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  #601  
Old 08-20-2017, 10:04 AM
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SUNDAY, AUGUST 20

GAME TIME(ET) PICK UNITS

MIN at NY 03:00 PM

NY +5.0

O 158.0


PHO at CONN 03:00 PM

PHO +4.5

O 170.5


WAS at IND 05:00 PM

WAS -3.5

U 159.0


SEA at CHI 06:00 PM

SEA +2.0

U 168.5
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  #602  
Old 08-20-2017, 09:36 PM
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WNBA Capsules
August 20, 2017


NEW YORK (AP) Tina Charles scored 19 points, Epiphanny Prince added 15 and the New York Liberty beat the short-handed Minnesota Lynx 70-61 on Sunday to clinch a playoff spot.

The Liberty (17-12) have won five straight, beating the WNBA's top three teams in the past three.

Maya Moore scored 22 points to lead the Lynx (22-6), who were missing starters Lindsay Whalen and Rebekkah Brunson to injuries.

The Lynx and Liberty players locked arms in a giant circle with members of the NYPD and Covenant House at center court before the game in a show of unity during the national anthem. The contest was billed as unity game to help promote social awareness toward racial inequalities. The Liberty hosted an hour long panel before the game with the Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality.

MYSTICS 87, FEVER 82

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Emma Meesseman scored 21 points and Washington clinched a playoff spot with the victory over Indiana.

Kristi Toliver had 12 of her 18 points in the fourth quarter, and Tierra Ruffin-Pratt also scored 18 points for Washington (17-12). Marissa Coleman made a career-best six 3-pointers and finished with a season-high 20 points for Indiana (9-21).

STORM 103, SKY 66

ROSEMONT, Ill. (AP) - Breanna Stewart had 19 points, nine rebounds and six assists, Jewell Loyd and Alysha Clark scored 17 points apiece and Seattle Storm never trailed against Chicago.

Crystal Langhorne and Sami Whitcomb each added 10 points for Seattle (14-16). The Storm have won four in a row and are tied with Dallas for the eighth and final playoff spot, 2 1/2 games in front of the Sky.

Stefanie Dolson led Chicago (11-18) with 10 points.

SUN 94, MERCURY 66

UNCASVILLE, Conn. (AP) - Alyssa Thomas had 17 points, 12 rebounds and five assists, and Jonquel Jones added 20 points and eight rebounds in Connecticut's victory over Phoenix.

Courtney Williams had 16 points, Jasmine Thomas finished with 14 and Shekinna Stricklen added 12 for Connecticut (19-10). Brittney Griner led Phoenix (15-14) with 18 points.
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  #603  
Old 08-20-2017, 09:42 PM
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SCHEDULE FOR TUESDAY AUGUST 22, 2017
Time (ET) Away Home Site
8:00 PM Phoenix Mercury Minnesota Lynx Target Center
10:30 PM San Antonio Stars Los Angeles Sparks Staples Center

SCHEDULE FOR WEDNESDAY AUGUST 23, 2017
Time (ET) Away Home Site
7:00 PM Dallas Wings Connecticut Sun Mohegan Sun Arena
7:00 PM New York Liberty Indiana Fever Bankers Life Fieldhouse
7:00 PM Seattle Storm Atlanta Dream McCamish Pavilion

SCHEDULE FOR THURSDAY AUGUST 24, 2017
Time (ET) Away Home Site
9:00 PM Los Angeles Sparks Phoenix Mercury Talking Stick Resort Arena

SCHEDULE FOR FRIDAY AUGUST 25, 2017
Time (ET) Away Home Site
7:00 PM Chicago Sky Connecticut Sun Mohegan Sun Arena
7:30 PM Washington Mystics New York Liberty Madison Square Garden
8:00 PM Minnesota Lynx San Antonio Stars AT&T Center

SCHEDULE FOR SATURDAY AUGUST 26, 2017
Time (ET) Away Home Site
6:00 PM Indiana Fever Atlanta Dream McCamish Pavilion
7:00 PM Dallas Wings Washington Mystics Verizon Center

