WNBA betting and fantasy picks: why two Sky stars are ready to shine

Every night, our team of fantasy and betting experts will analyze every WNBA game, noting everything from injuries to roster moves to recent trends and much more.

Here’s what to look for tonight:

What you need to know for Wednesday’s matches

There are two games on the schedule for the second night of the WNBA season, with the Chicago Sky facing the Dallas Wings and the Atlanta Dream opening their season against the Los Angeles Sparks.

Both games feature a team led by a young MVP candidate against an opponent who selected two high-profile rookies in this year’s draft. The story gives us an idea of ​​what to expect from Arike Ogunbowale and Rhyne Howard, but all eyes will be on the WNBA debuts of Cameron Brink, Rickea Jackson and Angel Reese.

Wednesday’s Fantasy Stream Team

Diamond DeShields, G, Chicago Sky (available in 52.1% of ESPN leagues)

DeShields missed all of last season with a knee injury, but is in the Sky’s starting lineup this season and has a history of producing solid numbers. She averaged 12.8 PPG, 3.5 RPG, 2.0 APG, 0.9 SPG, 0.7 3PG and 0.5 BPG in 24.8 MPG during her five-year career.

Aerial Powers, G, Atlanta Dream (available in 78.6% of ESPN leagues)

Powers joined the Dream during the offseason after dropping out of the Lynx’s starting lineup and rotation last season. Over the previous three seasons, two with the Lynx and one with the Mystics, Powers averaged 14.4 PPG, 4.4 RPG, 2.6 APG, 1.0 SPG and 1.0 3PG in 26.0 MPG . Powers projects to play a bench role for the Dream this season, but played well in the preseason with two-game averages of 9.5 PPG, 3.5 RPG, 1.5 SPG and 1.5 3PG in just 19.0 MPG.

Picks, projections and injury reports

Basketball Power Index by ESPN Analytics. Injury aggregation by Rotowire.com. All odds are provided by ESPN BET.

Chicago Sky at Dallas Wings
8 p.m. ET, College Park Center, Arlington

Double: Wings -8.5
Money line: Sky (+350), Wings (-460)
Total: 161.5 points

BPI prediction:
Wings: 65.7% chance of winning.
Projected margin of victory: 4.5 points

Injury report
Sky: Isabelle Harrison (Out), Kamilla Cardoso (Out)
Wings: Jaelyn Brown (Everyday), Satou Sabally (Out)

Best bet: Arike Ogunbowale on 20.5 points (-130). Ogunbowale is one of the most explosive scorers in the WNBA, coming off a season where she averaged 21.2 PPG (fifth in the league). She scored more than 20.5 points in 23 of the 40 games she played last season, including the first four games of the campaign. The Sky enters this season tied (with Chicago) for the third-worst defensive BPI rating in the league, so Ogunbowale should have plenty of scoring opportunities.

Best bet: Angel Reese on 12.5 points (-110). Reese scored 13 points in his two preseason appearances, averaging 13 PPG in 21.5 MPG. Reese leaves for the Sky on Wednesday night with fellow rookie Kamilla Cardoso. She will face a Wings defense that is tied for the third-worst defensive BPI rating in the league entering the season.

Atlanta’s Dream at the Los Angeles Sparks
10 p.m. ET, Crypto.com Arena, Los Angeles

Double: Dream -5.5
Money line: Dream (-225), Sparks (+185)
Total: 160.5 points

BPI prediction:
Dream: 53.9% chance of winning.
Projected margin of victory: 1.1 points

Injury report
Dream: Jordin Canada (daily), Lorela Cubaj (daily)
Sparks : Azura Stevens (out)

Best bet: Rhyne Howard on 2.5 3 overall (-140): Howard has averaged exactly 2.5 3PG in each of her last two WNBA seasons, but she’s increased that pace down the stretch with three or more 3-pointers in nine of her last 14 games last season. Howard was particularly prolific against the Sparks last season, averaging 4.3 3PG on 51.5 3P% in four head-to-head meetings.

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