Lynx Slightly Favored in What a Low-Scoring Game
Like Minnesota’s twin cities, the quarterfinals between the Sun and Lynx denoted two distinct games: a blowout win for Connecticut in Game 1 and an upset from Minnesota in Game 2. With the deciding game switching to Minneapolis, the Sun vs Lynx odds still favor the former. But recent betting history between the two suggests that the Lynx have been better on the lines. One thing is for sure: this quarterfinal matchup will be grueling.
The Number of Death: ‘80’ for the Sun
The Sun are giving up the fewest points in the WNBA at just 79 per game (defensive rating of 100.7). That’s the fewest in the league. And on the road, Connecticut’s ‘D’ does not shag. It shouldn’t, as Connecticut can struggle to score and will lose if it allows opponents to score more than what it allows on average.
Connecticut is just 4-13 (2-6 on the road) when it allows opponents to hit the 80-point mark. Losing Brionna Jones, one of the best WNBA players, has limited this team’s offense. It’s also partly why six of their last nine road games have gone under the total. The current line at 158 points is the fewest in the remaining quarterfinal games.
Minnesota adjusted well after Connecticut blew it out 90-60 in Game 1. Game 2 saw the Lynx take the fight to the Sun as they scored 44 first-half points instead of just 32 in the first game. Connecticut could not recover as its second-half rally fell short. If momentum counts for anything, the Sun vs Lynx odds favoring Connecticut by five points (-5) could prove accurate.
But in terms of the WNBA odds, the Sun’s defeat against the Lynx makes it two out of the last four games where the underdog upset them. The Sun are also just 2-4 against the spread (ATS) versus the Lynx this 2023.
Heading to enemy territory, the Sun will need to put a lid on the Lynx right away. That could be a tall task as Minnesota will come in with plenty of energy aided by their rejuvenated basketball fans.
Lynx Reviving Basketball in Minnesota
The Lynx have arrived. And a bit earlier than expected. After Sylvia Fowles passed the torch to Napheesa Collier, the team was supposed to be in a rebuild. But after just one losing season, Minnesota is back in the playoffs, and just one win away from advancing to the semifinals. It has reinvigorated the fans, who will make themselves known on Wednesday.
“It was really encouraging to see them come back and fight, and just really play together and come and back the playoffs,” said Nate Pentz, a season ticket holder from St. Paul.
Even with Fowles now watching on the sidelines, the fighting spirit she’s bestowed on the team remains. The Lynx could have tucked their tails and accepted defeat following an embarrassing loss in Game 1. But nay. The team went right at Connecticut at did more than bust the Sun vs Lynx odds.
This is a team that is much better than what it shows on paper. The Lynx’s -6.1 net rating is just 10th in the WNBA. But its record of 19-21 is a lot better than what analytics expected: 14-26. That means Minnesota is winning plenty of games it should be losing. That’s where the intangibles come into play.
Minnesota is 13-15 as an underdog this season. However, most of these wins (11) came on the road, and Minnesota can struggle to defend at home (105.7 defensive rating since the break). But this is one of the best WNBA matchups for this team as it could just outscore a potentially exhausted Sun.
Score the upset?
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