Odds Stacked Against Mercury
Three of the top 10 scorers in the WNBA will miss this Friday night showdown. Arike Ogunbowale is out for Dallas while Diana Taurasi and Skylar Diggins-Smith are both out for Phoenix.
There aren’t many sure things about seeding for the upcoming playoffs. However, Dallas is locked in as the No. 6 seed as the Wings trail fifth-place Washington by three games with two remaining. There are four teams tied at 14-20, three games behind Dallas.
Phoenix is 10-6 at home compared to 4-14 on the road while Dallas is 9-7 on the road and just 8-10 at home.
Dallas can win the season series with a victory after taking the first two matchups against Phoenix before the Mercury won the most recent matchup. Dallas averaged 93.5 points in the two wins before being held to 72 points in the lone defeat.
Dallas (+5000) comes in tied for sixth for the best odds to win the WNBA championship according to the WNBA playoff odds. Phoenix is eighth at +8000.
Acquisition of McCowan Paying Off for Wings
Other offseason acquisitions might have garnered more attention,but the decision by Dallas to trade for 6-foot-7 Texas native Teaira McCowan has brought a different dimension to the Wings.
McCowan played less than 10 minutes in seven of her first 11 games of the season. In the second half of the season, the Wings have been leaning on McCowan more and more. She has six double-doubles in her last seven games.
Dallas is 8-3 when McCowan plays at least 25 minutes. Since July 22, McCowan not only has the most rebounds in the WNBA, but she has 21 more than her closest competitor. Only WNBA scoring leader Breanna Stewart, Kahleah Copper and Kelsey Plum have more points during the stretch than McCowan. Most importantly, Dallas is 6-3 during that stretch as McCowan has helped the Wings lock up a playoff spot.
After three quarters, Teaira McCowan leads the Wings in both points (13) and rebounds (12), including 7 offensive rebounds.
This is her 9th double-double of the 2022 season.
— Dallas Wings PR (@DallasWingsPR) August 11, 2022
McCowan’s emergence has been crucial with Satou Sabally being limited to 11 games and former high draft picks Charli Collier and Awak Kuier contributing little to the 2022 Dallas team.
Something to consider for those who bet online: Dallas 4-2 against the spread in its last six games and has covered in each of the last five contests on the road.
Topsy-Turvy Run for Mercury
Heading into the 2022 season, the trio of Brittney Griner, Taurasi and Diggins-Smith were expected to lead the Mercury into the playoffs. They helped the Mercury reach the WNBA championship series in 2021 and added Tina Charles in the offseason, so the best was yet to come, right?
Griner remains in a Russian jail while neither Taurasi nor Diggins-Smith will play again for the rest of the regular season. Phoenix is in a must-win situation without its top three players.
Four teams are tied with 14-20 records going into Friday’s games and only two playoff spots are still available.
Phoenix has dropped two of the three games since it was announced that Taurasi would miss the rest of the season. Diamond DeShields, Shey Peddy and Sophie Cunningham combined for 63 points in a win over New York. Four days later, they had 52 points but it wasn’t enough to take down Minnesota in a crucial game.
Phoenix is 1-3-1 against the WNBA betting lines over the last five games.
Wings vs Mercury Game Information
- Game: Wings 17-17 (9-7 on the road); Mercury 14-20 (10-6 at home)
- Location: Footprint Center, Phoenix
- Day/Time: Friday, 10 p.m. ET
- Wings vs Mercury Live Stream: WNBA.com
Wings vs Mercury Betting Lines
|Dallas Wings||-1½ -110||-125||159½ -110o||80½ -115o
|Phoenix Mercury||+1½ -110||+105||159½ -110u||79 -115o
Wings vs Mercury Prediction
With Diggins-Smith, Taurasi and Ogunbowale sitting out, new faces will need to emerge for both teams. Dallas is not only without Ogunbowale for the rest of the regular season and at least through the first round of the playoffs, but Sabally will miss another game due to an ankle injury.
Dallas has won four of the last five games in this series, although Phoenix won the most recent meeting. Seven of the last nine contests between the teams have gone over the total. That trend could continue as eight of the last 11 games for the Wings have finished over the total.
DeShields is averaging 17.3 points in three games against Dallas this season. McCowan and Isabelle Harrison have combined to average 22.7 points and 12 rebounds in three games against Phoenix.
Dallas and Phoenix rank ninth and 10th out of 12 teams in the WNBA in defensive rating so the total of 159½ could certainly be at risk.
While Phoenix is playing to remain alive for a postseason spot, with so many key players injured, it is hard to trust the Mercury in this one.