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  #701  
Old 09-06-2017, 09:30 AM
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Preview: Wings (16-18) at Mystics (18-16)
Date: September 06, 2017 8:00 PM EDT


WASHINGTON -- The Washington Mystics faded over the final weeks of the WNBA season, and they enter the playoffs as the sixth seed. That means Elena Delle Donne and crew host their first-round matchup Wednesday.

The problem is, the visiting Dallas Wings have had no issue playing at Washington this season.

The seventh-seeded Wings (16-18) finished 6-11 on the road, but they won both meetings at Washington (18-16) this season, including an 83-78 triumph Aug. 26 behind 20 points from Skylar Diggins-Smith. Dallas led the league in scoring at 86.1 points per game.

"I think we played pretty well against Washington," Wings coach Fred Williams told the Dallas Morning News ahead of the Wednesday night game. "So it'll be a pretty good matchup all the way around."

Expectations soared for the Mystics after they acquired Delle Donne in a blockbuster trade with Chicago during the offseason and signed guard Kristi Toliver. Injuries to Delle Donne, Tayler Hill and Natasha Cloud played a factor in Washington never quite finding a rhythm. Washington went 2-6 over its final eight games.

The Mystics lost four of five following the return of Delle Donne from a lengthy absence caused by thumb surgery. Delle Donne finished the season tied for third in the league in scoring at 19.7 points and shot 95.3 percent from the free-throw line. She scored 12 points in 18 minutes Sunday during the regular-season finale, an 86-72 loss at Minnesota.

"I thought it was a great game to have right before playoffs," Delle Donne said of the matchup against the regular-season champion Lynx. "Definitely a good game to get under our belt."

Delle Donne dominated in Washington's final home game of the regular season with 37 points on Friday in a 110-106 overtime victory over Seattle. The Mystics went 11-6 at home.

"We had some good moments and we had some lulls, but other than that, it's time for playoffs now," Delle Donne said. "It's a clean slate, and we are excited about the opportunity."

Emma Meesseman, who missed 11 games playing overseas, ranked second on the Mystics behind Delle Donne with an average of 14.1 points.

Diggins-Smith ranked seventh in the league in scoring at 18.5 points per game and finished fourth in assists at 5.8 per game. Against Washington, the point guard upped her averages to 20.6 points and 7.3 assists.

"I just try to do what I do naturally. I don't think it's forced -- any of the responsibilities," Diggins-Smith said following the Wings; previous win over Washington. "Being a leader in this locker room and being with Fred for as long as I have and being in this league for as long as I have ... It's a team effort. It's a team full of everyone stepping up."

Washington ranked third in rebounding this season, led by Krystal Thomas' work inside (third in the league at 9.6 boards per game). Dallas has its own premier rebounder in Glory Johnson (fifth at 9.1).

The winner Wednesday will meet either the New York Liberty or the Connecticut Sun in a road game Sunday. The winner of that contest moves onto the best-of-five semifinals.


WNB HEAD TO HEAD


Aug 26, 2017 Score ATS Results
DAL 83 Cover: 9.5
WAS 78 Under: 161
Tools: Recaps

Jun 18, 2017 Score ATS Results
DAL 87 Cover: 12
WAS 83 Under: 170
Tools: Recaps

Jun 6, 2017 Score ATS Results
WAS 101 Cover: 8.5
DAL 89 Over: 190
Tools: Recaps
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  #702  
Old 09-06-2017, 09:32 AM
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Preview: Storm (15-19) at Mercury (18-16)
Date: September 06, 2017 10:00 PM EDT


Last season, as the No. 8 seed, the Phoenix Mercury won their first- and second-round, single-elimination playoff games en route to the semifinals.

This year, the Mercury enter the playoffs three spots higher.

Phoenix, which hosts the Seattle Storm on Wednesday evening at Wells Fargo Arena in Tempe, Ariz., jumped into fifth place on Sunday with its 84-70 win over Atlanta and Washington's loss at Minnesota.

The Mercury and Mystics both finished the regular season 18-16, but Phoenix held the tiebreaker.

"We wanted to finish fifth, that was our goal," Mercury coach Sandy Brondello told the Arizona Republic after the win. "But we know every game from here forth is hard, just like it was tonight. The first half was a free-throw show, but in the second half we kept it to 27 points. That's fantastic for us.

"We did a good job executing the (plan), and that's important for the playoffs. Every possession counts for us."

Mercury center Britney Griner scored 30 points -- the sixth time she reached that plateau this season -- and wrapped up the WNBA scoring title. She averaged 21.9 points, two points better than the Storm's Breanna Stewart.

"Everybody is finding their niche, shooting the ball well," Griner said. "It's going good right now for us."

While Griner called her scoring title "just a number," her coach had more effusive praise.

"No disrespect to the other players because they're great," Brondello said. "I get to see (Griner) day in and day out. Just for me, what she has to do. She carries this team. She's a playmaker, not just a scorer. We put a lot of emphasis on her and what she does and how she changes things at both ends of the floor."

To advance, the Storm will have to figure out a way to slow Griner.

Phoenix took two of three games from Seattle this season -- interestingly, the home team was 0-3 in the series -- and Griner had a combined 54 points in the two wins.

Seattle (15-19), the No. 8 seed, clinched the final postseason spot on Friday when Chicago and Atlanta both lost.

The Storm lost to Washington later that evening but beat Chicago on Sunday, the final day of the WNBA regular season.

Stewart and Jewell Loyd combined for 54 points in the 85-80 win at Chicago.

In an overtime loss to Washington on Friday, Seattle point guard Sue Bird became the WNBA's all-time assists leader.

"What makes it special is that with an assist there's two or more people involved, so it's something that as a point guard I know I take very seriously -- and I'm sure a lot of point guards do -- about getting your teammates involved and trying to get the ball in the right spots," Bird said.

If Seattle wins Wednesday, it would play at third-seeded New York on Sunday. Phoenix, with a win, would play at No. 4 Connecticut.

Washington, the sixth seed, hosts No. 7 Dallas on Wednesday in the other first-round matchup.


WNB HEAD TO HEAD


Aug 27, 2017 Score ATS Results
PHO 75 Cover: 9
SEA 71 Under: 146
Tools: Recaps

Aug 12, 2017 Score ATS Results
SEA 98 Cover: 14.5
PHO 89 Over: 187
Tools: Recaps

Jun 23, 2017 Score ATS Results
PHO 85 Cover: 8
SEA 82 Over: 167
Tools: Recaps
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  #703  
Old 09-06-2017, 09:35 AM
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WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 6

GAME TIME(ET) PICK UNITS

DAL at WAS 08:00 PM

DAL +5.0

U 171.0


SEA at PHO 10:00 PM

PHO -4.5

U 164.0
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  #704  
Old 09-06-2017, 11:14 PM
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Delle Donne leads Mystics by Wings
September 6, 2017


WASHINGTON (AP) Elena Delle Donne had 25 points and 11 rebounds, Emma Meesseman added 16 points and 10 boards, and the Washington Mystics beat the Dallas Wings 86-76 on Wednesday night in the first round of the playoffs.

Washington opened the second half on a 21-7 spurt, with eight points by Delle Donne, to take a 55-41 lead. But Dallas went on a 9-0 run in the fourth, capped by Skylar Diggins-Smith's fast-break layup, to pull to 71-67 with 3:13 left.

Washington's Tierra Ruffin-Pratt missed two free throws with 43.2 seconds left, but Krystal Thomas hustled to the offensive rebound. Delle Donne was fouled and put the Mystics ahead by six at the 38.7 mark. The Mystics went 7 of 8 from the line the rest of the way to seal it.

Thomas added a franchise playoff record 17 rebounds for Washington (19-16), which had lost both its home games this season to Dallas. The Mystics await the outcome of the Seattle-Phoenix game later Wednesday night to learn their next opponent.

Aerial Powers scored 21 points for Dallas (16-19) before being ejected with 1:11 to play by picking up a second technical foul. Glory Johnson added 15 points and 14 rebounds, and Diggins-Smith was held to 15 points on 6-of-18 shooting.

