The Money Line: WNBA odds for Saturday, June 10

ROSEMONT, IL - SEPTEMBER 25: Tiffany Hayes
ROSEMONT, IL - SEPTEMBER 25: Tiffany Hayes /
4 of 4
LOS ANGELES, CA – MAY 19: Nneka Ogwumike
LOS ANGELES, CA – MAY 19: Nneka Ogwumike /

Los Angeles Sparks (+1.5, -110)
Phoenix Mercury (-1.5, -110)
Total: 162.5

Look what we have here! Two of the most head scratching teams in the league as far as I’m concerned. Sitting at 4-3, the Sparks have collected wins against Seattle, Washington, New York and Chicago, while losing to Indiana, Atlanta and Dallas. Umm, what? Maybe it’s as simple as rising, or lowering, to the level of their competition, or maybe it’s deeper than that.

A quick look at the stats shows that the Sparks are second in the WNBA in field goal and three point percentage, as well as points per game. So what’s the problem? I’m glad you asked. The team is dead last in rebounds per game, third to last in rebounding percentage and allow the third highest rebounding percentage to opponents. Are you sensing a theme here? For the season, the Sparks are -20 rebounding and have only pulled in 196 boards, by far the worst in the league (the next closest is Seattle with 231). These stats are shocking considering the team has Nneka Ogwumike and Candace Parker, but those are the only two doing damage on the glass. Averaging seven and eight boards per game, respectively, next on the list is Chelsea Gray with three a game.

Those rebounding stats should be scary considering who is standing at center for the opponents tonight. Brittney Griner has been on an absolute tear, leading the league in scoring with 24.1 points per game, while snatching 8.4 boards a game, good for seventh. In the latest Mercury win, Griner went 15-of-19 while scoring 38 points and pulling down 9 rebounds. Perhaps the most impressive stat for Griner is that she is shooting nearly 85% from the free throw line, anchoring a team that is second in the league in percentage of points scored from the line. Diana Taurasi continues to be a steady hand while occasionally exploding for big games, and Leilani Mitchell has been a pleasantly surprising source of scoring off the bench, putting in 12.6 points per game, nearly three points higher than her career high back in 2010.

With two good teams squaring off, I expect a well fought game. Is LA’s history is any indication, they will step up and play well, while Phoenix should do the same. I honestly have no clue here, and should probably roll with the home team, so I’ll go Phoenix and the over.