Atlanta Dream (+8.5, -110)
Seattle Storm (-8.5, -110)
Ew. That is my initial thought as I look at this spread, and I mean that with no offense to either either team, but both leave me scratching my head at times. Although I picked New York to win, Seattle taking a loss while at full strength to a Liberty squad missing three key players is a tough one to swallow. The team was out rebounded by New York and turned the ball over twice as many times (14 to 7).
On a positive note, Breanna Stewart scored 23 points, her third straight game with 20+ as she looks to finally put behind her early season struggles. In fact, Seattle’s “Big 3” all went off, as Sue Bird had a season high 21 points and 10 assists, while Jewell Loyd chipped in 19 points. The rest of the team is the biggest question at this point. While it was a fun story for a bit when Sami Whitcomb went 9-of-12 from three over two games, she is just 2-of-8 in four games since then, and nobody else is doing much for them.
Most people would agree that Atlanta has overachieved up to this point in the season, and as has been mentioned plenty of times here, its been on the back of their defense. Holding opponents to under 80 points for five straight games, Atlanta saw that streak come to a crashing halt when they ran into Connecticut last Saturday night. A 104-71 final that saw the Sun outscore the Dream 37-16 in the fourth quarter, the matchup exposed a lot of Atlanta’s problems. 20 turnovers is the stat that jumps out the most, seven of which that were committed by Layshia Clarendon who also scored just 3 points, her worst outing of the season by far. Their defensive rating is still an impressive third in the league, but their offensive one is second-worst, trailing only the lowly San Antonio Stars.
Depending on the night, Seattle can blow you away with their main three weapons, or they can underwhelm like they have done once or twice this season. This game is in Seattle, however, where they are 4-1, so I like their chances tonight. Give me the Storm and the over.