The WNBA regular season came to an end Sunday and all things considered, the Wubble has been a success. This despite some nonsensical stupidity -- the 8th and final playoff spot was decided by the final game of the season Sunday night between the surging Washington Mystics and the Atlanta Dream, a game that wasn’t broadcast on any of the league’s many national outlets (CBS Sports Network, ESPN, ESPN2, ABC, NBATV). In addition, a router went down and the feed died in the final minutes of a close game, that remember, was ONLY available on D.C. cable. Eventually, Washington (led by Myisha Hines-Allen) claimed the final spot. This despite being left for dead two weeks, ago, and having to win five of six to make the playoffs. Classic DC sports team luck. Go figure
So the playoff matchups are set. Can’t say I’m happy with the format, which sees not one but TWO rounds of single elimination games. Below are the seedings for the playoffs:
The good news, for actual hoops fans? All WNBA playoff games are on either ESPN, ESPN2, or ABC.
The top two teams (Las Vegas and Seattle) get a double-bye. The next two seeds (Los Angeles and Minnesota) get a single bye. The bottom four teams face off in a single-elimination game on Tuesday:
#6 Chicago Sky vs #7 Connecticut Suns (7:00 EDT ESPN2)
#5 Phoenix Mercury vs #8 Washington Mystics (9:00 EDT ESPN2)
I’ll be breaking down each of the series and of course giving you weekend bets right here.
In the first playoff game, two wildly inconsistent teams -- Chicago and Connecticut -- tip off. The line opened with Chicago as a -3.5 (o163.5) and settled at -3 (o165.5). These teams split their regular season games, so it’s almost certainly going to be tight. The Sun are BANGED UP -- Jasmine Thomas is hobbled by plantar fasciitis and Bria Holmes (4.9-1.8-1.2) left the bubble with a torn meniscus on Wednesday. But they’ve been pretty good lately. The Sky faded badly down the stretch (1-4 SU), but grinded out a tough win against the Dallas Wings (who got 38 from Arike Ogunbowale) to hold on to the #6 position. The under has hit in 6 of the last 9 Suns games.
THE PICK: u165.5
The second game features the Phoenix Mercury (sans Brittney Griner) against the SURGING Washington Mystics (LOL), left for dead two weeks ago. Phoenix opened as a big -5.5 (165.5) before a significant drop in odds to -4 (o164). Lest we forget, the Mystics are the DEFENDING CHAMPIONS and still needed a miracle to make the playoffs. But Ariel Atkins and Myisha Hines-Allen put the team on their damn backs and carried them across the finish line. And you know what? They are dangerous right now. Both teams HOT … Washington is 6-1 ATS and Phoenix 6-2 ATS so this one’s a tough call. The Mystics are an under machine (7 of 9) while the Mercury are over Queens (8 of 12). Tianna Hawkins is questionable for the Mystics and Nia Coffey (F) and Alanna Smith (F) are questionable for the Suns.
THE PICK: Mystics +4
Meet me here Thursday as I’ll update this blog, as the winners of tonight’s game take on Minnesota and Los Angeles next, again in single elimination. Let these women make you some money!