Powers capped Dallas' 13-0 run to close the first half with a steal and fast-break layup to tie it at 34.
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  #705  
Old 09-10-2017, 02:24 AM
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WNBA Playoff Record:

09/06/2017 3-1-0 75.00% +9.50
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  #706  
Old 09-10-2017, 02:28 AM
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Preview: Mercury (18-16) at Sun (21-13)
Date: September 10, 2017 3:00 PM EDT


Diana Taurasi has had so many proud basketball moments in the state of Connecticut.

Sunday, the former UConn star has a chance to add another one.

Taurasi, the WNBA's all-time leading scorer, takes a 10-0 record in deciding league playoff games into the Mohegan Sun Arena when she and her Phoenix Mercury teammates visit the Connecticut Sun in the second round of the playoffs.

The fifth-seeded Mercury advanced with 79-69 victory over former UConn star Sue Bird and the Seattle Storm while the fourth-seeded Sun had a bye.

The winner of this game advances to a 3-of-5 semifinal against either the No. 1 Minnesota Lynx or the No. 2 Los Angeles Sparks.

The teams played three times in the regular season -- the Sun winning both games in Uncasville, Conn. while the Mercury romped in the Sept. 1 game in Phoenix behind 31 points and eight rebounds from league scoring leader Brittney Griner.

She will be matched up in this game against Jonquel Jones, the league rebounding leader who was voted most improved player in the league.

"It's a very tough matchup," said Connecticut coach Curt Miller, the league's coach of the year. "Phoenix made a concerted effort late in the year to play through Griner. She's a unique player that no one in the league sees, so you have to plan for Brittney Griner.

"You have to have a contingent plan, and a contingent upon contingent plan when she starts to hurt you. When you have two of the most elite players the game has ever seen in Taurasi and Griner, it poses a lot of problems, but they're not the only players that can hurt you."

Jones broke the WNBA rebounding record -- previously held by Tina Charles, then of the Sun, in 2010, finishing with 403 -- and she tied the league record of 20 double-doubles.

"Jonquel Jones is going to be a problem in this league for a long time," Taurasi said at this year's All-Star Game. "With her stature and the way she can handle the ball, shoot the ball, and work so easy on the court, I just think she's got a really bright future."

This was supposed to be a rebuilding year for the Sun, especially after losing star Chiney Ogwumike for the season before the year even started. But after a 1-5 start, Miller's team got hot -- especially at home, where it is 12-5.

The Mercury, 3-0 in single elimination games, finished the season 9-8 both home and on the road before winning their home playoff game.

The three-time WNBA champions (most recently in 2014) have a distinct experience edge in this game. While the Sun players have totaled 875 minutes and 302 points, Taurasi, a three-time champion, has 1,566 minutes and 1,009 points. She cleared the 1,000-point mark with her first basket of the second half of the first-round game.


WNB HEAD TO HEAD


Sep 1, 2017 Score ATS Results
CONN 66 Under: 152
PHO 86 Cover: 20
Tools: Recaps

Aug 20, 2017 Score ATS Results
PHO 66 Under: 160
CONN 94 Cover: 23
Tools: Recaps

Aug 4, 2017 Score ATS Results
PHO 92 Cover: 7
CONN 93 Over: 185
Tools: Recaps
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  #707  
Old 09-10-2017, 02:30 AM
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Preview: Mystics (18-16) at Liberty (22-12)
Date: September 10, 2017 5:00 PM EDT


New York has played in the WNBA Finals four times, yet the Liberty still do not have a title.

On Sunday, the Liberty take the first step this postseason with the hopes of raising a championship flag when they host the Washington Mystics in a second-round, single-elimination game at Madison Square Garden.

The winner advances to a best-of-five series against the Minnesota Lynx with Game 1 at 8 p.m. ET Tuesday.

The Mystics advanced out of the first-round by beating the Dallas Wings 86-76 on Wednesday. Elena Delle Donne and Emma Meesseman both compiled double-doubles in the victory.

Delle Donne, in only her sixth game back after suffering a thumb injury, recorded 25 points and 11 rebounds while Meesseman notched 16 points and 10 boards.

The Mystics twice had leads of 13 points against Dallas, but still had to hang on for the win in what turned out to be a physical battle. Washington dominated the glass and kept its composure when the game got chippy.

To beat the Liberty, the Mystics will have to continue to hit the boards and play with an edge, which is easier said than done.

"We got so many big offensive rebounds and I think that's a huge growth thing with our team," Washington head coach Mike Thibault told reporters after the game. "That's a sign that we embraced how the game was being played."

The Mystics will be challenged to repeat their dominance on the boards. The Liberty led the league in rebounds, averaging 38.7 a game.

And for the third straight season, New York led the WNBA in defensive field goal percentage, holding teams to 40.8 percent from the field for the year.

The Liberty won two of three during the regular season and both games at The Garden against the Mystics. The Liberty also have had a week off since closing out their regular season with a win against Dallas.

"We were fortunate to win that," New York head coach Bill Laimbeer said after his team made numerous errors down the stretch.

"We didn't play well," he added. "We played hard. We made some bad mental decisions. But we got our taste of mental blunders out of the way right now. If we do that in the playoffs we will lose."

The Liberty haven't lost since early August and have reeled off 10 straight wins with contributions from all facets of the team.

"We've been in all types of situations all season long," Tina Charles said. "These 10 wins, all of them have been different, but everyone has had an imprint on each game."

Among the players singled out by Charles for such contributions were Shavonte Zellous, Kia Vaughn and Epiphanny Prince.

Sunday's key matchup pits MVP candidate Charles against Delle Donne. Charles averaged just 11.3 points and 7.3 rebounds in the three meetings against the Mystics, down from her season averages of 19.7 and 9.4 rebounds.

Charles' might have a stronger supporting cast with Prince, who was named Comeback Plyer of the Year, and Sugar Rodgers named Sixth Woman of the Year.

Prince averages 12.0 points to go along with 3.6 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 1.3 steals.

Rodgers, who was at the center of a midseason lineup change, is one of the best 3-point shooters in the league, knocking down 63 attempts, which ranks sixth best in the WNBA.

"We have a solid foundation. We have won 10 in a row," Laimbeer said. "Any team is going to be a tough out in the playoffs. It doesn't matter how you play, it's going to be a war."

Thibault concurred.

"In general, playoff games are more physical, more things are allowed to happen, and if you can fight through that and still keep your defensive presence about you, then that's great," Thibault said.


WNB HEAD TO HEAD


Aug 25, 2017 Score ATS Results
WAS 66 Under: 140
NEW 74 Cover: 3.5
Tools: Recaps

Jul 16, 2017 Score ATS Results
WAS 55 Under: 140
NEW 85 Cover: 23.5
Tools: Recaps

Jun 29, 2017 Score ATS Results
NEW 54 Under: 121
WAS 67 Cover: 6
Tools: Recaps
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  #708  
Old 09-10-2017, 09:15 AM
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WNBA
Dunkel

Sunday, September 10


Washington @ New York

Game 683-684
September 10, 2017 @ 5:00 pm

Dunkel Rating:
Washington
113.204
New York
116.612
Dunkel Team:
Dunkel Line:
Dunkel Total:
New York
by 3 1/2
168
Vegas Team:
Vegas Line:
Vegas Total:
New York
by 5
154
Dunkel Pick:
Washington
(+5); Over

Phoenix @ Connecticut


Game 681-682
September 10, 2017 @ 3:00 pm

Dunkel Rating:
Phoenix
110.794
Connecticut
112.684
Dunkel Team:
Dunkel Line:
Dunkel Total:
Connecticut
by 2
168
Vegas Team:
Vegas Line:
Vegas Total:
Connecticut
by 4 1/2
165
Dunkel Pick:
Phoenix
(+4 1/2); Over





WNBA
Long Sheet

Sunday, September 10


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

PHOENIX (19 - 16) at CONNECTICUT (21 - 13) - 9/10/2017, 3:00 PM
There are no Top Trends with records of significance that apply to this game.

