Minnesota (18-16) at Los Angeles (19-15)
When: Tuesday, August 21st 2018
Where: Staples Center, Los Angeles
Time: 10:30 ET | TV: ESPN2
Opening Odds: Los Angeles -6.5/152.5
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The Minnesota Lynx and Los Angeles Sparks have met in the last two WNBA Championship Series and many thought they would make it three in a row this season. Instead, the two will matchup in a single-elimination contest to see who advances to the next round. Both of their championship series went five games with the Sparks taking home the title two years ago and the Lynx getting revenge a year later. The Sparks have gotten the better of Minnesota this season, taking three of four. The winner of this contest will travel to the East Coast to face either the Connecticut Sun or the Washington Mystics on Thursday night in another win-or-go home game. There is also pressure on the Lynx to advance as veteran Lindsay Whelan said this will be her final season. She owns the WNBA record for a player who has won the most games in a career. Candace Parker remains the team leader for Los Angeles, but Chelsea Gray has been an underrated contributor. Gray finished third on the team in scoring (14.9 ppg) behind Parker and Nneka Ogwumike, while leading the club in assists per game (5.1) and averaged 15 points and almost eight assists against Minnesota this season.
The Sparks and Lynx first matchup of the season was won by Los Angeles thanks to a closing seconds layup by Gray in a game in which Parker didn’t play because of a back issue. In the second matchup, the Sparks took care of business at home in an eight-point win, while Minnesota got revenge in the third meeting at home, 77-59. Statistically, the two teams are evenly matched. The Lynx have scored 2,684 total points, which is exactly one more than the Sparks at 2,683 and their 78.9 points per game average is the the lowest mark for any team in the postseason. The Sparks allow a league-low 77.0 points per game, while the Lynx are next at 78.3 points per game by their opponents.
Neither team comes in with any sort of momentum, but the Lynx have shot better over the last five games – 48.6% to L.A.’s 39.4%. Their team statistics are almost identical this season, so I’ll take the points in this one.
Pick: Lynx +6.5
- Lynx are 3-7 ATS in their last 10 games overall.
- Lynx are 2-6 ATS in their last 8 Tuesday games.
- Lynx are 2-6 ATS in their last 8 games following a straight up win.
- Lynx are 2-6 ATS in their last 8 games following a ATS win.
- Lynx are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
- Sparks are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games following a straight up loss.
- Sparks are 4-9 ATS in their last 13 vs. Western Conference.
- Sparks are 6-14 ATS in their last 20 games vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
- Sparks are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games overall.
- Sparks are 2-6 ATS in their last 8 games playing on 1 days rest.
- Sparks are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 Tuesday games.
- Sparks are 1-7 ATS in their last 8 home games.
- Sparks are 1-7 ATS in their last 8 games following a ATS win.
- Under is 6-0 in Lynx last 6 vs. Western Conference.
- Under is 8-1 in Lynx last 9 games following a straight up win.
- Under is 6-1 in Lynx last 7 games following a ATS win.
- Under is 22-4 in Lynx last 26 road games.
- Under is 15-5 in Lynx last 20 games playing on 1 days rest.
- Under is 12-4 in Lynx last 16 overall.
- Under is 9-3 in Lynx last 12 vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
- Under is 4-0 in Sparks last 4 Tuesday games.
- Under is 8-3 in Sparks last 11 vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
- Under is 38-17 in Sparks last 55 home games.
- Under is 20-9 in Sparks last 29 games playing on 1 days rest.
- Under is 24-11 in Sparks last 35 games following a ATS win.
- Under is 45-22 in Sparks last 67 overall.
- Under is 5-0 in the last 5 meetings in Los Angeles.
- Under is 10-3 in the last 13 meetings.
- Lynx are 3-8 ATS in the last 11 meetings.
- Lynx are 1-4 ATS in the last 5 meetings in Los Angeles.