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Top 2 WNBA Betting Picks for Sunday, August 15th (2021)

by August 15, 2021

The WNBA’s regular season will resume tonight after a lengthy pause to accommodate the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The United States took gold behind a massive showing from Phoenix Mercury star Brittney Griner at that tournament, and we’ll get to see her on the court again in Phoenix’s matchup with Atlanta.

All 12 teams are back in action this evening. Here are a pair of solid betting picks that should help you build your bankroll.

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YTD: 0-0-0 (+0u)

1. Atlanta Dream +6 | -115 at DK Sportsbook

The Dream won’t have star forward Cheyenne Parker for the rest of the season, and the team suspended Chennedy Carter just before the league paused its action for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. That leaves the Dream without their third and fourth-leading scorers. Sounds bad, right? Not for bettors.

DraftKings overcorrected for the news by listing the Dream as 6-point road underdogs against the Mercury. The team still has key players like guard Tiffany Hayes and big Elizabeth Williams, and suspending Carter may actually help improve morale. Her attitude will no longer cause problems on the bench.

My WNBA betting model likes the Dream here for a pair of reasons. First, it gives Atlanta a slight edge relative to this spread in efficiency. Up to this point, the Dream have been a slightly better squad offensively than the Mercury. That said, the Mercury play better defense (and Atlanta did just lose Parker and Carter), so their advantage isn’t a huge one.

Second, the Dream have routinely exceeded expectations on the road. They have the WNBA’s second-best away record against the spread (6-3 ATS); in contrast, the Mercury have the second-worst home record against the spread (3-6).

Not having Parker and Carter shouldn’t doom the Dream to a blowout ⁠— especially if the Mercury have to play without Alanna Smith, Diana Taurasi, or Sophie Cunningham, all of whom have been listed as questionable.

2. Washington Mystics +11 | -110 (.5u) at DK Sportsbook

The eighth-ranked Mystics played a close game against the second-ranked Aces earlier this year. Although they did eventually fall by a three-point margin, that’s a lot closer than this spread, and the efficiency metrics point to the Mystics as a decent pick here.

The Mystics play a relatively efficient brand of offense, as they rank sixth. They also play at around a league-average pace. The Aces may rank first in both efficiency metrics and play at the WNBA’s fastest pace, but that still isn’t enough for my model to favor them against this spread. They’d need to secure a double-digit win to cover, but my efficiency-based model favors them by much less ⁠— just 5.62 points, to be exact.

Of course, the Aces have a loaded roster, and my player win share-based model favors Las Vegas by 12.07. I’m fine laying a half-unit on this line because the Mystics are getting so many points relative to the efficiency-based spread, but this isn’t a lock, and you should follow the injury report closely. Wait until the team announces if Leilani Mitchell will suit up before committing any action here.

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Isaiah Sirois is a featured writer at BettingPros. For more from Isaiah, check out his archive and follow him @is_sirois.

Picks, WNBA