Updated Sun Aug 20 10:04 PM EDT

***********************************

LEAGUE STANDINGS

Rank Team W L PCT GB CONF HOME ROAD L-10 STREAK


#1 Minnesota Lynx - x22 6 0.786 - 11-2 12-2 10-4 6-4 L 1

#2 Los Angeles Sparks - x21 8 0.724 1.5 9-4 12-1 9-7 7-3 W 2

#3 Connecticut Sun - x19 10 0.655 3.5 9-5 11-4 8-6 8-2 W 1

#4 New York Liberty - x17 12 0.586 5.5 8-5 10-4 7-8 7-3 W 5

#5 Washington Mystics - x17 12 0.586 5.5 12-2 10-4 7-8 6-4 W 1

#6 Phoenix Mercury 15 14 0.517 7.5 6-7 7-7 8-7 4-6 L 1

#7 Seattle Storm14 16 0.467 9 8-7 10-6 4-10 5-5 W 4

#8 Dallas Wings14 16 0.467 9 7-9 10-6 4-10 5-5 W 1

#9 Chicago Sky11 18 0.379 11.5 5-9 4-11 7-7 5-5 L 2

#10 Atlanta Dream 10 20 0.333 13 4-11 7-8 3-12 1-9 L 9

#11 Indiana Fever - o 9 21 0.300 14 4-10 6-8 3-13 1-9 L 4

#12 San Antonio Stars - o 7 23 0.233 16 1-13 6-10 1-13 5-5 L 1


Legend
x: Clinched Playoffs Berth
o: Eliminated from Playoffs contention
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  #604  
Old 08-20-2017, 10:03 PM
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WNBA August Record: Best Bets ( BASED ON 5 UNITS )

DATE W-L-T % UNITS

08/20/2017..............3-5-0............37.50%.....................-12.50
08/19/2017..............1-1-0............50.00%.....................-0.50
08/18/2017..............4-5-0............44.44%.....................-7.50
08/16/2017..............2-2-0............50.00%.....................-1.00
08/15/2017..............2-0-0...........100.00%..................+10.00
08/13/2017..............2-0-0...........100.00%..................+10.00
08/12/2017..............5-3-0.............62.50%...................+8.50
08/11/2017..............1-3-0.............25.00%...................-1150
08/10/2017..............1-3-0.............25.00%...................-1150
08/08/2017..............3-3-0..............50.00%...................-1.50
08/06/2017..............4-2-0..............66.67%..................+9.00
08/05/2017..............3-1-0..............75.00%..................+9.50
08/04/2017..............4-6-0..............40.00%..................-13.00
08/03/2017..............0-2-0................0.00%..................-11.00


Totals...................35 - 36 - 0...........49.29%....................-23.00


DATE.......................ATS................TOTA L............OU................TOTAL

08/20/2017..............3 - 1..........+9.50...........0 - 4................-22.00
08/19/2017..............0 - 1...........-5.50...........1 - 0................+ 5.00
08/18/2017..............2 - 3..........- 6.50...........2 - 2................- 1.00
08/16/2017..............1 - 1..........- 0.50...........1 - 1.................- 0.50
08/15/2017..............1 - 0..........+ 5.00..........1 - 0................+ 5.00
08/13/2017..............1 - 0..........+ 5.00..........1 -0.................+ 5.00
08/12/2017..............2 - 2..........- 1.00...........3 - 1................+ 9.50
08/11/2017..............1 - 1..........- 0.50...........0 - 2................- 11.00
08/10/2017..............0 - 2..........- 11.00..........1 - 1.................- 0.50
08/08/2017..............3 - 0...........+15.00........0 - 3.................- 16.50
08/06/2017..............2 - 1...........+ 4.50.........2 - 1.................+ 4.50
08/05/2017..............2 - 0...........+10.00........1 - 1...................- 0.50
08/04/2017..............3 - 2............+ 4.00........1 - 4..................-17.00
08/03/2017..............0 - 1.............- 5.50........0 - 1...................- 5.50


Totals.................21 - 14 - 0........+ 22.50.........13 - 21.................-45.50
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  #605  
Old 08-20-2017, 11:17 PM
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Monday’s six-pack

— Cubs 6, Blue Jays 5 (10)— Toronto scored twice in top of 10th but blew lead; MLB teams who had 2+ run lead in extra innings this year had been 50-0 before this.

