Can the Seattle Storm defend their WNBA championship without superstar reigning MVP Breanna Stewart this season? Will the perennially-powerful Minnesota Lynx get back in the title mix following what was a down year for them in 2018? Will the young, but loaded Las Vegas Aces live up to their preseason billing and will the Phoenix Mercury contend again after falling just short a year ago?
With the 2019 WNBA season in action, it’s time for this week’s trio of WNBA betting picks.
WNBA Betting Picks & Predictions of the Week – May 27th Edition
📸 | Game 1⃣ vs 🌩️ https://t.co/wuA4p7or2c— Phoenix Mercury (@PhoenixMercury) May 25, 2019
Seattle Storm at Minnesota Lynx
- When: Wednesday, May 29 at 8:00 PM ET
- Where: Target Center, Minneapolis, MN
- TV: Twitter
Analysis: Even without stars, Breanna Stewart and Sue Bird, the defending champion Seattle Storm kicked off their 2019 campaign with a solid 77-68 home win over Phoenix on Saturday night as Natasha Howard had 21 points and 16 rebounds and Jewell Lloyd added 17 points.
“Don’t doubt us. Just don’t doubt us,” Seattle’s Natasha Howard said. “Even though we’re down two players with injury, don’t doubt us. Anything can happen this season.”
After uncharacteristically struggling a year ago, 2017 league champion Minnesota kicked off its 2019 season with an 89-71 smackdown win of Chicago on Saturday night as rookie Napheesa Collier scored 27 points in her WNBA debut. Veteran Sylvia Fowles added 16 points and 10 rebounds for the Lynx who will be without former league MVP Maya Moore this season.
Stop the presses! Did You Know that Minnesota has won the last four odd-year numbered WNBA Championships (2011, 2013, 2015, 2017)?
Minnesota will be fired up for this affair and they’ll get the win with a new lineup that looked fantastic and balanced in their opener. Seattle falls because of the absences of Stewart and Bird,
WNBA Betting Pick: Minnesota 74 Seattle 70
Las Vegas Aces at Phoenix Mercury
- When: Friday, May 31 at 10:00 PM ET
- Where: Talking Stick Resort Arena, Phoenix, AZ
- TV: ESPN2
Analysis: After going a modest 14-20 a year ago, the Las Vegas Aces kicked off their season with a statement-making 83-70 win over the Los Angeles Sparks on Sunday as 2018 WNBA Rookie of the Year A’ja Wilson posted team highs of 21 points and 11 rebounds to lead the way to victory.
Three-time league champion Phoenix was on the wrong end of a 77-68 season-opening road loss against defending champion Seattle in Saturday. DeWanna Bonner scored a game-high 31 points for the Mercury, including 15 consecutive points in the third quarter, but she got little help in the loss.
“They know who is going to score for us and we need other people to be aggressive on offense and be more involved,” Phoenix coach Sandy Brondello said.
Phoenix might be playing at home, but the Mercury are short-handed and I expect Las Vegas to be playing the entire 2019 campaign with a chip on their collective shoulders, If you didn’t know, the Aces have three former No. 1 overall draft picks on their roster and they’ve got a great head coach in Bill Laimbeer. Vegas gets it done on the road.
WNBA Betting Pick: Las Vegas 81 Phoenix 77
Atlanta Dream at Washington Mystics
- When: Saturday, June 1 at 8:00 PM ET
- Where: Entertainment and Sports Arena, Washington, D.C.
- TV: ESPN
Analysis: After posting a robust 23-11 mark that was bested only by Seattle a year ago, Atlanta kicked off its 2019 season with a hard-fought 76-72 home win over Dallas on Friday night as Jessica Breland scored 17 points including a late, go-ahead three-pointer. The Dream, who led the WNBA in field goal percentage defense (42.3) last season, held the Wings to a paltry 35.1 percent mark (26-for-74) in their opener.
“It was ugly but I think we did what we do and that’s battle,” Atlanta coach Nicki Collen said. “… It took a little while to get everyone on the same page, but we just don’t give up.”
Washington went a stellar 22-12 last season and reached the WNBA Finals opposite Seattle. After their humbling 3-0 sweep against the Storm in last season’s finals, the Mystics got their 2019 campaign started off on the wrong foot by suffering a dismal 84-69 defeat against Connecticut on Saturday night. Washington was missing Elena Delle Donne, who sat out the opener with left knee soreness and her teammates managed to keep it close for a while. Emma Meesseman, who has returned to the franchise after playing in Belgium last season, scored a team-high 14 points in the loss while Natasha Cloud and Kristi Toliver each added 11 points for Washington.
I’m going to urge you to keep your pick simple on this matchup of elite title contenders. If Elena Delle Donne is back on the floor for Washington, the Mystics will take care of business in the nation’s capitol. If she’s not, then Atlanta’s talent-laden team and its powerful defense will get the W. I like Washington in this one with their all-star leader back on the floor.
WNBA Betting Pick: Washington 77 Atlanta 75