Tonight’s matchup between the Phoenix Mercury and Dallas Wings will see two teams facing off during a significant stretch where the emphasis on winning basketball games is becoming increasingly urgent. Their first matchup of the season in May saw the Wings defeat the Mercury 94-84 at Footprint Center.
A lot can change in a single season, as nearly nine months ago, the Mercury and Wings were among the eight teams competing for the WNBA Championship trophy — now, both are fighting an uphill battle to get back to the postseason.
Mercury vs Wings odds
Odds via the Covers Line, an average comprised of odds from multiple sportsbooks.
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Mercury vs Wings predictions
Predictions made on 6/17/2022 at 1:00 a.m. ET.
Click on each prediction to jump to the full analysis.
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Mercury vs Wings info
• Location: College Park Center, Arlington, TX
• Date: Friday, June 17, 2022
• Tip-off: 8:00 p.m. ET
• TV: Bally Sports Southwest Extra, Bally Sports Arizona Extra
Mercury vs Wings betting preview
Mercury: Sophie Cunningham G (Out), Brittney Griner C (Out), Kia Nurse G (Out).
Wings: Satou Sabally G (Out).
Find our latest WNBA injury reports.
Betting trend to know
Over is 4-1-1 in Mercury’s last six vs. a team with a losing straight-up record. Find more WNBA betting trends for Mercury vs. Wings.
Mercury vs Wings picks and predictions
Our side and total predictions are based upon our analysis of the line and total in this game. Our best bet is our favorite pick across all markets.
At 6-9, things haven’t gone the Phoenix Mercury’s way this season. After losing to the Sky in last season’s championship, injuries and the delicate situation involving their superstar center, Brittney Griner, are having an understandable effect on a franchise that has finished with a Top-5 record an astounding 17 times since 2004, winning three championships.
Phoenix currently has an offensive rating of 99.6, ranking seventh-best in the WNBA. Their defensive rating, settling in at 105.1, ranks ninth overall. Despite their big-name backcourt of Skylar Diggins-Smith and Diana Taurasi, their assist ratio is average at 19.3. They can score (80.9 points per game) and have a solid team field goal percentage (43.4), but they are the worst offensive rebounding team in the league and Bottom 2 overall in rebounding.
Across the board, Phoenix lacks what Griner brings to a team. In 30 games last season, she averaged 20.5 points and 9.5 rebounds while shooting 57% from the field. That absence proves costly, with the team surrendering double-doubles in recent games to Washington’s Shakira Austin and Atlanta’s Cheyenne Parker.
So, what are the positives for Phoenix? Well, for one, they have one of the best players in the WNBA in Skyler Diggins-Smith. The 5’9”, 145-pound Diggins-Smith may not have the size that will intimidate anyone, but she is laser quick, has a high IQ, and is a winner in every way.
In three out of her last six games, Diggins-Smith scored over 20 points, including a 29-point gem against the Los Angeles Sparks, where she shot 10-for-16 and a perfect 6-for-6 from the foul line. Diggins-Smith will try to take advantage of a Wings team that just gave up 27 points to Las Vegas Aces guard Kelsey Plum.
The Wings’ recent four-game skid is a bit of a surprise for a team with talent and a solid foundation on both sides of the ball. Despite losing four straight, Dallas has a season ATS record of 9-5. scoring 80.2 points per game and is ranked in the league’s Top 6 in 3-point percentage (35.2), free throw percentage (81.9), and rebounds per game (35.9).
Defensively, the Wings have also been steady in most categories, landing in the Top 5 in opponent 3-point percentage (32.2) and rebounds per game (32.9). Dallas will need a strong performance from guard Ariel Ogunbowale, who is coming off a solid 28-point performance and torched the Mercury for 37 points in May.
Dallas is desperate for a win, but the spread here may be too significant to have faith in Dallas covering.
Prediction: Mercury +4 (-110 at Caesars)
Covers basketball betting analysis
The last time these two teams met, the Mercury and Wings combined for 178 points without Diggins-Smith, who missed time with a non-COVID illness.
Phoenix, a seesaw this season, has been hot lately, scoring 90 or more in three of its last four games. Despite the four-game skid, the Wings have scored 78 points or more in their previous four outings. The 94 points the Wings scored against the Mercury were the fourth-most points they’ve surrendered the entire season. Was that an early-season blunder, or will the improved Mercury flip the script this time?
The Mercury must emphasize slowing down Ogunbowale, as she’s already scored over 20 points three times in June — she knows her production is required for her team to win games. Dallas will also have their hands full as the Mercury continue to get healthy. In June, Phoenix scored 86 points per game, the third-best in the WNBA. The wings aren’t too far behind at 79.4, which is sixth-best overall.
The Wings are streaking in Over/Under, successful in their last three outings. The Mercury are 2-2 in Over/Under in their previous four outings but will look to use their recent offensive hot streak to surpass this number.
Prediction: Over 169.5 (-105 at BetMGM)
The Mercury have not been good on the road, with a 3-6 record. They score 77.6 points per game on the road, third-worst in the WNBA. Another concern is rebounding, as they only average 32.3 per game on the road, ranking them in the Bottom 3. The Wings aren’t exactly world-beaters at home, scoring only 78.7 points per game. The offense can be stagnant, evident by a league-worst 17.2 assists per game at home.
The Wings are due for a win after losing their last four games to the Las Vegas Aces and Seattle Storm — two of the better teams in the WNBA. It won’t be easy, as the Mercury are figuring some things out and playing better basketball of late.
The Mercury are a new team in June after immense struggles early in the season. They are 4-2 in their last six games and have settled into a nice rhythm. The Wings have been vulnerable, and while this game will be a good contest, the Mercury should cover here.
Pick: Mercury +4 (-110 at Caesars)
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