— Marlins 6, Mets 4— Giancarlo Stanton hit his 21st HR at CitiField, most of any visiting player.

— Twins 12, Arizona 5— Bartolo Colon has now beaten all 30 major league teams.

— Boston 5, New York 1— Sonny Gray is 1-3, 4.30 in four starts for New York.

— Heath Evans of NFL Network was critical of the Chargers sitting QB Philip Rivers last night.

— DL happenings:
Tampa Bay puts P Jacob Faria (abdomen) on the DL
Minnesota puts DH Miguel Sano (shin) on DL

**************************

Monday’s List of 13: Wrapping up a sports weekend…….

13) Quote of the Day, part 2: Ian Kinsler, on the umpires’ wearing white wristbands Saturday to protest Kinsler’s not being suspended for his comments about Angel Hernandez:

“I really don’t think too deeply into it. I hope they wear the white wristbands for the rest of their careers. I don’t care. I said what I felt and what I thought. If they take offense to that, that’s their problem.’’

Alrighty then.

12) Umpires didn’t wear the wristbands Sunday; they’re getting an audience with commish Rob Manfred soon, to discuss their issues. Doubt they’ll get much satisfaction.

11) 75 players have 20+ homers this year; just three years ago, only 57 guys hit 20+ homers for the whole season— there are still six weeks of games left this year.

10) New York Mets saved roughly $13.6M in salary by trading veterans to contenders in the last few weeks. Thats what small market teams do. New York City is not a small market.

9) The Greek basketball federation attacked the Milwaukee Bucks and the NBA in a statement, describing an “organized and well-staged plan” to keep Giannis Antetokounmpo from playing in the Eurobasket tournament for Greece at the end of the month.

If I was paying a young man $20M a year, damn sure I wouldn’t want him playing in some exhibition tournament in the summer. Too freakin’ bad.

8) Someone in the Indiana University compliance department screwed up, and it cost a freshman DB a year of his football eligibility. The school screwed up by not telling the kid what was required of him to become eligible— I’m guessing someone lost their job over that.

7) NFL exhibition broadcasts that aren’t on national TV can be tough to listen to; they’re infomercials for the local team. Never is heard a discouraging word— exhibition games are sloppy by nature, obviously, but you’d never know it by listening to some of these TV guys.

6) From the sound of the 49ers’ TV guys, CJ Beathard is going to beat Matt Barkley out for the backup QB job in San Francisco. Will Kyle Shanahan keep three QB’s?

5) I didn’t realize mailmen delivered on Sunday; around 5pm, a truck pulled up to the house next door. Can’t remember seeing that before, except maybe around Christmas.

4) Tyler Clippard is the first pitcher since Ted Abernathy in 1970 to save a game for three different teams in the same season.

3) Mets get minor league pitcher Jacob Rhame as Player to be Named Later in the Granderson trade; he was Dodgers #28 ranked prospect and should be up with the Mets next month; he is headed to the AAA Las Vegas 51’s for now.

2) RIP Jerry Lewis, 91, an actor/comedian who raised roughly $1.6B thru his Labor Day telethon to fight Muscular Dystrophy. Thats billion, with a B. He helped a lot of people. RIP, sir.

1) If the playoffs started today (they do not), they’d look like this:
AL: Boston-Cleveland-Houston. Wild Cards: New York/Angels or Twins
NL: Washington-Chicago-Los Angeles. Wild Cards: Arizona-Colorado
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  #606  
Old 08-21-2017, 11:36 PM
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Betting Recap - 8/14-8/20
August 21, 2017


League Betting Notes (Monday, Aug. 14 through Sunday, Aug. 20)

-- Favorites went 9-4 straight up (SU)
-- Underdogs went 7-6 against the spread (ATS)
-- Road teams posted a 7-6 SU record
-- Road teams posted an 8-5 ATS record
-- The 'over' went 8-5

Team Betting Notes

-- The Dream's (10-20) nightmare continued last week as the club went 0-2. They did manage to cover on Saturday as they dropped a 90-86 decision at Dallas as five-point road underdogs. The losing streak has reached nine games and they are 1-8 ATS during this run. The ‘over’ went 2-0 last week.