Head-to-Head Series History
CONNECTICUT is 6-2 against the spread versus PHOENIX over the last 3 seasons
CONNECTICUT is 4-4 straight up against PHOENIX over the last 3 seasons
4 of 8 games in this series have gone OVER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons

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

WASHINGTON (19 - 16) at NEW YORK (22 - 12) - 9/10/2017, 5:00 PM
There are no Top Trends with records of significance that apply to this game.

Head-to-Head Series History
NEW YORK is 7-6 against the spread versus WASHINGTON over the last 3 seasons
NEW YORK is 7-6 straight up against WASHINGTON over the last 3 seasons
7 of 13 games in this series have gone UNDER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons

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




WNBA

Sunday, September 10


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

3:00 PM
PHOENIX vs. CONNECTICUT
Phoenix is 2-11 ATS in its last 13 games when playing Connecticut
Phoenix is 1-4 SU in its last 5 games when playing Connecticut
Connecticut is 10-2 SU in its last 12 games at home
Connecticut is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games when playing Phoenix

5:00 PM
WASHINGTON vs. NEW YORK
Washington is 7-18 SU in its last 25 games when playing on the road against New York
Washington is 2-7 ATS in its last 9 games
New York is 2-5 ATS in its last 7 games when playing at home against Washington
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of New York's last 7 games when playing at home against Washington
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  #709  
Old 09-10-2017, 09:20 AM
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SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 10

GAME TIME(ET) PICK UNITS

PHO at CONN 03:00 PM

CONN -4.5

U 165.0


WAS at NY 05:00 PM

NY -5.0

O 153.5
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  #710  
Old 09-11-2017, 12:13 AM
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WNBA Playoff Capsules
September 10, 2017


NEW YORK (AP) Kristi Toliver scored 32 points, hitting a WNBA playoff-record nine 3-pointers, to lead the Washington Mystics to an 82-68 victory over the New York Liberty on Sunday

The Mystics will face Minnesota in the best-of-five semifinals, starting Tuesday night in Minneapolis. This is as far as the Mystics have gone in the playoffs since 2002 - the last time they made it out of the opening round of the postseason.

Washington found itself down 13 points in the first half before rallying to 41-35 at the break. Then Toliver took over. She scored 16 points in the third quarter, hitting all four of her 3-pointers in the period. She could only shrug and smile as the fourth one went in to give the Mystics a 57-46 advantage with 2:48 left in the third. She set the Mystics franchise record for points in a game by the end of the third quarter.

That 3-pointer, her eighth, also broke the previous WNBA record for 3-pointers made in a playoff game.

Tina Charles led the Liberty with 18 points. It's the second consecutive season that New York was a three-seed and lost its first postseason game.

MERCURY 88, SUN 83


UNCASVILLE, Conn. (AP) - Brittney Griner had 26 points and nine rebounds, Diana Taurasi added 23 points, and Phoenix beat Connecticut to reach the semifinals.

Taurasi moved to 11-0 in elimination playoff games.

Phoenix will play Los Angeles on Tuesday night in Game 1 of a best-of-five semfinal series.

Phoenix made 3-pointers on three straight possession late in the fourth quarter to take an 84-79 lead. Leilani Mitchell started it with an open shot from the wing for a 78-76 lead. Taurasi came off a screen for another 3, and Monique Currie capped it with 2:31 left.

Alyssa Thomas had 20 points and 10 rebounds for Sun, and Jonquel Jones added 19 points and 15 rebounds for Connecticut. Jones had 11 points and 12 rebounds in the first half to set a playoff franchise record for rebounds in a half.
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  #711  
Old 09-11-2017, 12:18 AM
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BEST-OF-5 SEMIFINALS


#6 MYSTICS VS. #1 LYNX: TUESDAY, 8 PM ET, ESPN2 |

Eyeing their fourth title in seven years, the Minnesota Lynx raced out to a 20-2 start this season before an up-and-down stretch run. They will be well-rested for the Semifinals once again, having completed the regular season on September 3, but the status of point guard Lindsay Whalen (out since August with a hand injury) remains a major question mark. On the other side is Washington, making its first Semifinals appearance in 15 years. The star-studded matchup of former MVPs Elena Delle Donne and Maya Moore will be must-see, while this year’s MVP favorite, Lynx center Sylvia Fowles, will look to put her own stamp on the series.




#5 MERCURY VS. #2 SPARKS: TUESDAY, 10 PM ET, ESPN2 |

L.A.’s quest to become the first WNBA team to repeat since the 2002 Sparks now goes through Phoenix, with a Mercury team making its ninth Semifinals appearance in 11 seasons on the other side. Former MVPs and Finals MVPs Candace Parker and Diana Taurasi step back into the spotlight having previously met in the 2009, 2013 and 2014 Playoffs. The matchup in the middle, meanwhile, will also be a thrill as Nneka Ogwumike and Brittney Griner clash.
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Old 09-11-2017, 12:23 AM
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Monday’s six-pack

Top six picks in the Week 1 of the Westgate SuperContest in Las Vegas:

6) Pittsburgh Steelers -8.5 , 706- L

5) Arizona Cardinals -2, 742- L

4) Atlanta Falcons -6.5, 819- L

3) Tennessee Titans -2.5, 839- L

2) Houston Texans -5, 863- L

1) Cincinnati Bengals -2.5, 866- L (Season record: 0-6)

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

Monday’s List of 13: Wrapping up an NFL Sunday

Chiefs 42, Patriots 27— Chiefs scored 28 second half points, ran up 537 yards, offsetting 139 penalty yards, as they made New England’s defense look slow. Only one of KC’s six TD drives was less than 75 yards- they had touchdown PLAYS of 75, 78 yards. Surprising result, but last three times New England lost in Week 1, they won the Super Bowl that year.

Bills 21, Jets 12— Buffalo sits alone atop AFC East, holding Jets to 38 rushing yards and 11 first downs. As far as team points over/unders go, my new hobby here, under is 18-7-1— only 7 of 26 teams exceeded their over/under points so far this week. Jets’ total was 15.5, 1.5 points lower than any other team this week.

Falcons 23, Bears 17— Chicago had ball on 10-yard line when game ended; two passes were either dropped/broken up inside 2-yard line in last three plays. Falcons coach Quinn was VERY happy when this game ended and he let it show— not sure happy is right word, maybe total relief after that Super Bowl and then an 0-4 preseason.

Jaguars 29, Texans 7— Upset of Day. Jacksonville ran ball for 155 yards, were +4 in turnovers, and held QB-challenged Houston to 203 yards. Savage was awful in first half; rookie QB Watson played second half, led one TD drive, but this was another very disappointing day in Houston.

Eagles 30, Redskins 17— Philly’s two TD drives were only 56-39 yards; each team scored a defensive TD, as Eagles snapped a 5-game skid against Washington. Iggles converted 8-14 on 3rd down, Redskins only 3-14, as Philly scored TD’s on two of first four drives, then kicked three FG’s on their last six drives.

Lions 35, Cardinals 23— On their first nine drives, Detroit had one TD, one FG, gaining total of 182 yards, but on their last three drives, Lions ran 17 plays for 149 yards and three TD’s. I have a question: is conditioning a factor early in the season? Teams haven’t played full games because coaches are scared of injuries, so when they have to play a full game in Week 1, are some teams in worse shape than others? Arizona’s defense looked very tired at the end.

Raiders 26, Titans 16— One of two games this week (Atl-Chi) with no turnovers. For the week so far, home teams are 7-6 vs spread; over is 3-10. Listening to TV Sunday, the consensus is that the defenses are ahead of offenses in the first couple weeks of the season. Offense takes more precision. Titans were 7-14 on 3rd down but scored only one TD, kicked three FG’s.

Ravens 20, Bengals 0— Baltimore led 3-0 at 2:00 warning of first half, then scored two TD’s in 0:24 span to break game open and lead 17-0 at half. Total yardage in lackluster game was 268-221 Baltimore; Ravens had 85 penalty yards, while Bengals turned ball over five times (-4). Flacco was 9-17/111 passing, after missing just about the whole summer with a bad back.

