Sun Ready for Home Opener
The New York Liberty was the team with all the hype from the Eastern Conference coming into the season. However, the Washington Mystics and Connecticut Sun were two of the three Eastern Conference squads to emerge victorious on the first night of the 2023 WNBA season. The WNBA predictions lists both teams as potential playoff teams.
Neither team was particularly effective from 3-point range as the teams combined to go 10 of 40 from distance with Connecticut’s Natisha Heideman and Washington’s Kristi Toliver leading the way with two 3-pointers each. Keep that in mind when making WNBA picks.
Connecticut won two of the three meetings between the teams last season. The last time the teams met, the Sun won 74-72 in overtime. Alyssa Thomas had 17 of her 23 points after halftime as Connecticut rallied from a 17-point deficit. Thomas is one of five former University of Maryland players expected to hit the court in this matchup
Connecticut won its two preseason games and has a veteran group, especially after cutting 2022 first-round pick Nia Clouden.
Washington’s Elena Delle Donne (+700) is tied for fourth and Connecticut’s Alyssa Thomas (+2500) is eighth in the WNBA Most Valuable Player odds.
Newcomers Deliver for Mystics
In an offseason that saw so many teams reshape their rosters, the Washington Mystics kept their nucleus intact with the return of their top five scorers.
Two of the key additions are well-known in WNBA circles. Kristi Toliver returns to Washington for the first time since the 2019 season after spending the 2021 and 2022 seasons in Los Angeles. Brittney Sykes played with Toliver with the Sparks in two of those three seasons.
They combined for 19 points and four assists as Washington overcame an early five-point deficit to roll past New York 80-64 despite being outrebounded.
Natasha Cloud and Ariel Atkins led the Mystics with 14 points each and Elena Delle Donne added 13. Keep an eye on all three of them when it comes to placing live betting odds.
Something to consider for those who bet online: Washington is 2-4 against the spread in its last six road games.
Frontcourt Shines For Sun
When it is easy to focus on the fact that Jonquel Jones, Jasmine Thomas and Courtney Williams are no longer with the Connecticut Sun, the season opener was a chance to be reminded about those who stuck around.
The starting frontcourt of DeWanna Bonner, Alyssa Thomas and Brionna Jones combined for 40 points on 17-of-36 shooting as the Sun went on the road and topped the Indiana Fever 70-61 in the debut of No. 1 overall pick Aliyah Boston.
Spent all night dreaming of the Big 3 💭
A. Thomas: 18 PTS, 11 REB, 6 AST, 3 STL, 2 BLK
D. Bonner: 19 PTS, 7 REB, 1 STL, 1 BLK
— Connecticut Sun (@ConnecticutSun) May 20, 2023
Connecticut never trailed in the game and led by as many as 19 points before four straight points by Boston pulled Indiana within three points with 2:25 play. Thomas scored six of her 18 points the rest of the way as the Sun won by nine.
Connecticut has covered against the WNBA betting lines in 9 of its last 13 games.
Mystics vs Sun Game Information
- Game: Mystics 1-0; Sun 1-0
- Location: Mohegan Sun Arena, Uncasville, CT
- Day/Time: Sunday, May 21, 1:00 p.m. ET
- Mystics vs Sun Live Stream: WNBA.com
Mystics vs Sun Betting Lines
Mystics vs Sun Picks & Prediction
Connecticut has won six of the last seven meetings and that includes three straight when playing at home. Washington covered against the WNBA spreads in each of the three games last season with each game going under the total.
Both teams have new head coaches. Washington’s Eric Thibault grew up going to Sun home games when his father Mike was Connecticut’s head coach. Stephanie White won a WNBA title in 2012 as an assistant coach with the Indiana Fever and went 37-31 in two seasons as Indiana’s head coach before taking the job at Vanderbilt.
The total has gone under in five of Connecticut’s last six games. However, it has gone over in four of Washington’s last five games on the road.