-- After winning three straight games the previous week, the Sky (11-18) came back to earth last weekend at home. They were outgunned 115-103 by Los Angeles on Friday and embarrassed 103-66 on Sunday. Chicago went 0-2 ATS in both losses and the ‘over’ cashed in each game as well. Surprisingly, Chicago has played better on the road (7-7) than at home (4-11) this season.

-- Connecticut (19-10) played three games this past week and they posted a 2-1 record both SU and ATS. All three of the outcomes were decided by double digits and the ‘under’ went 2-1. The Sun complete their regular season home slate this week with games against the Wings and Sky before closing the year with three straight on the road.

-- Dallas (14-16) only played one game last week and they came away with a 90-86 home win over Atlanta. The Wings are fighting for a playoff spot and will begin their toughest test of the season this week with the first of three straight road games, all against Eastern Conference foes. The club brings a 3-0 ‘over’ run into this week’s action.


-- The Fever (9-21) entered the WNBA history books this past Friday as they were annihilated 111-52 at Minnesota. The 59-point margin broke the previous high of 46 points. The club has lost four straight and 14 of their last 16 games overall. They did manage to cover in Sunday’s road loss at Washington (82-87) and the ‘over’ is 4-1 in the last five games.

-- After dropping two of three, Los Angeles (21-8) finished up its five-game road trip with back-to-back wins and covers. The Sparks lit up the scoreboard with 95 and 115-point efforts. L.A. is only one game behind Minnesota for the top seed in the West and they finish the season with four of its final five contests at home.

Despite notching a record-breaking 111-52 win over Indiana on Friday, Minnesota (22-6) dropped two of three games last week and is 1-3 in its last four. The club plays three games this week, starting Tuesday versus Phoenix. Then the Lynx hit the road for games at San Antonio on Friday before a key matchup at Los Angeles on Sunday.

-- The Liberty (17-12) extended its winning streak to five games last week with a pair of wins and covers. The club was listed as an underdog in both contests and has been catching points in its last four games. The ‘under’ is on a 4-0-1 run and the defense is holding teams to 70.6 PPG during this run. New York has three games this week and two of them come against a pair of teams with losing record in Indiana and Chicago.

-- Phoenix (15-14) alternated wins and losses last week and that’s been the theme of the team lately. The Mercury haven’t won back-to-back games since late July and is 2-3 ATS over its last five games. The ‘over’ is on a 5-1 run and only one team was held under 80 points during this span. Phoenix plays three games this week and they’re against the top two clubs in the West (Minnesota, Los Angeles) plus Seattle, who is right on their tail in the standings.

-- The Stars (7-23) played one game last week and they just missed pulling off a major upset on Friday but they dropped a 79-78 decision to Seattle as 10-point underdogs. San Antonio has two games this week and it will likely be a double-digit underdog when it visits Los Angeles on Tuesday and hosts Minnesota on Friday.

-- Seattle (14-16) is making a serious push for the playoffs and it brings a four-game winning streak into this week. The Storm have gone 3-1 ATS during this run and the ‘over’ has also notched a 3-1 mark. The club plays three of its final four games on the road and Sunday’s matchup vs. Phoenix will be the home finale of the regular season.
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  #607  
Old 08-21-2017, 11:40 PM
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Tuesday’s six-pack

— 92% of the bets placed have been placed on Conor McGregor for Saturday’s fight, but 79% of the money bet is on Floyd Mayweather.

— Indians 5, Boston 4— Andrew Miller/Carlos Santana left with injuries, but Cleveland now has a 6-game lead in AL Central.