Steelers 21, Browns 18— Cleveland is now 1-18 in Week 1, with only win 13 years ago. Steelers blocked punt for TD on Browns’ first drive, then survived 144 penalty yards to win their opener. Pittsburgh ran 17 times for only 35 yards, which is not good; Big Ben targeted Brown 11 times, and he caught all 11 passes for 182 yards.

Rams 46, Colts 9—
Indy has severe QB issues; if Andrew Luck can’t come back soon, and he hasn’t started practicing yet, they should sign Colin Kaepernick, who is way better than either Tolzien or Brissett. As for the Rams, this was a great day; Jared Goff looked like an NFL QB and the defense was dominant, even without Aaron Donald.

Packers 17, Seahawks 9—
Game was scoreless until just before the half; this was 5th time in Seattle’s last nine road games that they scored 10 or less points. Rodgers was a magician on third down (9-16), as usual; Green Bay held Seahawks to 12 first downs as Seattle lost its 8th game in a row at Lambeau Field.

Panthers 23, 49ers 3—
Hard to tell much about Carolina’s offense; their two TD drives were only 42-28 yards. Total yardage was 287-217; Panthers were 7-13 on third down- they didn’t score on any of their drives that started 75+ yards from the goal line, but scored two TD’s, kicked three FG’s on the other five drives that started less than 75 yards from the goal line.

Cowboys 19, Giants 3— Dallas outgained Giants 392-233; New York ran ball only 12 times for 35 yards, converted only 4-12 on third down- their average starting field position was their own 16 yard line. Under is now 8-1 in Giants’ last nine road games; they are 5-10-2 vs spread in last 17 games as a road underdog. Cowboys converted 8-15 on third down, had a 13-yard edge in average starting field position.
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Old 09-11-2017, 12:35 AM
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wnba playoff record:

09/10/2017 0-4-0 0.00% -2200
09/06/2017 3-1-0 75.00% +950

totals............3 - 5..........37.50%.....-1250
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Cheat Sheet - Semifinals
September 11, 2017



The WNBA semifinals will begin with Game 1’s on Tuesday with four teams looking to advance in the postseason. These series will be best-of-five matchups and so will the WNBA Finals.

Game 2’s will take place on Thursday before the clubs travel and play Game 3’s on Sunday.

If necessary, Game 4 and 5’s will take place the following week on Tuesday Sept. 19 and Thursday Sept. 21. ESPN2 will provide national coverage of the matchups.

(1) Minnesota vs. (6) Washington

-- Washington (20-16) defeated Dallas 86-76 in the first round as a 6 -point home favorite last Wednesday.

-- The Mystics followed up that victory with an impressive 82-68 win at New York this past Sunday as a six-point road underdog. Washington cashed money-line tickets at plus-210 (Bet $100 to win $210).

-- Including those results, Washington has gone 3-2 SU and 4-1 ATS in its last five playoff contests.

-- The ‘under’ cashed in both of their first two playoff games this year.

-- The Mystics are 11-7 at home this season and 8-10 on the road, which includes the playoff results.

-- Against the Western Conference, Washington went 7-12 SU and 6-13 ATS.

-- Minnesota (27-7) finished the regular season with the best record in the WNBA and that record wasn’t surprising to the oddsmakers, who had the club favored in all but one of their games.

-- The Lynx went 15-2 SU and 8-9 ATS at home. The Lynx were a double-digit favorite 12 times and they went 5-7 ATS in those spots.

-- On the road, Minnesota was 12-5 SU and 10-7 ATS. It did struggle as a visitor down the stretch, going 3-3 SU and 2-4 ATS while the ‘under’ was 5-1.

-- Minnesota went 14-4 SU and 10-8 ATS versus the Eastern Conference this season and three of the losses took place on the road.

-- Minnesota and Washington met three times in the regular season and the Lynx won and covered all of the games rather easily. All of the results were decided by double digits (14, 17, 25) between the pair.

-- The ‘over’ went 2-1 and the Lynx scored 98, 93 and 86 points.

-- Since the 2013 playoffs, Minnesota has gone 21-8 in the postseason and it’s had a solid rate of covering with a 16-11-2 record versus the spread.

(2) Los Angeles vs. (5) Phoenix

-- Phoenix (20-16) started the postseason with a pair of single-elimination victories. The Mercury stifled Seattle 79-69 last Wednesday before capturing an 88-83 win over Connecticut.

-- Including those wins, the Mercury have won and covered their last five games entering this series.

-- Total bettors should note that the ‘under’ has gone 5-1 in the last six games for Phoenix.

-- The Mercury have gone 10-8 SU and 11-7 ATS on the road this season. At home, Phoenix has posted very similar numbers – 10-8 SU, 8-10 ATS.

-- Los Angeles (26-8) was a beast at the Staples Center during the regular season, going 17-1 and the club helped bettors with a 12-6 record (67%) versus the number as well. The one loss came by two points.

-- Clubs had trouble scoring at L.A. this season (70.2 PPG) and total bettors saw the ‘under’ go 14-4 in its home games.

-- As visitors, the Sparks showed some flaws as they went 10-7 both SU and ATS. They did close the season with three straight wins on the road and the offense posted 95, 115 and 82 points during that stretch.

-- The Sparks won and covered all three encounters against the Mercury this season and two of the wins came on the road. In the lone home meeting, Los Angeles blasted Phoenix 90-59 as a 7 -point favorite. The ‘under’ went 2-1.

-- Including those results, Los Angeles is 7-3 SU and 7-2-1 ATS in the last 10 head-to-head meetings against Phoenix.

-- During last year’s championship run, Los Angeles went 6-3 both SU and ATS. Future bettors should note that the WNBA hasn’t had a repeat champion since 2002 when the Sparks captured back-to-back titles.
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Armadillo: Tuesday's six-pack

— Missouri fired its defensive coordinator….two games into the season.

— Cardinals’ RB David Johnson dislocated his wrist, needs an operation.

— FIU/Indiana, Georgia Tech/UCF football games for Saturday were called off.

— Indians 11, Tigers 0— Cleveland has now won 19 games in a row.

— Rams signed P Johnny Hekker to a contract thru 2022.

— Random fact: In terms of area, Jacksonville is the biggest city in the continental 48 states.


**********

Armadillo: Tuesday's List of 13: Nobody asked me, but………

13) Watching these news stations put reporters in harm’s way during these storms, it bugs me. Why it is so important to put a human being out there in dangerous storms?

We know it is horrible weather; showing some poor soul trying to brave the elements to try and enhance their career is just plain stupid. Safety should matter for reporters, too.

12) Last baseball team to go thru a 1-12 stretch and win the World Series that year? The 1914 Boston Braves, whose 1-12 skid was from April 24-May 16.

Dodgers are 1-15 in their last 16 games.

11) Washington State’s quarterbacks Saturday:
— Luke Falk was 24-34 for 194 yards
— Tyler Hilinski was 25-33 for 240 yards and three TD’s.

That has to be the first time a team had two QB’s throw 30+ passes in the same game.

10) Georgia’s game in South Bend Saturday was the furthest north they’ve played since a game at Michigan in 1965. Georgia fans travelled; Doug Flutie said on TV that the crowd was 50-50 split between Georgia fans and the home team.

9) Friday night’s game with Milwaukee was first Cubs’ Friday home game ever played at nite.

8) Indians’ winning streak has vaulted them ahead of Houston for top seed in the American League; if playoffs started today, Cleveland would play the Wild Card winner, Astros-Red Sox would be the other AL playoff series.

7) Stephen Strasburg has now thrown 34 consecutive scoreless innings; I watched his start on Tuesday— looked like something was bothering him physically, but no one can score on him, and he gutted out his start and helped Washington win.

6) For whatever reason, a high school football team from Miami played at Bishop Gorman in Las Vegas this past Friday night, but they couldn’t get home because of the storm. Now they’re stuck in Las Vegas, which is a good place to be stuck. Bishop Gorman helped out with getting them a place to stay until they can go home.

5) Kent State football coach Paul Haynes is back this week from medical leave he had taken to deal with prostate cancer. Hope he is feeling better.

