The Money Line: WNBA odds, predictions for Sunday, June 18

PHOENIX, AZ - MAY 27: Diana Taurasi
PHOENIX, AZ - MAY 27: Diana Taurasi /
3 of 5
CHICAGO, IL – SEPTEMBER 12: MVP Diana Taurasi /

Phoenix Mercury (+8.5, -110)
Los Angles Sparks (-8.5, -110)
Total: 163

Safe to say this is the game that everyone around the league will have their collective eyes on tonight. Yes, these are two good teams playing and normal circumstances would have plenty of people watching, but tonight is a special circumstance. Barring an unforeseen ice-cold shooting night, Diana Taurasi will break Tina Thompson’s record of 7,488 career points to become the all-time leading scorer in the WNBA’s history. Just 14 points shy of the record, Taurasi has had herself quite the year. After marrying Penny Taylor the night before the season opener, the 13-year veteran has turned it up, scoring 19.9 points a game in just 29.5 minutes per game, her fewest since her injury shortened year in 2008. The Mercury own one of the best defensive ratings in the league, thanks in large part to the force that is Brittney Griner, and offensively they now have two serious scoring threats now that Griner is reaching her potential on that side of the ball (career high 24.1 points per game, 56.1% shooting).

Though it was a littler closer than they wanted it to be, the Sparks took care of business against San Antonio, coming out on top 85-80 at home on Thursday. Candace Parker had 20 points while Chelsea Gray had 19, extending her personal streak of three straight games with at least 19 points. As a whole, the Sparks are still among the elite in all meaningful shooting statistics, but still rank second to last in rebounding percentage and dead last in rebounds per game. Part of the low rebounding numbers can be contributed to the fact that LA owns the best field goal percentage in the league while allowing the third highest percentage to opponents. Simply put, there aren’t as many rebounds out there to snag as there are in most games, although the low rebounding percentage can’t be excused with that.

The Sparks won the last matchup between these teams by two points, and they are 4-0 at home. While I think they win this team, I would like to think that Phoenix will keep this closer than eight, especially with the history that is likely to be made. Give me the Mercury and the over.