WNBA Best Bets: Thursday, September 9

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The only matchup of tonight’s WNBA action is in Los Angeles, where the Connecticut Sun will visit the Sparks at 10:30 pm ET. PointsBet Sportsbook opened with a spread of Sun -9 and moved it up to -10 with a total of 142.5. My WNBA bet went 1-0 last night to move my record to 12-9, including 6-1 on two unit plays since the break. Let’s look at the odds and important stats to watch entering tonight’s matchup to try and find value on Thursday’s WNBA slate.

Connecticut Sun vs. Los Angeles Sparks

The Sun blew out Dallas 83-56 in the team's last game on Tuesday. Connecticut sits atop the league standings with a 22-6 record and a 10 game win streak entering this matchup. This success stems from a dominant Sun defense that leads the league in defensive rating, defensive rebounding rate and opposing field goal percentage while also allowing the fewest opposing Points Per Possession (PPP), second-chance points and rebounds this season.

The team's offense isn't as strong as the defense but that hasn't mattered much during Connecticut's recent win streak. The Sun allowed opponents to score only 64.2 points per game in the last ten matchups, even better than Connecticut's league-leading 70.7 average for the season. No other team held opponents under 80 average points per game this year.

MVP favorite Jonquel Jones is a big reason why the Sun own the best PointsBet Sportsbook odds to win the WNBA Finals. Jones put up 19.9 points per game to go along with a league-high 10.9 boards per game this year. Jonquel, Brionna Jones and DeWanna Bonner make up the Connecticut frontcourt and each rank in the top five for defensive win shares this season.

Bonner is among the best all-around players in the league. She is tied with Sylvia Fowles for the WNBA lead in defensive win shares and ranks in the league's top-25 for average points, assists, rebounds, steals and blocks this season.

Guard Jasmine Thomas recently set the Connecticut record for career assists with the Sun and leads the team with 4.3 assists per game this season. The Sun went 2-6-2 ATS in the last ten games when the team was favored by at least nine points on the road, but Connecticut still won seven of those ten games straight up.

Los Angeles may not be able to score much against the Sun as the Sparks rank last in field goal percentage, points per game and rebounds per game. The Sparks' offense struggled this season and averaged only 70.3 points per game in the last ten outings.

However, the Sparks defense may be able to limit the Sun offense enough to keep this game close. The Sparks own the fourth-best defensive rating and rank second in steals per game this season. Los Angeles also forced the highest opposing turnover rate while leading the league in average points off turnovers and allowing the fewest opposing fast-break points per game this season.

The Sparks defense is led by All-Defensive Team candidate Brittney Sykes. Sykes made All-Defensive Second Team last season and played even better so far this year defensively. The Syracuse alum is tied for the WNBA lead in steals and according to Sparks PR she is the only player with at least three games accumulating five or more steals this season.

Nneka Ogwumike paced Los Angeles in scoring with 14.2 points per game this season and also led the team with 5.9 rebounds per game. Erica Wheeler is the team's only other double-digit scorer at 13.5 points per game. Wheeler scored the fourth-most average points off turnovers and the third-most clutch points per game this season. Nia Coffey stepped up in the past few games, averaging 12.6 points in the last five matches.

I think Connecticut should win this game handily but, I can see the Sparks making a late push to cover the spread, so I'm avoiding the pre-game spread to look for live betting opportunities in this one. The total is slightly more intriguing, especially since the final score finished under the total in nine of the last 10 matchups between these teams. The Sun went 9-3 to the under in the last 12 games while the Sparks went under the total in four of the team's last five contests. I would lean under on the total, but I'm staying off this game as the books seem to be accounting for the strong defense of both teams with a low number of 142.5. The last two matchups between these teams averaged exactly 142.5 points scored, so I'll try to take the under live if the teams go on a hot shooting stretch to bump up the number at any point in the first half.

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