Dream Thrive vs West
The road trip couldn’t have started in a more impressive fashion for the Atlanta Dream. After beating the Phoenix Mercury without star rookie Rhyne Howard, the Dream went to Las Vegas and took down the favored Aces 92-76. The win gave Atlanta an 8-3 record against teams from the Western Conference and moved the Dream into sixth place in the WNBA standings.
Los Angeles snapped a three-game losing streak with a seven-point win over Indiana the last time out. The Sparks have been a bit streaky and are hoping to make it two wins in a row. A victory would give Los Angeles a 7-7 mark at home and move the Sparks ahead of the Dream in the WNBA standings.
Atlanta won the first game between the teams with a two-point win at home on May 11 to snap a five-game losing streak to the Sparks. It is not often that a matchup features players on both teams coming off 30-point efforts. Atlanta’s Tiffany Hayes had 31 points in a stunner against Las Vegas while Nneka Ogwumike of Los Angeles had 35 points in her last outing.
The Sparks (+6000) are tied for sixth in the odds to win the WNBA championship according to the WNBA playoff odds. The title odds for Atlanta are +10000.
Hayes Warming Up for Dream
After missing the first 19 games of the season following an injury suffered by playing overseas, veteran Atlanta guard Hayes is making up for a lost time.
Hayes had a season-high 31 points on 11-of-14 shooting in Tuesday’s win at Las Vegas. Hayes was 4 of 5 from 3-point range. She has scored in double figures in each of her seven games. Atlanta has scored at least 90 points in three of the seven games since Hayes returned to the court.
She’s got that dawg in her
— Atlanta Dream (@AtlantaDream) July 20, 2022
Howard added 24 points as she returned to action after missing the last two games as a result of a shoulder injury. It was the sixth 20-point game of the season for Howard. Atlanta is 4-2 when Howard has at least 20 points.
Both of Atlanta’s first two games on the road trip have gone under the Las Vegas odds total and the Dream covered in each contest.
Coaching Change hasn’t Boosted Sparks
Los Angeles just passed the point where interim coach Fred Williams has been at the helm for more games than former head coach Derek Fisher.
There hasn’t been much of an impact on the record as Los Angeles was 5-7 at the time of the move and is 6-7 since.
The Sparks are averaging more rebounds, more assists and committing fewer turnovers since the coaching change. However, most of the offensive numbers have gotten worse. Los Angeles is averaging 5.6 fewer points per game and is getting to the foul line less frequently, even though the Sparks are playing at a fast pace. While the Sparks’ field-goal percentage has dropped since the move, the 3-pointer numbers are better.
The one constant has been the play of Ogwumike, who has scored in double figures in each of her last 18 games. She is coming off a season-high 35 points in a win over Indiana.
Something to consider for those who bet online: Los Angeles has failed to cover in each of its last four games.
Dream vs Sparks Game Information
- Game: Dream 12-14 (6-7 on the road) vs Sparks 11-14 (6-7 at home)
- Location: crypto.com Arena, Los Angeles
- Day/Time: Thursday, July 21, 3:30 p.m. ET
- Dream vs Sparks Live Stream: WNBA.com
Dream vs Sparks Betting Lines
|79½-115o / 79½-115u
|Los Angeles Sparks
|81½-115o / 81½-115u
Dream vs Sparks Prediction
This has been a competitive series in recent years with each of the last six meetings decided by six points or less. Also, 11 of the last 12 games between the teams have finished under the total.
Atlanta’s last win in Los Angeles came in 2018, although the Dream has covered three of the last four road games in the series.
Neither Nia Coffey nor Monique Billings played for Atlanta in the win over the Aces and both are considered to be questionable for the Los Angeles game. Without them, rookie Naz Hillmon had her third game in a row with at least 30 minutes played. She is averaging 8.7 points and 9.3 rebounds in those contests.
Los Angeles could also be less than 100 percent as center Liz Cambage as well as guards Kristi Toliver and Chennedy Carter are questionable.
Obviously, keep tabs on the status of the injured players heading into this one and that could change things considerably.