— Jay Bruce is 16 for 44 (.364) since joining the Indians.

— 78 of Colorado’s 124 games this season have been started by rookie pitchers.

— The last preseason #1 team to win a college football national title? USC in 2004.

— San Francisco Giants have been eliminated from playoff contention already, the earliest any team has been eliminated since 1998.

********************

Tuesday’s List of 13: Nobody asked me, but…….

13) New Jersey Jets have had five head coaches since Bill Parcells left after the 1999 season; here are their records— their first season with the Jets, then the rest of the tenures after.

2000— Al Groh: 1st year: 9-7. Left after that season
2001-05— Herm Edwards: 1st year: 10-6. Rest of tenure: 29-35
2006-08— Eric Mangini: 1st year: 10-6. Rest of tenure: 13-19
2009-14— Rex Ryan: 1st year: 9-7. Rest of tenure: 37-43
2015-present— Todd Bowles: 1st year: 10-6. Since then: 5-11

Total: 1st year of tenure: 48-32. Other seasons: 84-108

I have no explanation for this, but these are the facts- they are not in dispute.

12) Jets’ QB Christian Hackenberg got hit so hard by a Detroit lineman the other night, I actually feared for his health when I saw a replay of the hit. That one had to hurt……a lot.

11) Showtime did an excellent reality series last year following Florida State football; they did one on Notre Dame the year before (I didn’t see that one). This year, they’re following the Navy Midshipmen, which should be interesting, seeing how ballplayers at military academies have to really be good time managers, given their workloads.

10) Part of the reason the Rams paid a King’s ransom for Jared Goff last spring was that they projected ahead to the Class of ’17 QB’s and they didn’t like what they saw. Something to think about if some of this year’s rookie QB’s get on the field early this season.

9) On April 17, the Orioles traded pitcher Parker Bridwell to the Angels for a player to be named later or cash. Bridwell is now 7-1, 2.88 in 11 starts for the contending Angels, with a WHIP of 1.17. If not for Aaron Judge, Bridwell might’ve been Rookie of the Year in the AL.

8) Scott Tolzien is the Indianapolis Colts’ likely starter in Week 1; he has suited up for 51 NFL games in his seven NFL seasons, played in only 9 games, starting three (0-2-1 W-L record). He’s thrown 128 NFL passes, with two TD’s, seven INT’s.

But he also went 21-5 as the starting QB at Wisconsin, so best not to underestimate him.

7) Cardale Jones is the 3rd-string QB for the Chargers; he was 7-15 for 61 yards against the Saints Sunday in a dismal 13-7 loss. Chargers’ only TD was scored by their defense.

Jones left Ohio State early- he started only 11 games for the Buckeyes. If I had to advise a young quarterback, I would advise him to play as much college football as humanly possible, for more than one reason:

— Experience makes you a better player; the more you practice, the better your skills become.
— Experience makes you more confident in your abilities; the more situations you see, the better you will handle the more advanced competition in the NFL.
— You’re older and more physically mature; NFL players are very large grown men.

6) Broncos-Raiders is a bitter rivalry and always has been, but this year’s games should get a boost in intensity. Bill Musgrave is Denver’s new QB coach this season, after the Raiders let him walk after two years of being Oakland’s offensive coordinator.

I’m sure there are no hard feelings.

5) Geniuses at ESPN showed Sonny Gray’s pitching line on the crawl on the bottom of the screen Sunday night; when it showed he had no strikeouts, they were kind enough to add (0 K’s, career low), as if we couldn’t figure out ourselves that zero would be his career low. Oy.

4) Steelers’ coach Mike Tomlin believes live tackling in practice is a necessity to properly prepare for the season; SI.com‘s Peter King wrote this weekend that of all the training camps he visited this summer, Pittsburgh/Seattle were by far the most physical.

Most teams are so paranoid about players getting hurt that live tackling is non-existent in most practices.

3) Anquan Boldin retires after 14 years in the NFL and 1,076 receptions; he started out as a QB at Florida State. When he played for the Cardinals, he broke his cheekbone while catching a TD pass and tried to talk his way into staying in the game. Tough guy. Great player.

