Basketball

Free WNBA Picks: 2021 First Round Playoffs


On Thursday, Sept. 23, the Dallas Wings are playing against the Chicago Sky and the New York Liberty are facing the Phoenix Mercury; free WNBA playoffs picks for the 2021 first round of the playoffs are available. The Wings-Sky matchup begins at 8 p.m. ET at the Wintrust Arena.

Afterwards, the Liberty-Mercury postseason thriller begins at 10 p.m. ET at the Grand Canyon University Arena. Both games will air live on ESPN2. The table odds down below were retrieved from Bovada.

Wings vs. Sky: odds, predictions and free picks

On the Wings, Arike Ogunbowale led the team in points and assists in the regular season, with an average of 18.7 points and 3.3 assists per game. She also averaged 3.3 rebounds per game in 967 minutes played as well. Ranking second, Marina Mabrey averaged 13.2 points, 3.9 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game in 753 minutes on the court.

As for the Sky, Kahleah Cooper averaged a team-high 14.5 points per game in the regular season. Plus, she accumulated 4.3 rebounds and 1.7 assists per game, too. Then again, Cooper also lead Chicago in minutes, with a total of 959 minutes. To add to these statistics, Candace Parker averaged 13.6 points, 8.6 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game. Other free WNBA picks can be accessed here at Basketball Insiders.

Injuries:

Wings: There are no reported injuries for Dallas.

Sky: Center Stefanie Dolson is listed as questionable for Thursday’s first-round playoff series matchup. This is due to a knee injury.

For betting trends, Chicago is 7-3 in their past 10 head-to-head meetings against Dallas. However, on Aug. 17, the Wings won the previous matchup 80-76. The Wings won 100-91 on Jul. 2 as well. Dallas is 1-5-1 against the spread in their last seven games played in the regular season. They are also 9-4 ATS in their past 13 games played on the road, 2-4 straight up in their previous six away games and the total has gone under in five of the team’s last five away games.

On the flip side, the Sky are 1-5 ATS in their past six games, 2-4 overall in the team’s last six games and the total has gone over in six of the team’s previous seven games. Furthermore, Chicago is 6-15 in the team’s last 21 home games and the total has gone over in six of their past seven games. All things considered, pick the Wings to upset the Sky and the total will go under 162.5. A 4.5-point spread is reasonable for either contender. Be sure to check out other free WNBA playoffs picks.

Liberty vs. Mercury: odds, predictions and free picks

Moreover, for New York, Betnijah Laney averaged a team-high 16.8 points per game in the regular season. The WNBA Most Improved Player from 2020 also earned 4.1 rebounds and 5.2 assists per game throughout the season in 1,079 minutes played. Though, Natasha Howard did average 16.2 points per game prior to her MCL sprain. Additionally, both Sabrina Ionescu and Sami Whitcomb averaged 11.7 points on the court. Ionescu ranked third overall in the league for assists.

On the Mercury, Brittney Griner earned 21 points and 9.7 rebounds per game, leading Phoenix into the postseason with these statistics. The Texas native also accumulated a team-high 58 blocks in the regular season. The seven-time WNBA All-Star is the heart and soul of this title contender. Not only did Griner lead the WNBA in blocks per game (1.9), she finished second in points per game behind Washington’s Tina Charles. In the regular season, Skylar Diggins-Smith averaged 17.7 points, 3.2 rebounds and 5.2 assists per game in 1,016 minutes.

Injuries:

Liberty: Guard Jocelyn Willoughby is out for the season because of an Achilles injury.

Mercury: Diana Taurasi and Alanna Smith are listed as questionable to play in Thursday’s playoff game. Taurasi is still recovering from an ankle injury, whereas Smith is in quarantine due to COVID-19.

For betting trends, Phoenix is 8-2 in their past 10 games played versus New York. The Liberty are 4-8-1 ATS in their last 13 games played, 1-8 straight up in the team’s past nine games and the total has gone under in four of New York’s previous six games. Keep in mind that New York also finished 0-5 in their final five road games.

Furthermore, the Mercury also finished 12-4 away in the regular season and 11-5 ATS away. At home, Phoenix is 5-2 ATS in their previous seven games. They are 10-3 in their past 13 games and the total has gone under in four of the team’s final six games.

While the Mercury won the previous two meetings 80-64 (Aug. 27) and 106-79 (Aug. 25), the Liberty won 85-83 on Jun. 13. Pick the Mercury to win at home by at least 10 points. They are just the better team. The total will go under 162.5. Other WNBA playoffs picks will be accessible throughout the 2021 postseason at Basketball Insiders.



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