The WNBA is missing one of its biggest stars this season in Seattle’s Sue Bird, the league’s all-time assists leader. She recently had surgery on her left knee and might not play at all this year. “Honestly, I’m hoping to be healthy. For me, that means being smart and doing what I have to do to make sure I’m 100 percent,” the 11-time All-Star said Sunday.
Initial reports had Bird missing anywhere from eight weeks to the full season, but the 38-year-old point guard insisted she doesn’t have a precise timetable. Here’s a look at two WNBA matchups this season. Check back for Mybookie Sportsbook odds.
Top WNBA Betting Picks of the Week – June 17th Edition
Washington Mystics at Los Angeles Sparks
- When: Tuesday, 10:30 PM ET
The Mystics sit third in the Eastern Conference with a 4-3 mark and are on a two-game skid. They lost 74-71 at home to Seattle over the weekend as the Storm rallied from down 13 in the fourth quarter in a rematch of the 2018 WNBA Finals.
Elena Delle Donne led Washington with 19 points. She made a driving layup to close the third quarter and a jumper to open the fourth that gave Washington its biggest lead at 65-52. Washington didn’t score in the last 2:47. The Mystics shot 34.8% from the field, compared with 46% for Seattle.
After the game and when the media entered the Washington locker room, Delle Donne deferred to guard Natasha Cloud, who rose from her locker, walked to the front of the room, and gave a brief statement. There would be no further questions, she announced.
Cloud was following through on a promise she had made the night before, with the full backing of her teammates. In the last month, three bullets have hit Hendley Elementary School, which sits just 1.7 miles from the Mystics’ arena in Washington D.C.’s Ward 8. In an Instagram video, Cloud called on D.C. mayor Muriel Bowser and Councilman Trayon White, who represents Ward 8, to respond with solutions. They did not respond to Cloud’s satisfaction, so the team enforced a “media blackout.”
The Sparks are also 4-3 but tied for first in the Western Conference. They lost at home to the New York Liberty on Saturday, 98-92. The Liberty snapped a 10-game road losing streak. New York’s previous road win came on July 11 at Connecticut. The Liberty closed the 2018 season with eight straight road losses and started 2019 with two more. Chiney Ogwumike had 26 points for the Sparks. Nneka Ogwumike added 20, and Chelsea Gray had 18.
It’s the first meeting of the season between these teams.
Indiana Fever at Atlanta Dream
- When: Wednesday, 11 AM ET
The WNBA schedule games at unusual times to help draw fans and be the only live event going in the USA at the time – it also usually leads to a bump in betting action. That’s the case for this game with the 11 AM ET start from Atlanta on Wednesday. Indiana is 4-4 and 3.5 games out of first in the Eastern Conference. The Fever are off a 70-64 loss to Chicago on Saturday. Indiana had a 21-17 lead at the end of the first quarter but shot just 16-of-57 from the field over the remaining three quarters in their third straight home loss.
Indiana was led by second-year guard Kelsey Mitchell for the third time in four games, scoring 16 points and grabbing five boards. Center Natalie Achonwa had 15 points and five boards, while Erica Wheeler dished out eight assists. Guard Tiffany Mitchell continued her strong play off the bench with 10 points and eight rebounds. The Fever have used the same starting lineup in each of their first eight games. It is the longest a single lineup has been used to start an Indiana season.
Atlanta is last in the East at 1-5 and on a five-game skid. The Dream lost to the previously winless Dallas Wings 71-61 on Saturday. Atlanta led at the half by four points but couldn’t hold on as Dallas outscored the Dream 43-29 over the final 20 minutes.
Elizabeth Williams played her best game of the young season in the loss for Atlanta. The center grabbed eight boards and blocked two shots to go with her team-high 16 points. She was a perfect 4-4 from the field and 4-4 from the free throw line in the first half, picking up 12 of her 16 points before halftime. Tiffany Hayes finished with 15 points and three assists, while Alex Bentley added 11 points off the bench, knocking down three 3-point field goals.
It’s the first meeting of the season between Indiana and Atlanta.
Expert WNBA Betting Picks of the Week
Back the Fever and the Sparks.