2) I’m thinking that there will be chaos in some NFL front offices in 10 days or so, when 1,184 free agents hit the streets. Lousy teams will be working the phones, trying to improve their rosters wherever they can by picking up guys the better teams cut. Will be some guys starting for teams in Week 1 who haven’t been on that team for very long.

1) Lot of people are touting Tennessee Titans as a Cinderella team in the AFC, but one thing they better do if they’re going to make the playoffs— beat the Colts. Indianapolis is 15-1 in its last 16 games against Tennessee. That obviously needs to change if the Titans are really contenders.
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Old 08-22-2017, 10:41 AM
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WNBA

Tuesday, August 22


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Trend Report
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

8:00 PM
PHOENIX vs. MINNESOTA
The total has gone UNDER in 10 of Phoenix's last 14 games when playing on the road against Minnesota
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Phoenix's last 5 games when playing on the road against Minnesota
Minnesota is 2-4 SU in its last 6 games
Minnesota is 5-10 ATS in its last 15 games at home

10:30 PM
SAN ANTONIO vs. LOS ANGELES
San Antonio is 4-2 SU in its last 6 games
San Antonio is 7-18 SU in its last 25 games
The total has gone UNDER in 8 of Los Angeles's last 9 games when playing at home against San Antonio
The total has gone UNDER in 6 of Los Angeles's last 7 games when playing San Antonio


---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

WNBA
Long Sheet

Tuesday, August 22


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

PHOENIX (15 - 14) at MINNESOTA (22 - 6) - 8/22/2017, 8:00 PM
Top Trends for this game.
PHOENIX is 22-39 ATS (-20.9 Units) as a road underdog of 6.5 to 9 points since 1997.
PHOENIX is 2-14 ATS (-13.4 Units) on Tuesday over the last 3 seasons.

Head-to-Head Series History
MINNESOTA is 11-5 against the spread versus PHOENIX over the last 3 seasons
MINNESOTA is 13-3 straight up against PHOENIX over the last 3 seasons
11 of 16 games in this series have gone UNDER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

SAN ANTONIO (7 - 23) at LOS ANGELES (21 - 8) - 8/22/2017, 10:30 PM
Top Trends for this game.
SAN ANTONIO is 7-0 ATS (+7.0 Units) as a road underdog of 12.5 to 15 points over the last 2 seasons.
SAN ANTONIO is 9-1 ATS (+7.9 Units) as a road underdog of 12.5 to 18 points over the last 2 seasons.
SAN ANTONIO is 6-0 ATS (+6.0 Units) as a road underdog of 12.5 or more points this season.
SAN ANTONIO is 29-17 ATS (+10.3 Units) in road games over the last 3 seasons.
SAN ANTONIO is 19-10 ATS (+8.0 Units) in a road game where where the total is greater than or equal to 150 over the last 2 seasons.
SAN ANTONIO is 28-17 ATS (+9.3 Units) after allowing 75 points or more over the last 2 seasons.
LOS ANGELES is 3-18 ATS (-16.8 Units) as a home favorite of 12.5 to 15 points since 1997.
LOS ANGELES is 6-25 ATS (-21.5 Units) as a home favorite of 12.5 to 18 points since 1997.
LOS ANGELES is 7-25 ATS (-20.5 Units) as a home favorite of 12.5 or more points since 1997.
LOS ANGELES is 64-92 ATS (-37.2 Units) in a home game where where the total is greater than or equal to 150 since 1997.
LOS ANGELES is 28-49 ATS (-25.9 Units) in home games on Tuesday since 1997.
LOS ANGELES is 177-223 ATS (-68.3 Units) after scoring 75 points or more since 1997.
LOS ANGELES is 4-12 ATS (-9.2 Units) in home games when playing against a team with a losing record over the last 2 seasons.
LOS ANGELES is 91-122 ATS (-43.2 Units) versus poor defensive teams - allowing 77+ points/game since 1997.

