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WNBA Best Bets: Riding with the Favorites for Saturday, August 6

Betnijah Laney

Betnijah Laney

Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

This weekend is packed with WNBA matchups, with two games tonight followed by a four-game slate tomorrow. I see value in both of the games on Saturday, August 6 and I’m backing both favorites to cover the spread, in large part due to their respective advantages in the rebounding battle.

Dallas Wings vs. Indiana Fever

The Wings should be able to dominate Indiana on the glass, as Dallas owns the second-best offensive rebound rate in the league while averaging the second-most second-chance points per game.

Teiara McCowan, who was traded to Dallas from Indiana this offseason, has been the best offensive rebounder in the WNBA since the All-Star Break. McCowan paced the league with 4.9 offensive boards per game in that span, which is 1.7 boards above the next-best offensive rebounder since the break. The center also topped the W in second-chance points per game post-break by nearly two full points.

McCowan set a franchise record with 10 offensive rebounds last game, which was also the most by any WNBA player since 2017 according to Wings PR. As Dallas pushes to lock up a playoff spot, the team will be motivated to run away with this game.

Indiana has been the worst team in the league all season but the Fever struggled even more recently, with a -15.5 net rating since the All-Star Break. Indiana lost by double-digits in each of the team’s last five games and Dallas should have no problem making it six in a row.

EDGE: Dallas Wings -11 (1 Unit)

New York Liberty at Phoenix Mercury

New York posted the league’s second-best rebounding rate over the last three games, a stretch in which the Liberty went 3-0. The first game of the team’s current win streak was a blowout victory over the Mercury where the Liberty doubled Phoenix’s offensive rebound total and led 42-26 on the glass.

A big part of that rebounding success stems from Natasha Howard, as the 2022 All-Star is in the midst of a dominant run on the glass. Howard posted a double-double in each of her last five games prior to the team’s most recent matchup against the Sparks and will look to start a new streak tonight.

The Mercury rank dead last in both offensive and defensive rebounding rate this season and allow opponents to score a league-high 12 second-chance points per game. This is a great matchup for New York to continue the winning streak by gaining extra possessions with offensive boards.

Sabrina Ionescu should shoot better than her 1-6 performance from deep against Phoenix on Sunday and she’ll receive even more help as Betnijah Laney makes her return. Laney, an All-Star for the Liberty last season, hasn’t played in more than two months due to a knee injury. Even if she’s only available for limited minutes, Laney gives New York an additional dynamic player on both ends of the court.

I’d take the Liberty up to -3 on the road and I put two units on New York’s spread at -1. I also would consider taking Howard to go over her rebounding total at 8.5 for my favorite prop line of the day.

EDGE: New York Liberty -1 (2 Units)