Connecticut and Minnesota face off in Game 3 of the first round of the WNBA playoffs! Head on to our WNBA series with this Sun-Lynx odds, prediction, pick, and how to watch.
The Connecticut Sun are looking to avoid an upset as the third seed, heading on the road to Minneapolis for a must-win Game 3 rubber match against the Lynx. The Sun took the first contest but were upset as nine-point favorites in Game 2 after a strong performance from Lynx stars Napheesha Collier and Kayla McBride.
The Lynx are hoping to send the Sun packing, and are likely to be the only lower seed with a shot at advancing out of the first round. They have the opportunity to host the win-or-go-home game at Target Center and are a slight underdog with a golden chance.
Here are the WNBA odds, courtesy of FanDuel.
WNBA Playoffs Odds: Sun-Lynx Odds
Connecticut Sun: -5.5 (-108)
Minnesota Lynx: +5.5 (-112)
Over: 156.5 (-110)
Under: 156.5 (-110)
How to watch Mystics vs. Liberty
Time: 8:00 PM ET/5:00 PM PT
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Why The Sun Could Cover The Spread
The Connecticut Sun are staring down a tense battle in Game 3, and will need to step up on the road. They have had decent success against their opponent this year, taking home four of six contests, three of which came by double digits. They will need to channel their successes from the previous blowouts and return to what has made them successful against the lower half of the league.
Connecticut is in a best-of-the-rest position, as they sit outside the clear-cut top-2 of Las Vegas and New York. They have a 1-6 record against the two title favorites and have failed to win under the brightest lights to assert their position as a top group. This Game 3 is a major test for them, and they will have to get up to the task to prove they belong in a championship fight. If they are able to get the victory here, they will have to prepare for a high-stakes battle against the Liberty after falling to them in all four chances during the regular season. But the Sun cannot afford to look ahead to that series and need to try and survive a Minnesota team that has nothing to lose.
The Sun are 17-6 as favorites with a moneyline of -200 or shorter, and they sit at exactly that number on Wednesday night. However, they are only 12-12 against the spread as a 4.5-point favorite or more, and even lower on the road. In order to get the job done, they will have to limit the top scorers with their well-respected defense. They currently sit at No. 1 in points allowed, surrendering just 79 ppg so far this season. The Sun will look to make this a lower-scoring contest, limiting the two Minnesota stars for much less than they went for on Sunday. If they stabilize the defense, they have a chance to outlast the less experienced Lynx squad and advance to the second round.
Why The Lynx Could Cover The Spread
This Minnesota team has all of the makings of a squad with upset potential. Their stars shone brightly in Sunday's elimination game against the Sun, with Napheesha Collier and Kayla McBride combining for 54 of the team's 82 points. They will both have to go off again to keep the Lynx in the contest, with Collier pounding the rock down low. McBride was on fire from three, hitting six at an over 50% clip. While that may not be sustainable, she can still hit clutch shots and hold the attention of the defense, allowing Collier and her other teammates to face less pressure in the paint.
They will need to keep the defensive pressure on DeWanna Bonner, who had 24 points off of 6-for-10 shooting behind the arc. Three's made up six of her eight buckets, an unsustainable pace going forward. She is likely to regress in Game 3, and holding her in check will be crucial to giving the Lynx a fighting chance at an upset.
The Lynx have won two of their six contests against the Sun this year after Connecticut largely out-classed them during the regular season. But there is a recipe that was a common factor in both of their wins, and that was points in the paint. In the late July victory and this last playoff game, the Lynx were able to dominate down low. They had 10+ more points in the painted area than the Sun and will have to focus on this to try and overcome the slight talent gap. Game 3 features a lower total at 157 points, and this should turn into more of a grudge match than a three-point contest.
Final Sun-Lynx Prediction & Pick
The Minnesota Lynx will play a close final game with the Sun, relying on performances from Collier and McBride. They should be able to keep this in the single digits and close the gap late if not already winning on their home court. Expect a lower total in this matchup, with both of the last two games landing on or under the 157 listed mark. A winner-takes-all elimination game tends to feature more defense and hard-fought possessions, and that will keep the total down, making it easier for the Lynx to keep it close.
Final Sun-Lynx Prediction & Pick: Lynx +5.5 (-112), Under 156.5 (-110)