The Phoenix Mercury have a rare second leg of a back-to-back on Wednesday against the Indiana Fever. Can Phoenix overcome tired legs to get to the win column, or will the young Fever pick up the win at home? Let’s look at the WNBA odds from the best sportsbooks and break down this game!
Phoenix Mercury vs. Indiana Fever
Wednesday, June 15, 2022 – 07:00 PM EDT at Indiana Farmers Coliseum
Phoenix’s Issues on Defense
The Phoenix Mercury have had a rough start to their season when it comes to the quality of their opponents. They have played 11 of their first 14 games against teams who are above .500 and while that changes here tonight, the long flight from Washington DC to Indianapolis and playing on consecutive nights will have an effect on their play Wednesday.
While the Indiana Farmer’s Coliseum is right down the street from my house, it’s a long way from DC. The Mercury either had to travel late last night from DC to Indiana, or they will fly out early Wednesday morning.
Either way, this team will come in tired and if last night is any indication of how they will look tonight, fading Phoenix is probably a good play.
With Elena Delle Donne back in the lineup, the Washington Mystics returned the favor from Phoenix after the Mercury beat them without Delle Donne in their first game of the two-game matchup.
After dropping 99 points on Washington in overtime, the Mercury only mustered 65 points and didn’t score more than 19 points in any of the four quarters. The game was over pretty quickly after the opening tip.
Phoenix’s offense has been rough this season without Brittney Griner and while the Fever defense is far from good, their offense at home may be tough to stop tonight.
WNBA Pick for Today
The Fever have looked like a different team this season since they changed head coaches. Marianne Stanley never looked comfortable coaching this team and after starting 2-7 SU on the year, Indiana has gone 2-5 since, but has been much more competitive in almost every game since.
For this game, where they have the rest and home court advantage, I think Indiana can use their potent home offense to drum up some points on this lackluster Phoenix defense.
- Indiana ranks seventh in the W in home offensive rating, but first halves have been even better for this team.
- Indiana ranks fourth-best in the WNBA in first half home offensive rating, and while they still have a negative net rating in those spots thanks to a rough defense, that may not matter if they catch the Mercury napping.
- Phoenix has really struggled in first halves on the road and that continued last night.
- The Mercury now rank 10th in defensive rating and 11th in offensive rating in first halves on the road.
The Venue Helps Indiana
On top of all this, I mentioned the Fever playing right down the street from me and I think that plays into our hands tonight as well.
The Fieldhouse downtown where the Fever and Pacers play is undergoing renovations and the Fever have moved up the road to the Farmers Coliseum for this middle part of the season.
Gainbridge Fieldhouse is a fantastic place to see a basketball game as Bill Simmons has recently said, but for W games, the building is big enough where it drowns out the smaller W crowds. The Farmers Coliseum is a much more intimate arena that can get pretty loud even with only a few thousand fans.
The Fever have responded to this venue change positively. Even though they are only 1-2 SU since moving up to the Fairgrounds, they own a first half offensive rating of 119 in those three games, which is tops in the W among all team’s last 3-5 home games.
If we get more of those home court made shots tonight, I think Indiana is a great first half value for our free picks.
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