The Money Line: WNBA odds, predictions for Sunday, July 9

LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 13: Skylar Diggins-Smith
LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 13: Skylar Diggins-Smith /
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PHOENIX, AZ – SEPTEMBER 09: Diana Taurasi
PHOENIX, AZ – SEPTEMBER 09: Diana Taurasi /

New York Liberty (+5, -110)
Phoenix Mercury (-5, -110)
Total: 164

The Mercury have won two straight games, the first time they have managed that feat since May 27-June 1, a long gap for a team used to winning. They’ll go for three straight on a day they’ll honor Mercury great Penny Taylor, whose number will be retired Sunday.

The combination of Diana Taurasi and Brittney Griner is as good as ever with Griner leading the league in scoring and very much in the MVP conversation. Phoenix, while still searching for another scoring option besides the aforementioned stars, still have managed the sixth best offensive rating in the league while ranking third on the defensive side of the metrics.

Owners of the fifth worst rebounding percentage in the WNBA, Phoenix has actually made great strides in that department, once being second worst and close to the bottom. While they aren’t a perfect team, the Mercury have done a nice job of disrupting their opposition, forcing opponents to have the second worst effective field goal percentage, only trailing New York in that department.

Speaking of New York, it sure does feel like they have left the collective WNBA radar. Once thriving despite the absence of Epiphanny Prince and Kia Vaughn due to national team service, the Liberty have faltered a bit. To their credit, they did snap their three-game losing streak last time out, defeating Seattle 79-70 on the road, their third straight game away from home.

Tina Charles  did what she tends to do quite often and went off for 29 points and 12 rebounds on 56% effective field goal shooting. New York is the second best rebounding team in the league though they have the second worst assist-to-turnover ratio, something they’ve been struggling with since the season began. They have shown themselves to be a tough squad, but can they keep things rolling tonight?

Really tough call between two hard working teams, and I wish the spread was closer to a pick ’em. As is, I like how Phoenix has looked lately so I will take them and the over.