Head-to-Head Series History
SAN ANTONIO is 8-3 against the spread versus LOS ANGELES over the last 3 seasons
LOS ANGELES is 10-1 straight up against SAN ANTONIO over the last 3 seasons
7 of 11 games in this series have gone UNDER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------




WNBA
Dunkel

Tuesday, August 22



San Antonio @ Los Angeles

Game 603-604
August 22, 2017 @ 10:35 pm

Dunkel Rating:
San Antonio
101.226
Los Angeles
123.304
Dunkel Team:
Dunkel Line:
Dunkel Total:
Los Angeles
by 22
151
Vegas Team:
Vegas Line:
Vegas Total:
Los Angeles
by 14 1/2
155
Dunkel Pick:
Los Angeles
(-14 1/2); Under

Phoenix @ Minnesota


Game 601-602
August 22, 2017 @ 8:05 pm

Dunkel Rating:
Phoenix
106.442
Minnesota
118.503
Dunkel Team:
Dunkel Line:
Dunkel Total:
Minnesota
by 12
153
Vegas Team:
Vegas Line:
Vegas Total:
Minnesota
by 7 1/2
160
Dunkel Pick:
Minnesota
(-7 1/2); Under
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Old 08-22-2017, 10:44 AM
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Preview: Mercury (15-14) at Lynx (22-6)
Date: August 22, 2017 8:00 PM EDT

Late in the regular season, playoff-bound teams should be positioning themselves for long postseason runs and getting everyone healthy.

However, injury questions surround Minnesota and Phoenix as the regular season winds down. Some of those questions might be answered when the Mercury take on the Lynx on Tuesday at Excel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn.

The postseason is in sight for Minnesota, which still has the best record in the league at 22-6 despite having lost four of the past six games. The Lynx hold a 1 1/2-game lead over the second-place Los Angeles Sparks.

The Mercury (15-14) are entrenched in the sixth playoff spot with an outside shot at climbing into the coveted fourth postseason slot, which would ensure a first-round bye. There is also an outside shot they finish out of the playoff mix, but that would take a total collapse.

The key for the Mercury is keeping Brittney Griner healthy after her recent return from knee and ankle injuries.

The league's leading scorer at 21.5 points per game missed eight games and got back in action three games ago. She totaled 19 points, seven rebounds and three blocked shots in 21 minutes in a home loss to the Seattle Storm on Aug. 12. Then she had 13 points and 10 rebounds on Friday in a win at Washington.

On Sunday, Griner scored 18 in a blowout loss to Connecticut.

"It was great to have the big girl back," Phoenix coach Sandy Brondello said last week after inserting Griner back in the rotation. "She gives us another dimension at both ends of the court for us."

Unfortunately for the Mercury, Griner didn't make a difference in a 28-point loss to the Sun on Sunday.

"They just kicked our (tail). I mean, that is just the bottom line," Mercury guard Diana Taurasi told swishappeal.com. "They kicked our (tail) in the second half in every aspect of the game."

The Lynx know the feeling.

Since veteran point guard Lindsay Whalen broke a bone in her left hand, the Minnesota offense has struggled in four losses, scoring a season-low 61 points twice.

Coach Cheryl Reeve thought the Lynx had turned the corner on Friday after setting a WNBA record for margin of victory with a 111-52 rout of Indiana.

Then the offense laid another egg against New York in a 70-61 loss Sunday. Without Reeve's "security blanket" and the team's "head of the snake," the Lynx have lacked the look of a champion.

"(Whalen)'s so good for us in the third quarter," Minnesota's Rebekkah Brunson told MinnPost.com. "This year especially, she's been a player that gets (us) going in the third and gets our wills going.

"It's unfortunate we don't have her right now, but we still have all the pieces that we need to go out and make runs and do great things. We just have to get it done."

One of those pieces, Brunson, also will miss a few weeks after spraining an ankle in the loss to Seattle.

The Lynx can normally rely on Maya Moore and Sylvia Fowles to carry the load, but without Whalen to get the offense in position, Minnesota has proved beatable.

Renee Montgomery has tried to fill Whalen's shoes but has struggled.

