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Atlanta Dream vs. L.A. Sparks: Expert Pick – August 12, 2023

Atlanta Dream vs. L.A. Sparks: Expert Pick – August 12, 2023

ATLANTA DREAM vs. L.A. SPARKS: EXPERT PICK – AUGUST 12, 2023 – Greetings basketball fans. Welcome back to our weekend WNBA coverage here at Godzilla Wins. There are two games on the slate for today. The first game we will preview features the Atlanta Dream (15-14) taking on the Los Angeles Sparks (11-18). 

Based on their records, neither team can be categorized as a championship-caliber squad. At the same token, this contest means a lot to both ball clubs. The Dream are tied with the Dallas Wings for the fourth spot, while the Sparks trail the Chicago Sky by one game for the final playoff berth. 

So, with that in mind, here is a look at which team has the edge going into this matchup and why. 

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Tipoff

When: Saturday, August 12, 2023 at 7:30 PM ET

Where: Crypto.com Arena, Los Angeles, CA

TV: BSSO

Odds

Matchup

Open

Spread 

Total

MoneyLine

Atlanta Dream

(15-14, SU)

+0.5

+1.5

o162.5

-108

Los Angeles Sparks

(11-18, SU)

u163

-1.5

u162.5

-115

DraftKings

Atlanta Dream vs Los Angeles Sparks – Season Trends

Atlanta has dropped three of its last four contests. This includes a recent loss 68-67 to the Seattle Storm on Thursday. This hurt a bit because the Dream were outscored by a 21-7 margin in the final frame.

Rhyne Howard paced Atlanta with 20 points, six rebounds, and three steals. Allisha Gray chipped in with 17 points, seven rebounds, three assists, and three steals in a losing effort. 

The Dream Are Better Than Their Record Indicates

Despite being just one game above .500, there is more than meets the eye when it comes to this ball club. Atlanta is ranked 5th in scoring, averaging 83.1 points per contest and they have the fifth-best defensive rating in the league, allowing 102.1 points per 100 possessions. Here are some other areas in which Atlanta makes the grade.

  • Rebounds: 39.1 per game (1st)
  • Blocks: 5.2 per game (1st)
  • Three-Point Shooting: 35.2 percent (5th)
  • Opponent Shooting: 42.3 percent (2nd)
  • Opponent 3PT Shooting: 33 percent (3rd)

Given some of these stats, it is somewhat surprising that the Dream have not had more success this season. 

Despite Scoring Struggles, Los Angeles Sparks Hold Their Own Defensively

The Sparks come into this matchup having dropped three of their last five contests. However, they are riding a two-game winning streak thanks to a pair of wins over the Washington Mystics (91-83) and the Indiana Fever (87-80). In the team’s win over Indiana, Nneka Ogwumike posted a double-double of 20 points and 11 rebounds. 

From an offensive standpoint, the Sparks don’t exactly set the nets on fire. They have the third-worst scoring average (78.9 PPG) and the second-worst defensive rating. Additionally, Los Angeles has the third third-worst shooting percentage as the team is converting just 41.9 percent of its shot attempts. 

As bad as the Sparks are on offense, they measure up quite well at the other end of the floor. They have the fifth-highest scoring defense (81.6 PPG) and the sixth-best defensive rating in the association. And the Sparks are also limiting their opponents to 32.3 percent shooting from behind the arc. This is a close second to the Connecticut Sun – whose opponents are shooting just 31.3 percent from the 3-point line.

FUN My Pillow

The Picks


The Spread

The Sparks are a one-point favorite in this matchup. But here is why I am going with the road team to cover the spread. 

  • Atlanta is 7-3 ATS in its last 10 games when facing teams with a losing record. The Sparks are 11-18 on the season.
  • The Dream are an impressive 23-9 ATS in the last 32 meetings between these two teams. 
  • Atlanta is 15-4 ATS in the last 19 head-to-head encounters in Los Angeles. 

Prediction: Atlanta Dream (+1)


Over/Under

The projected scoring total for this contest is 163 points. Here is why the OVER is the smart play here.

  • In the two head-to-head meetings this season, the teams combined for 169 and 196 points, respectively. 
  • Dating back to last season, the OVER total has prevailed four times in the last five matchups. 
  • The OVER is 4-0 for Atlanta against teams with an overall losing record. 
  • The OVER total is 8-2 for Los Angeles in the last 10 instances in which the team played on three days or more of rest.

Prediction: OVER 163 points


Player Prop Bet

My key player to watch in this contest is Los Angeles Sparks forward Nneka Ogwumike. She currently has -120 odds of scoring 19.5 points and -110 odds of scoring less than 19.5 points. Ogwumike is averaging a career-high in points (19.8) and rebounds (9.1). 

Not only that, but she has scored 20 or more points in five of her previous seven outings. Given those stats, I’m going with the over here. 

Prediction: Nneka Ogwumike OVER 19.5 points

James’s Picks

Atlanta Dream (+1)

OVER 163 points

PPB: Nneka Ogwumike OVER 19.5 points

 

 

2 Comments

  1. Pingback:Connecticut Sun vs. Dallas Wings Expert Pick - August 12, 2023

  2. Pingback:Atlanta Dream vs Las Vegas Aces: Expert Pick – August 13, 2023

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