4) People on social media were going nuts because Beth Mowins was doing play-by-play of the Chargers’ game. So what? She’s been doing games on ESPN for years, usually the noon college game on ESPN2. She does a fine job, nothing surprising about it.

3) Vikings 29, Saints 19— New Orleans was poor in the red zone; they kicked three FG’s that were shorter than 25 yards. Saints started the last three seasons 0-2/0-3/0-3— now they’re 0-1 and they’re playing New England on a short week Sunday.

2) Broncos 24, Chargers 21— Chargers roared back from 24-7 deficit, but missed FG on last play of game that would’ve sent game to OT. Rex Ryan was disappointing as an ESPN analyst.

Philip Rivers hasn’t missed a game since 2006, which means that he is on the downside of his career. If the Chargers aren’t any good with him, what will they be like when he leaves? There is no decent young QB on the Charger roster. You say Cardale Jones? I say Buffalo didn’t want him, which immediately makes him a suspect.

1) I’d much prefer having a Monday night NFL doubleheader every week to having a Thursday night game every week. Football wasn’t meant to be played on three days’ rest.
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WNBA
Dunkel

Tuesday, September 12


Phoenix @ Los Angeles

Game 687-688
September 12, 2017 @ 10:00 pm

Dunkel Rating:
Phoenix
111.134
Los Angeles
124.105
Dunkel Team:
Dunkel Line:
Dunkel Total:
Los Angeles
by 13
162
Vegas Team:
Vegas Line:
Vegas Total:
Los Angeles
by 9
157 1/2
Dunkel Pick:
Los Angeles
(-9); Over

Washington @ Minnesota


Game 685-686
September 12, 2017 @ 8:00 pm

Dunkel Rating:
Washington
111.106
Minnesota
123.086
Dunkel Team:
Dunkel Line:
Dunkel Total:
Minnesota
by 12
163
Vegas Team:
Vegas Line:
Vegas Total:
Minnesota
by 9 1/2
159
Dunkel Pick:
Minnesota
(-9 1/2); Over




WNBA

Tuesday, September 12


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

8:00 PM
WASHINGTON vs. MINNESOTA
Washington is 3-7 ATS in its last 10 games
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Washington's last 6 games when playing on the road against Minnesota
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Minnesota's last 6 games when playing at home against Washington
Minnesota is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games when playing at home against Washington

10:00 PM
PHOENIX vs. LOS ANGELES
Phoenix is 1-4 ATS in its last 5 games when playing Los Angeles
Phoenix is 1-4 SU in its last 5 games when playing on the road against Los Angeles
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Los Angeles's last 7 games when playing Phoenix
Los Angeles is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games when playing at home against Phoeni


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

WNBA
Long Sheet

Tuesday, September 12


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

WASHINGTON (20 - 16) at MINNESOTA (27 - 7) - 9/12/2017, 8:00 PM
Top Trends for this game.
WASHINGTON is 311-369 ATS (-94.9 Units) in all games since 1997.
WASHINGTON is 1-12 ATS (-12.2 Units) as an underdog this season.
WASHINGTON is 48-71 ATS (-30.1 Units) in road games in August or September games since 1997.
WASHINGTON is 6-13 ATS (-8.3 Units) against Western conference opponents this season.
WASHINGTON is 180-229 ATS (-71.9 Units) after a division game since 1997.
WASHINGTON is 6-13 ATS (-8.3 Units) in non-conference games this season.
WASHINGTON is 23-44 ATS (-25.4 Units) after 3 or more consecutive unders since 1997.
WASHINGTON is 5-13 ATS (-9.3 Units) revenging a loss versus opponent this season.
WASHINGTON is 3-11 ATS (-9.1 Units) when playing against a team with a winning record this season.
MINNESOTA is 10-2 ATS (+7.8 Units) in home games in August or September games over the last 2 seasons.
MINNESOTA is 11-2 ATS (+8.8 Units) in the conference finals since 1997.

Head-to-Head Series History
WASHINGTON is 5-3 against the spread versus MINNESOTA over the last 3 seasons
MINNESOTA is 5-3 straight up against WASHINGTON over the last 3 seasons
5 of 8 games in this series have gone UNDER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons

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

PHOENIX (20 - 16) at LOS ANGELES (26 - 8) - 9/12/2017, 10:00 PM
Top Trends for this game.
PHOENIX is 22-40 ATS (-22.0 Units) as a road underdog of 6.5 to 9 points since 1997.
PHOENIX is 2-9 ATS (-7.9 Units) on Tuesday over the last 2 seasons.
LOS ANGELES is 22-12 ATS (+8.8 Units) in all games this season.
LOS ANGELES is 20-11 ATS (+7.9 Units) as a favorite this season.
LOS ANGELES is 12-5 ATS (+6.5 Units) in home games this season.
LOS ANGELES is 12-5 ATS (+6.5 Units) in a home game where where the total is greater than or equal to 150 this season.
LOS ANGELES is 9-2 ATS (+6.8 Units) in August or September games this season.
LOS ANGELES is 9-2 ATS (+6.8 Units) after 3 or more consecutive unders this season.
LOS ANGELES is 10-2 ATS (+7.8 Units) after 3 or more consecutive wins this season.
LOS ANGELES is 10-3 ATS (+6.7 Units) when playing against a team with a winning record this season.
LOS ANGELES is 12-5 ATS (+6.5 Units) versus poor defensive teams - allowing 77+ points/game after 15+ games this season.
LOS ANGELES is 12-5 ATS (+6.5 Units) versus good offensive teams - scoring 77+ points/game after 15+ games this season.
LOS ANGELES is 16-8 ATS (+7.2 Units) versus good offensive teams - scoring 77+ points/game this season.
LOS ANGELES is 29-49 ATS (-24.9 Units) in home games on Tuesday since 1997.
LOS ANGELES is 43-66 ATS (-29.6 Units) in home games versus poor defensive teams - allowing 77+ points/game since 1997.

Head-to-Head Series History
LOS ANGELES is 7-2 against the spread versus PHOENIX over the last 3 seasons
LOS ANGELES is 7-3 straight up against PHOENIX over the last 3 seasons
6 of 9 games in this series have gone UNDER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons
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wnba playoff record:

09/10/2017 0-4-0 0.00% -2200
09/06/2017 3-1-0 75.00% +950

totals............3 - 5..........37.50%.....-1250


TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 12

GAME TIME(ET) PICK UNITS

WAS at MIN 08:00 PM

MIN -10.0

U 160.5


PHO at LA 10:00 PM

LA -8.5

U 156.5
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WNBA Playoff Capsules
September 13, 2017

LOS ANGELES (AP) Nneka Ogwumike scored 19 points to lead five starters in double figures, and the Los Angeles Sparks opened defense of their WNBA championship with a 79-66 victory over the Phoenix Mercury on Tuesday night in Game 1 of the semifinals.

Candace Parker added 15 points while playing with five fouls. Ogwumike overcame four fouls. Chelsea Gray had 13 points, Odyssey Sims 12 and Alana Beard 11.

Leilani Mitchell led the Mercury with 19 points and made five 3-pointers, both career playoff highs. Brittney Griner added 18 points before fouling out with 4:44 left in the game. Diana Taurasi went 2 of 10 from the floor for a career playoff low six points.

After trailing much of the first half, the Sparks pulled away in the third quarter, outscoring Phoenix 14-6 to lead 56-48.

Things got testy with 28 seconds left in the period. Phoenix's Emma Cannon and the Sparks' Essence Carson were called for double technicals after exchanging words. Before that, Phoenix's Camille Little was called for a blocking foul, with Parker on the floor with her legs in the air and her arms protecting her face.

LYNX 101, MYSTICS 81

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Seimone Augustus scored 24 points and Sylvia Fowles added 18 to help the Lynx roll to a victory over the Mystics in Game 1 of the WNBA semifinals.

Augustus made 11 of 17 shots and the Lynx looked plenty sharp after a week off and playing in an unfamiliar arena. The Lynx will play all of their playoff games at the University of Minnesota's Williams Arena after playing the regular season at Xcel Energy Center, home of the Minnesota Wild.

