110)
New York Liberty (+3.5, -110)
Total: 160.5

Is it finally safe to say that the Mercury, the real Mercury, have arrived? After a sloppy start to the season, Phoenix has won two in a row and last time out, their stars were on full display. Diana Taurasi scored 37 points and hit eight three-pointers to break Katie Smith’s career three-point makes record. Not to be outdone, Brittney Griner put in 28 points and hauled in 13 rebounds in the 99-91 win over Chicago. Their effective field goal percentage and true shooting percentage are both climbing rapidly, and their defensive rating is the best in the league. They won’t be able to rely quite that heavily on Taurasi and Griner every night like they did on Thursday, so other players will have to step up and provide more support. Leilani Mitchell has been doing her part off the bench, knocking down six three-points in route to scoring 29 points over the last two games.

The team currently masquerading as the Liberty actually made it over their first hurdle with their depleted roster.  With Epiphanny Prince and Kia Vaughn both playing for their national teams, the Liberty unrolled a familiar strategy: give the ball to Tina Charles and get out of the way. Charles scored 36 points on 13-of-23 shooting, while also finding time to haul in 10 rebounds. She wasn’t alone in her efforts though, as teammate and nine year veteran Shavonte Zellous scored 27 points, and Kiah Stokes recorded her first double-double of the season (13 points, 15 rebounds). I would break down the numbers of New York more, but with the roster the way it is right now, the numbers are kind of irrelevant.

I would never be foolish enough to think a team led by Bill Laimbeer would just roll over, and I do expect this game to be close throughout. Ultimately, however, I expect Phoenix to pull away and would be surprised if they don’t cover. So, in conclusion, I will take Phoenix and the over.