The Money Line: WNBA odds, predictions for Tuesday, August 22

LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 04: Odyssey Sims
LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 04: Odyssey Sims /
2 of 3
PHOENIX, AZ – JULY 14: Brittney Griner
PHOENIX, AZ – JULY 14: Brittney Griner /

Phoenix Mercury (+7.5, -110)
Minnesota Lynx (-7.5, -110)
Total: 158

I mentioned it before, but the Lynx have lost three times in the last 10 days. In case you haven’t noticed, thats how many games they had lost the entire season leading up to their recent stretch. Whalen being out has been a huge part of the Lynx troubles as their offensive simply isn’t the same. Usually a top three team in offensive rating, Minnesota has ranked 10th in that department over their last four games, trailing only the Fever and the Atlanta Dream, two teams who will miss the playoffs and offenses have been awful all season long. Their effective field goal and true shooting percentages also rank in the bottom three and their assist-to-turnover ratio is just ninth in the league. To be fair, the three recent losses were to two for sure playoff teams (New York and Los Angeles) and the other to a team everyone agrees is dangerous when they are clicking (Seattle). With Whalen still expected to miss 2-3 weeks, the Lynx need to figure things out in her absence and hope she returns fully healed.

Meanwhile, the Phoenix Mercury have alternated wins and losses the past five games, a trend they seem to do several times a season. Their two most recent games, a win against Washington followed by a loss to Connecticut, couldn’t have been more different. In the win against the Mystics, the Mercury had a true shooting percentage of 62.7 and an effective field goal percentage of 60. Against Connecticut? 41.1 and 35.9, respectively. It is more than fair to point out that Washington is a team that has a ton of question marks on defense whereas the Sun are much more stout on that end, but those numbers still display a huge gap. On a positive note, Brittney Griner has looked solid in her three games back from injury and the Mercury are working hard to position themselves for a playoff run.

I don’t like how Minnesota has looked at all lately, but I think they win this one tonight. 7.5 is a lot of points and though I can never fully trust Phoenix, I will with that spread. I’ll take the Mercury and the under.