Elena Delle Donne had 17 points for the Mystics, who had a quick turnaround after beating the Liberty in New York on Sunday. After setting a playoff record with nine 3-pointers in the victory over New York on Sunday, Mystics guard Kristi Toliver scored just three points on 1-for-7 shooting.
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SCHEDULE FOR THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 14, 2017
Time (ET) Away Home Site
8:00 PM Washington Mystics Minnesota Lynx Xcel Energy Center
10:00 PM Phoenix Mercury Los Angeles Sparks Staples Center

SCHEDULE FOR SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 17, 2017

Time (ET) Away Home Site
3:00 PM Minnesota Lynx Washington Mystics Verizon Center
5:00 PM Los Angeles Sparks Phoenix Mercury Talking Stick Resort Arena

SCHEDULE FOR TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 19, 2017

Time (ET) Away Home Site
12:00 PM Minnesota Lynx Washington Mystics Verizon Center
3:00 PM Los Angeles Sparks Phoenix Mercury Talking Stick Resort Arena

Updated Wed Sep 13 1:04 AM EDT


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

wnba playoff record:

09/12/2017 3-1-0 75.00% +950
09/10/2017 0-4-0 0.00% -2200
09/06/2017 3-1-0 75.00% +950

totals...............6 - 6..........50.00%.....-3.00
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Wednesday’s six-pack

NFL trends for Week 2:

— Houston is 1-8 in last nine games as a non-divisional road dog.

— Indianapolis covered 10 of last 12 tries as a home underdog.

— Cleveland is 6-19 vs spread in last 25 games as an underdog.

— Arizona is 3-9 vs spread in its last 12 games.

— Falcons are 4-13 vs spread in last 17 games as a home favorite.

— Detroit is 4-9 in last 13 games as a non-divisional road dog.

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

Wednesday’s List of 13: Mid-week musings…….

13) Baseball is cool because odd things sometimes happen; Monday night/Tuesday morning’s Dodger-Giant game was nothing if not odd.

There was a 42-minute rain delay at the start, then the game began, the Dodgers’ leadoff hitter struck out and then the rains came again, forcing a rain delay of 2:52.

The game resumed at about 1:55am here in the east; it ended around 5am. Thats 5 in the morning.

12) Pablo Sandoval was in a 1 for 47 slump when he singled to left in the 6th inning very late Monday night, or at roughly 4am Tuesday morning here in the east.

11) Indians were -$500 against Detroit Tuesday; I’ve never seen a baseball line that high.

10) Only nine out of over 2,000 people went 5-0 in the first week of the SuperContest at the Westgate SuperBook in Las Vegas. Denver was -3 in the contest, so anyone who had that game got a push.

9) Charger-Bronco game Monday night was only Week 1 NFL game where no points were scored in the last 2:00 of either half.

8) All four NFC North teams covered the spread in Week 1, only division that can say that.

7) Dolphins are practicing in Oxnard, CA at the Cowboys’ training camp facility this week, as they prepare to play the Chargers Sunday. Has to be a very strange week for them.

6) Yasiel Puig’s platoon splits this year:
vs lefty pitchers: .162, one HR, 8 RBI, 105 AB
vs righty pitchers: .286, 24 HR, 58 RBI, 343 AB

Very odd for a right-handed hitter like Puig.

5) Tennessee started their game Sunday by trying an onside kick, the first team to try that since the Vikings in 2009. Neither onside kick worked.

4) 2018 baseball schedules were released Tuesday. Opening Day is Thursday, March 29— for the first time since 1968, every team will play on Opening Day.

3) A’s play the White Sox at home on April 17; the game is free for all fans— it marks the 50th anniversary of the A’s first game in Oakland, after they moved from Kansas City.

2) Milwaukee Brewers will find out early next season if they’re going to contend; they play 14 games in April against the Cubs/Cardinals.

1) Seattle Mariners play 18 road games next April; their schedule is usually more cumbersome because of their being in the Pacific Northwest, but 18 road games in April is tough.
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Thursday’s six-pack

NFL trends for Week 2:

— Tampa Bay is 1-8 vs spread in last nine games as a home favorite.

— Oakland covered seven of last ten games when favored.

— 49ers are 5-10 vs spread in last 15 games as a road underdog.

— Minnesota Vikings are 13-6 in last 19 games as a road dog.

— Jets are 1-5-1 vs spread in last seven games as a road underdog.

— Green Bay covered just three of last 12 gamed when getting points on the road.

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

Thursday’s List of 13: Doing some thinking out loud……


13) Houston Texans played terribly in their opener; now news that LB Brian Cushing is out for 10 weeks due to a PED suspension and things just got a little more depressing for the Texans.

12) Apparently the Denver Broncos lost interest in drafting Dak Prescott last year when he missed the flight to come visit the team after the NFL Combine. Prescott showed up later that night but you only get one chance to make a first impression. Denver drafted Paxton Lynch instead, a subplot to Sunday’s game at Mile High Stadium.

11) Marlins-Brewers series, scheduled for Miami this weekend, has been moved to Miller Park in Milwaukee as hurricane cleanup efforts continue in south Florida.

There is still no power at the Marlins’ TV studio in Miami.

10) Tuesday night in Philly, Giancarlo Stanton threw out a runner at second base, a runner at third base and another at home plate— that would’ve been the game-winning run. That was the first time an outfielder has thrown out runners and 2B, 3B and home in the same game since Dale Murphy of the Braves did it in 1991, also in Philadelphia.

9) The All-Star break isn’t the halfway mark of the season anymore; next year, the Orioles will play 98 games before the All-Star break. With the season starting in late March now to allow for four more off days per team, the halfway point in terms of games will be in June.

8) Cubs and Cardinals won’t like this; the All-Star break is four days for 28 teams, but these two teams play on Thursday, July 19, making their All-Star break only three days. That game will be the first of seven games in 11 days between Cubs/Cardinals.

All-Star Game is in Washington next summer.

7) Indians-Twins are playing a two-game series in Puerto Rico April 17-18. Figures to be a little warmer in San Juan than Minneapolis in April.

6) San Francisco Giants will open on the road in Los Angeles next year; it’ll be the 9th year in a row the Giants are opening the season on the road.

5) This guy Rhys Hoskins looks like the real deal for the Phillies; he has plate discipline, takes his walks and his power definitely plays in the Phillies’ small home ballpark. He is a keeper.

4) Dodger reliever Brandon Morrow appeared in his 39th game Tuesday night; if he appears in one more game, he nets himself a $250,000 bonus.

3) Indians 5, Tigers 3— Cleveland won its 21st straight game, but Detroit’s catcher/manager were both tossed in the 3rd inning for bitching about balls/strikes with plate umpire Quinn Wolcott, who had been squeezing pitcher Buck Farmer on balls/strikes early in the game.

Soon after play resumed after the ejections, new catcher John Hicks completely missed catching a Farmer pitch— the ball drilled Wolcott near the collarbone.

Immediately, Indians’ TV guys insinuated Hicks had missed the ball on purpose, so it would hit Wolcott. Only Hicks knows for sure.

2) They listed the attendance in Cleveland Wednesday as 29,346; looked a lot more crowded than that— people were still waiting outside to get in the ballpark in the second inning.

Their crowd of 24,000+ Tuesday night was disappointing, considering how great the Indians have been playing, but it seemed like Wednesday, everyone took the afternoon off from work and came out to the ballpark.

1) By the way, as an A’s fan, congrats to the Indians on this great streak. 2002 was so much fun for me, as the A’s found a way to win 20 games in a row at just about this same point of the season. Hope it translates to postseason success in Cleveland.

Maybe somebody will make a movie about them.
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Preview: Mystics (18-16) at Lynx (27-7)
Date: September 14, 2017 8:00 PM EDT


The Minnesota Lynx threw a haymaker in Game 1 of the WNBA semifinals.

To have a fighting chance, the Washington Mystics will need to find some answers for Game 2 on Thursday at Williams Arena in Minneapolis.

"They punched first," Mystics star Elena Delle Donne told the (Minneapolis) Star Tribune after the Lynx shot nearly 60 percent from the field. "Now we have to figure out a way to respond."