"Any time you move up the depth chart, your accountability goes up," Reeve told reporters. "While Renee doesn't have to be Lindsay Whalen in terms of her game, she has to bring us some intangibles in her own way -- toughness, focus on what it is we're trying to get done on a possession, and discipline."

Montgomery has yet to prove that consistency, leaving Reeve to find some combination of Montgomery, Seimone Augustus and Jia Perkins to handle the ball.

Whalen is expected back sometime during the final week of the regular season.


WNB HEAD TO HEAD


Jul 16, 2017 Score ATS Results
PHO 66 Cover: 0.5
MIN 81 Under: 147
Tools: Recaps

Jul 14, 2017 Score ATS Results
MIN 88 Cover: 10.5
PHO 71 Under: 159
Tools: Recaps

Jun 30, 2017 Score ATS Results
MIN 91 Cover: 0.5
PHO 83 Over: 174
Tools: Recaps

Oct 2, 2016 Score ATS Results
MIN 82 Cover: 13
PHO 67 Under: 149
Tools: Recaps
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  #610  
Old 08-22-2017, 10:46 AM
CNOTES53 CNOTES53 is offline
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Preview: Stars (7-23) at Sparks (21-8)
Date: August 22, 2017 10:30 PM EDT


Nneka Ogwumike said recently she wants the WNBA to have the same worldwide appeal as its NBA partners.

But for now, Ogwumike and her Los Angeles Sparks teammates have their eyes on something else -- a second straight championship.

"Sometimes I feel like the WNBA puts (itself) in a box, and we need to jump outside of the box," Ogwumike told the Los Angeles Times. "But I think that's the fear, is that if we jump outside the box then we're really going to be, I guess, pushed to the side. But I feel like we behave as if we are pushed to the side already. I don't think there's anything to lose."

The Sparks sit in second place in both the Western Conference and overall league standings as they get set to host the San Antonio Stars on Tuesday night.

Los Angeles is coming off a 115-106 double-overtime win at Chicago. Ogwumike had 32 points, 10 rebounds and four assists and Candace Parker added 29 points, 12 rebounds and six assists.

The Sparks are 21-8 heading down the stretch of the regular season, 12-1 at home. Put that 12-1 number next to San Antonio's 1-13 road and 1-13 conference records and you have to think Los Angeles will be able to take care of business Tuesday night.

However, the Stars have been better since starting the season with 14 straight losses and 16 of the first 17. The overall record sits at 7-23, but they are 7-9 since the winless start.

The Sparks, who are 1 1/2 games behind the Minnesota Lynx atop the standings, have won both games between the teams so far this season -- 80-75 in Los Angeles on June 15 and 85-73 in San Antonio on July 28.

Ogwumike comes into this game fifth in the WNBA in scoring (19.1 points) and ninth in rebounding (7.7), while Parker is seventh in rebounding (8.5) and ninth in both points (17.2) and assists (4.3).

Toss in Chelsea Gray, with had 20 points, 10 assists and four steals at Chicago, at sixth in the league in assists (4.4) -- and you see a true contender.

The Stars opened their western road trip with a 79-78 loss at Seattle, as Dearica Hamby came off the bench with 19 points and 10 rebounds, Kayla McBride scored 18 points and Kelsey Plum 15 points, five assists and four rebounds.

McBride leads San Antonio in scoring at 15.7 points per game while Isabelle Harrison is the leading rebounder at 6.7.


WNB HEAD TO HEAD


Jul 28, 2017 Score ATS Results
LOS 85 Cover: 0.5
SA 73 Over: 158
Tools: Recaps

Jun 15, 2017 Score ATS Results
SA 75 Cover: 9
LOS 80 Under: 155
Tools: Recaps
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  #611  
Old 08-22-2017, 10:49 AM
CNOTES53 CNOTES53 is offline
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TUESDAY, AUGUST 22

GAME TIME(ET) PICK UNITS

PHO at MIN 08:00 PM

MIN -7.5

U 161.0


SA at LA 10:30 PM

SA +13.5

U 155.0
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