Seattle Storm’s Breanna Stewart shoots over Indiana Fever’s Jessica Breland during the second half of a WNBA basketball game Thursday, June 17, 2021, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
- Seattle and Phoenix meet on July 9th at 9pm ET on ESPN as part of a four-game slate of WNBA contests
- Friday night’s game features a pair of teams coming off victories in their previous games
- See the odds, preview and the best bet for the game below
With less than one week left in the first half of the WNBA regular season leading up to the month-long Olympic Break, four games will take place on Friday, July 9th in a busy night of contests throughout the league.
Headlining a four-game schedule on Friday night is a matchup between the Seattle Storm and Phoenix Mercury at 9pm ET on ESPN from Phoenix Suns Arena in Arizona.
Storm vs Mercury Odds
|Team||Spread at FanDuel||Moneyline||Total|
|Seattle Storm||-4.5 (-118)||-215||Over 168.5 (-115)|
|Phoenix Mercury||+4.5 (-104)||+172||Under 168.5 (-105)|
Odds as of July 9th
Storm Try to Remain Atop WNBA
Seattle enters Friday night as the top team in the league, holding a record of 15-4 overall while holding a one-game lead over the Las Vegas Aces for that first-place position. The Storm have won three games in a row while also having won eight of their last 10 contests.
Seattle is most recently coming off of a 71-62 victory at home against the Los Angeles Sparks on Wednesday, July 7th, taking down Los Angeles for the second time in four nights while pushing the Storm winning streak to three straight.
Stewie’s scoring eruption in the fourth lifts us over LA! 🤩
Full game highlights presented by @Symetra.#TakeCover pic.twitter.com/VhQrS89aNZ
— Seattle Storm (@seattlestorm) July 8, 2021
Seattle has featured one of the top offenses in the WNBA all year long, ranking second in points per game (87.2), second in field goal percentage (46%) and first in three-point percentage (40%). The Storm have also allowed opposing teams to just 79.6 points per game, which is the fourth-best mark in the league.
Continuing to lead the way for Seattle this season has been the duo of Breanna Stewart and Jewell Loyd, followed by Sue Bird and company behind them. Stewart is averaging 21.3 points, 9.6 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 1.8 blocks and 1.2 steals, while Loyd is averaging 18.1 points, 4.2 rebounds, 4.2 assists and 1.2 steals per game.
The Storm have been awfully tough to face, regardless if they are playing at home or on the road. Expect much of the same in Friday night’s game in Phoenix.
Mercury Aim to Record Another Impressive Win
Phoenix comes into the game in the seventh spot in the WNBA standings with a record of 8-9, but are coming off of an impressive overtime win in their previous game to end a losing streak and get back into the win column.
The Mercury most recently took down the Aces on the road in Las Vegas on Wednesday, July 7th, coming from behind to steal the game 99-90.
Phoenix has been somewhat of a low-scoring team so far in the first half of the year, averaging 79.8 points per game (ranks 9th in WNBA) while shooting just 42.6% from the field (9th in WNBA) and 31% from three (11th in WNBA). The Mercury defense has kept them in some games, having given up 81.8 points per game to opposing teams (6th in WNBA).
The trio of Brittney Griner, Skylar Diggins-Smith and Diana Taurasi have shined once again for Phoenix this season, with all three of them averaging over 15 points per contest. Griner is leading the way with 20.2 points, 9.5 rebounds, 2.1 blocks and 2.0 assists per game, followed by Diggins-Smith with 18.8 points, 5.2 assists and 3.5 rebounds, and Taurasi with 15.6 points, 4.0 assists and 3.6 rebounds.
BG with the 6th ever game in WNBA history of 33+ points, 10+ rebounds, 5+ assists and 2+ blocks. The first since 2018. pic.twitter.com/k6i7TmYyJu
— Phoenix Mercury (@PhoenixMercury) July 8, 2021
The biggest question for the Mercury going into Friday is if Taurasi (hip) will be ready to go after missing the previous game. If she is, this game will get much more interesting.
Prediction and Best Bet
Friday’s meeting will be the first of three games between both teams this season, with the next matchup taking place on July 11th before the Olympic Break begins. If both teams are healthy, it will be interesting to see how Seattle and Phoenix will square up against each other for the first time in 2021, especially with both sides featuring a dominant trio of talent.
We’ll see everyone back at home on Friday night!#4TheValley
🎟 https://t.co/EVVrl5IimJ pic.twitter.com/Mig8U5GeXJ
— Phoenix Mercury (@PhoenixMercury) July 8, 2021
Even with health out of the picture, the Storm would still likely hold the edge as favorites in this game. Adding the question mark of Taurasi’s status makes Seattle even larger favorites, as the early odds display with the Storm as early 4.5-point favorites.
In this contest to highlight a four-game slate in the WNBA on Friday night, go with Seattle on the road to extend its winning streak to four in a row. For the best bet, expect the Storm to cover the spread set going into the matchup.
- Best Bet: Seattle -4.5 (-118)
Mitchell has over seven years of experience in journalism, marketing, communications and digital fields, having covered sports teams and leagues on all levels. He has spent more than five years covering the WNBA and NBA, among other sports. You can follow him on Twitter @M_Hansen13.