Last Updated: 2019-09-10
It’s a Western Conference showdown in the single-elimination first round of the 2019 WNBA Playoffs, as the Minnesota Lynx take on the Seattle Storm Wednesday night at Angel of the Winds Arena in Everett, Washington. Seattle start defense of its WNBA title as a slight favorite in front of the home fans. However, Minnesota finished the regular season on a high note and looks keen to upset the reigning champs, so don’t miss this clash on ESPN2. The Storm won the regular-season series 3-1, winning the previous three encounters with the Lynx.
Minnesota will be without Maya Moore (personal), Karima Christmas-Kelly (knee), and Jessica Shepard (knee). Seattle will miss Sue Bird (knee) and the 2018 MVP Breanna Stewart (Achilles).
The Storm opened as a 3.5-point favorite with the total at 147.0 points and the Lynx at +130 money line odds. Seattle is 7-2 straight up and ATS in its last nine outings as a fave, while Minnesota is 3-7 straight up and 4-6 ATS in its previous ten showings as an out-of-towner.
What’s at Stake?
With the season on the line, both Minnesota and Seattle will play their biggest game of the year.
Minnesota is coming off a 77-68 loss at Los Angeles, but the Lynx won five of their last six games overall. On the other side, Seattle won three of its last four contests including a 78-64 victory at Dallas in their ultimate clash of the regular season.
The Lynx defeated the Storm 72-61 at home in their first meeting of the regular season. Seattle bounced back and won the next three encounters including an 82-74 home victory in their most recent matchup on August 18. The Storm are 6-2 straight up and ATS in their last eight meetings with the Lynx and 4-0 straight up and ATS in the previous four encounters in Everett.
Minnesota is scoring 78.4 points per game (6th in the league) on 45.1% shooting from the field (2nd), while the Lynx are allowing 75.9 points per contest (2nd in the league) on 43.4% shooting (9th). On the other side, Seattle is averaging 74.8 points per contest (10th in the league) while making 42.0% of its field goals (9th). The Storm are surrendering 75.1 points in a return (1st in the league) on 43.9% shooting from the field (tied-11th).
Odyssey Sims is leading the way for the Lynx, averaging 14.5 points and 5.4 assists per game. Sylvia Fowles is posting 13.6 points and 8.9 rebounds per contest, while rookie Napheesa Collier is adding 13.1 points and 6.6 rebounds a night.
Natasha Howard is a key player for the Storm this season. She’s tallying 18.1 points and 8.2 rebounds per game. Jewell Loyd is averaging 12.3 points and 2.7 rebounds per contest, while Jordin Canada is posting 9.8 points and 5.2 dimes per outing.
I expect to see a thrilling battle between two talented teams who played some tough defense all season long. Although the betting trends are suggesting the reigning champions to win this clash, I would avoid taking the side bet and stick with the totals instead. If I have to choose the side, it would be the Storm who will have a home audience behind them, but Minnesota played very well over the last two weeks.
My first pick is to go with the under. This will be the battle between two best defenses in the league. Seattle lacks offensive firepower and has to rely on its defense. The hosts love to play at a slow pace, while the visitors won’t rush, for sure. Three of the last six H2H duels went in the under, as well as two of the previous four in Everett.
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