Minnesota was even better from long distance, making 70 percent of its 3-point attempts.

"We got bombarded," Washington coach Mike Thibault said. "Every time I turned around the ball was going through the net."

The Mystics tried double- and triple-teaming Minnesota center Sylvia Fowles in the first half.

It didn't work, as Fowles made 7 of 12 shots.

In the third quarter, the Lynx spread things around.

Seimone Augustus had 11 of her game-high 24 points in the third, and Renee Montgomery made three 3-pointers as the Lynx built a 28-point lead.

"Obviously, we made shots," Minnesota coach Cheryl Reeve said. "When you make shots, everything is good."

Minnesota made 13 straight baskets during a stretch that started midway through the second quarter and was 12-for-18 from the field during the third.

"We need to find a way to break their rhythm," Thibault said. "If they shoot like that, it will be a quick series."

To avoid an early exit, the Mystics will need more from Kristi Toliver.

Toliver, who scored 32 points and set a WNBA record with nine 3-pointers in Washington's second-round win at New York, was held to three points on 1-for-7 shooting.

Thibault found something else missing with his team: fun.

"You need a balance of being aggressive and playing really hard," the coach told The Washington Post, "but there's also a sense that you're playing with house money, too. Hey, we're here because we worked hard to get here, go have fun playing. Enjoy it. There's no need to be tight, the pressure is on them, not us. No one expects us to win. Except us."

Thibault asked his team to embrace their underdog role.

"Last night I saw a rested Minnesota team and a team, us, that was kind of -- I'll say, reactive instead of proactive," Thibault said Wednesday after practice. "It's not a good way to play a team like that. When you're the underdog, you've got to be more of a disruptor, and we didn't disrupt too much. We need to be more aggressive in our approach to the game, try to dictate a little bit more on the defensive end what we want them to do."

Despite being overwhelmed in Game 1, the Mystics know they can tip the series scales in Game 2.

"If we can get one game here in Minnesota before we go home -- it ups our chances," Washington guard Natasha Cloud told the Post. "That's our focus, to just go in and play like we have nothing to lose. Because we don't, we're the underdog, and that's always a good position to be in."

The series will shift to Washington for Game 3 on Sunday.


WNB HEAD TO HEAD

Sep 12, 2017 Score ATS Results
WAS 81 Over: 182
MIN 101 Cover: 9.5
Tools: Recaps

Sep 3, 2017 Score ATS Results
WAS 72 Under: 158
MIN 86 Cover: 3
Tools: Recaps

Jun 23, 2017 Score ATS Results
WAS 76 Over: 169
MIN 93 Cover: 7.5
Tools: Recaps

Jun 9, 2017 Score ATS Results
MIN 98 Cover: 17
WAS 73 Over: 171
Tools: Recaps
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Preview: Mercury (18-16) at Sparks (26-8)
Date: September 14, 2017 10:00 PM EDT

The look on Candace Parker's face early on Tuesday showed the pain she felt with every step as she tried to play with an injured ankle. Grimacing and muttering under her breath, Parker gutted it out and showed the heart of a lioness.

By the fourth quarter the grimace turned to a smile. That's what winning can do -- make the pain go away.

Champions overcome adversity -- that's what makes them champions, and a little luck.

Parker and the Los Angeles Sparks will hope their luck holds out when they host the Phoenix Mercury in Game 2 on Thursday.

On Tuesday, Los Angeles didn't need any luck to beat Phoenix in Game 1 of their best-of-5 series. After a sluggish first half, the Sparks clamped down on defense and pulled away for a 79-66 win.

"It went just like I thought it would -- you've got champions over there," Sparks coach Brian Agler told the Daily Breeze after the game. "You've got two players (Brittney Griner and Diana Taurasi) that are going to be Hall of Famers and well-coached. It's going to be physical, that's going to be part of the nature of this series."

As expected, the game was physical with 26 fouls called on the Mercury and 20 on the Sparks. Three technical fouls also were called.

Unexpected was Parker's bad luck and freak injury. During the pregame shootaround, Los Angeles' leader rolled her ankle, placing her availability in immediate doubt. She went into the locker room and was heavily taped.

Typical of a champion, Parker didn't fall back and blame her injury for the Sparks' slow start. "I've been battle-tested my whole career with injuries. This was nothing new."

The focal point of the Sparks' offense also would play a crucial role in trying to contain Griner -- the regular-season scoring champ. No one stops Griner, you just try to limit the damage.

And Griner had her way in the first half, scoring 14 points. Along with Leilani Mitchell, the Mercury controlled the physical first quarter. Despite traveling more than 13 hours on Monday to get to Los Angeles from Connecticut after beating the Sun to advance to the semifinals, Phoenix looked the fresher of the two.

"I thought we fought hard," Mercury coach Sandy Brondello told the Arizona Republic. "It was a hard-fought game. For the most part, we executed. They just had too many options to score. We just have to play with a little more poise and get open."

The Sparks weathered the early storm and came out in the second half a different team.

"We thought they were real comfortable offensively so I felt we needed to up our intensity a bit, try to create some opportunity for our offense," Agler said. "I think we did create a couple turnovers, got layups, and sort of got going."

Sort of?

The defense turned the game around as the Sparks held the Mercury to six third-quarter points. In the middle was Defensive Player of the Year Alana Beard, who harassed Taurasi into a 2-for-10 shooting night and only six points -- a playoff career low for the league's all-time leading scorer.

"I think people are just now realizing how scary good she is," Parker said of Beard. "It's not necessarily all the things that show up in the stats sheet that makes you a good defender. It's all those intangible things that Alana does naturally."

And all those little things were on display against Taurasi.

"The way she competes every single day, every single possession. It's a little bit of a lost art," Taurasi told Swish Appeal. "There's no one you would pick to go into games, or try to win a playoff series or a championship game with other than Alana, because she's the glue that makes these teams really, really good. It's her grind and her grit that reflect at the end of the game."

Still, the key to the Sparks will be Parker's ankle. She has less than 48 hours to receive treatment and see some improvement

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

WNB HEAD TO HEAD

Sep 12, 2017 Score ATS Results
PHO 66 Under: 145
LOS 79 Cover: 4.5
Tools: Recaps

Aug 24, 2017 Score ATS Results
LOS 82 Cover: 9
PHO 67 Under: 149
Tools: Recaps

Jun 18, 2017 Score ATS Results
PHO 59 Under: 149
LOS 90 Cover: 23.5
Tools: Recaps

Jun 10, 2017 Score ATS Results
LOS 89 Cover: 2
PHO 87 Over: 176
Tools: Recaps
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Old 09-14-2017, 10:47 AM
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SIZE=4]WNBA Cheat Sheet - Semifinals[/SIZE]

The WNBA semifinals began with Game 1’s on Tuesday with four teams looking to advance in the postseason. These series will be best-of-five matchups and so will the WNBA Finals.

Game 2’s will take place on Thursday before the clubs travel and play Game 3’s on Sunday.

If necessary, Game 4 and 5’s will take place the following week on Tuesday Sept. 19 and Thursday Sept. 21. ESPN2 will provide national coverage of the matchups.

(1) Minnesota vs. (6) Washington

-- Washington (20-16) defeated Dallas 86-76 in the first round as a 6 -point home favorite last Wednesday.

-- The Mystics followed up that victory with an impressive 82-68 win at New York this past Sunday as a six-point road underdog. Washington cashed money-line tickets at plus-210 (Bet $100 to win $210).

-- Including those results, Washington has gone 3-2 SU and 4-1 ATS in its last five playoff contests.

-- The ‘under’ cashed in both of their first two playoff games this year.

-- The Mystics are 11-7 at home this season and 8-10 on the road, which includes the playoff results.

-- Against the Western Conference, Washington went 7-12 SU and 6-13 ATS.

-- Minnesota (27-7) finished the regular season with the best record in the WNBA and that record wasn’t surprising to the oddsmakers, who had the club favored in all but one of their games.

-- The Lynx went 15-2 SU and 8-9 ATS at home. The Lynx were a double-digit favorite 12 times and they went 5-7 ATS in those spots.

-- On the road, Minnesota was 12-5 SU and 10-7 ATS. It did struggle as a visitor down the stretch, going 3-3 SU and 2-4 ATS while the ‘under’ was 5-1.

-- Minnesota went 14-4 SU and 10-8 ATS versus the Eastern Conference this season and three of the losses took place on the road.

-- Minnesota and Washington met three times in the regular season and the Lynx won and covered all of the games rather easily. All of the results were decided by double digits (14, 17, 25) between the pair.

-- The ‘over’ went 2-1 and the Lynx scored 98, 93 and 86 points.

-- Since the 2013 playoffs, Minnesota has gone 21-8 in the postseason and it’s had a solid rate of covering with a 16-11-2 record versus the spread.

(2) Los Angeles vs. (5) Phoenix

-- Phoenix (20-16) started the postseason with a pair of single-elimination victories. The Mercury stifled Seattle 79-69 last Wednesday before capturing an 88-83 win over Connecticut.

-- Including those wins, the Mercury have won and covered their last five games entering this series.

-- Total bettors should note that the ‘under’ has gone 5-1 in the last six games for Phoenix.

-- The Mercury have gone 10-8 SU and 11-7 ATS on the road this season. At home, Phoenix has posted very similar numbers – 10-8 SU, 8-10 ATS.

-- Los Angeles (26-8) was a beast at the Staples Center during the regular season, going 17-1 and the club helped bettors with a 12-6 record (67%) versus the number as well. The one loss came by two points.

-- Clubs had trouble scoring at L.A. this season (70.2 PPG) and total bettors saw the ‘under’ go 14-4 in its home games.

-- As visitors, the Sparks showed some flaws as they went 10-7 both SU and ATS. They did close the season with three straight wins on the road and the offense posted 95, 115 and 82 points during that stretch.

-- The Sparks won and covered all three encounters against the Mercury this season and two of the wins came on the road. In the lone home meeting, Los Angeles blasted Phoenix 90-59 as a 7 -point favorite. The ‘under’ went 2-1.

-- Including those results, Los Angeles is 7-3 SU and 7-2-1 ATS in the last 10 head-to-head meetings against Phoenix.

-- During last year’s championship run, Los Angeles went 6-3 both SU and ATS. Future bettors should note that the WNBA hasn’t had a repeat champion since 2002 when the Sparks captured back-to-back titles.
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Old 09-14-2017, 11:01 AM
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WNBA
Long Sheet

Thursday, September 14


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

WASHINGTON (20 - 17) at MINNESOTA (28 - 7) - 9/14/2017, 8:00 PM
Top Trends for this game.
WASHINGTON is 311-370 ATS (-96.0 Units) in all games since 1997.
WASHINGTON is 1-13 ATS (-13.3 Units) as an underdog this season.
WASHINGTON is 48-72 ATS (-31.2 Units) in road games in August or September games since 1997.
WASHINGTON is 6-14 ATS (-9.4 Units) against Western conference opponents this season.
WASHINGTON is 6-14 ATS (-9.4 Units) in non-conference games this season.
WASHINGTON is 5-14 ATS (-10.4 Units) revenging a loss versus opponent this season.
WASHINGTON is 3-12 ATS (-10.2 Units) when playing against a team with a winning record this season.
MINNESOTA is 11-2 ATS (+8.8 Units) in home games in August or September games over the last 2 seasons.
MINNESOTA is 23-13 ATS (+8.7 Units) after a non-conference game over the last 2 seasons.
MINNESOTA is 6-0 ATS (+6.0 Units) in the conference finals over the last 3 seasons.
MINNESOTA is 26-14 ATS (+10.6 Units) after allowing 75 points or more over the last 2 seasons.
MINNESOTA is 17-8 ATS (+8.2 Units) in home games versus poor defensive teams - allowing 77+ points/game after 15+ games over the last 2 seasons.
MINNESOTA is 15-8 ATS (+6.2 Units) versus good offensive teams - scoring 77+ points/game this season.
MINNESOTA is 16-30 ATS (-17.0 Units) after playing 3 consecutive home games since 1997.

Head-to-Head Series History
WASHINGTON is 5-4 against the spread versus MINNESOTA over the last 3 seasons
MINNESOTA is 6-3 straight up against WASHINGTON over the last 3 seasons
5 of 9 games in this series have gone UNDER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons

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

PHOENIX (20 - 17) at LOS ANGELES (27 - 8) - 9/14/2017, 10:00 PM
Top Trends for this game.
PHOENIX is 22-41 ATS (-23.1 Units) as a road underdog of 6.5 to 9 points since 1997.
PHOENIX is 0-6 ATS (-6.6 Units) in the conference finals over the last 3 seasons.
LOS ANGELES is 23-12 ATS (+9.8 Units) in all games this season.
LOS ANGELES is 21-11 ATS (+8.9 Units) as a favorite this season.
LOS ANGELES is 13-5 ATS (+7.5 Units) in home games this season.
LOS ANGELES is 13-5 ATS (+7.5 Units) in a home game where where the total is greater than or equal to 150 this season.
LOS ANGELES is 10-2 ATS (+7.8 Units) in August or September games this season.
LOS ANGELES is 12-4 ATS (+7.6 Units) after a division game this season.
LOS ANGELES is 10-2 ATS (+7.8 Units) after 3 or more consecutive unders this season.
LOS ANGELES is 12-5 ATS (+6.5 Units) after a win by 10 points or more this season.
LOS ANGELES is 11-2 ATS (+8.8 Units) after 3 or more consecutive wins this season.
LOS ANGELES is 11-3 ATS (+7.7 Units) when playing against a team with a winning record this season.
LOS ANGELES is 7-1 ATS (+5.9 Units) when playing against a team with a winning record after 15+ games this season.
LOS ANGELES is 13-5 ATS (+7.5 Units) versus poor defensive teams - allowing 77+ points/game after 15+ games this season.
LOS ANGELES is 17-9 ATS (+7.1 Units) versus poor defensive teams - allowing 77+ points/game this season.
LOS ANGELES is 13-5 ATS (+7.5 Units) versus good offensive teams - scoring 77+ points/game after 15+ games this season.
LOS ANGELES is 17-8 ATS (+8.2 Units) versus good offensive teams - scoring 77+ points/game this season.
PHOENIX is 7-0 ATS (+7.0 Units) in road games after a division game this season.

Head-to-Head Series History
LOS ANGELES is 8-2 against the spread versus PHOENIX over the last 3 seasons
LOS ANGELES is 8-3 straight up against PHOENIX over the last 3 seasons
7 of 10 games in this series have gone UNDER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons

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




WNBA

Thursday, September 14


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

8:00 PM
WASHINGTON vs. MINNESOTA
Washington is 3-8 ATS in its last 11 games
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Washington's last 7 games when playing on the road against Minnesota
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Minnesota's last 5 games at home
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Minnesota's last 7 games when playing at home against Washington

10:00 PM
PHOENIX vs. LOS ANGELES
Phoenix is 5-1 SU in its last 6 games
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Phoenix's last 5 games when playing on the road against Los Angeles
Los Angeles is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Los Angeles's last 5 games when playing at home against Phoenix


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

WNBA
Dunkel

Thursday, September 14


Washington @ Minnesota

Game 689-690
September 14, 2017 @ 8:05 pm

Dunkel Rating:
Washington
110.704
Minnesota
123.488
Dunkel Team:
Dunkel Line:
Dunkel Total:
Minnesota
by 13
167
Vegas Team:
Vegas Line:
Vegas Total:
Minnesota
by 10 1/2
163 1/2
Dunkel Pick:
Minnesota
(-10 1/2); Over

Phoenix @ Los Angeles


Game 691-692
September 14, 2017 @ 10:05 pm

Dunkel Rating:
Phoenix
110.731
Los Angeles
124.508
Dunkel Team:
Dunkel Line:
Dunkel Total:
Los Angeles
by 14
159
Vegas Team:
Vegas Line:
Vegas Total:
Los Angeles
by 9 1/2
155
Dunkel Pick:
Los Angeles
(-9 1/2); Over
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