The Daily Sweat: Sky looks to continue run in Game 2 of WNBA Finals vs. Mercury

·3-min read

Poor Phoenix basketball fans. 

The Phoenix Suns made the NBA Finals and lost in six games. Then the Phoenix Mercury made the WNBA Finals, and promptly dropped Game 1. 

If the Mercury are going to make a series of it, that needs to start in Game 2 on Wednesday night. They are 4-point favorites at BetMGM over the Chicago Sky, which has made a fantastic run after a mediocre regular season and are two wins away from a championship. The series will shift to Chicago or Games 3 and 4. 

The Sky were 16-16 in the regular season but have sliced through the playoffs, including a semifinal upset of the top-seeded Connecticut Sun. The Sun were 26-6 during the regular season.  

Kahleah Copper has led the charge, taking her scoring from 14.4 points per game in the regular season to 18.6 points in the playoffs. Copper is shooting 53.3 percent from the field in the postseason. The Sky's biggest star is Candace Parker, who is averaging 13.7 points and 8.3 rebounds per game.

The Mercury are an unlikely Finals participant too. They had the league's fifth-best record at 19-13. They also have some of the most recognizable names in the sport: Diana Taurasi, Skylar Diggins-Smith and Brittney Griner. Those three have combined to average 54.8 points per game in the playoffs. Taurasi, likely the greatest player in WNBA history, saved some for the playoffs at age 39. She's averaging 19.3 points per game, up from 15.2 in the regular season. 

The WNBA caught a break, ratings wise. Wednesday night was supposed to be the conclusion of two AL wild-card series, including big markets Boston and Chicago. But both of those series ended in four games. There's no college football. The NBA regular season hasn't started. There are only a handful of NHL games. 

Game 2 between the Sky and Mercury can get everyone's full attention. 

Kahleah Copper (2) of the Chicago Sky, Brittney Griner (42) of the Phoenix Mercury and Candace Parker (3) of the Sky battle for a rebound in Game 1 of the WNBA Finals. (Photo by Mike Mattina/Getty Images)
Kahleah Copper (2) of the Chicago Sky, Brittney Griner (42) of the Phoenix Mercury and Candace Parker (3) of the Sky battle for a rebound in Game 1 of the WNBA Finals. (Photo by Mike Mattina/Getty Images)

Here's a first look at the sports betting slate for Wednesday: 

What about the NHL? 

The NHL had two games Tuesday to start its season, and 10 more teams have their opener tonight including the Stanley Cup favorite Colorado Avalanche. Here are the games with the odds from BetMGM: 

Montreal Canadiens at Toronto Maple Leafs (-185)
N.Y. Rangers at Washington Capitals (-130)
Vancouver Canucks at Edmonton Oilers (-175)
Chicago Blackhawks at Colorado Avalanche (-200)
Winnipeg Jets (-150) at Anaheim Ducks 

For the best NHL betting preview you'll read, check out the team-by-team breakdown from Peter Truszkowski of Yahoo Sportsbook. 

Who cashed tickets on Tuesday night? 

The Atlanta Braves finished the NLDS in four games, beating the Milwaukee Brewers. The Braves were underdogs coming into the series, getting about +120 odds. The Los Angeles Dodgers forced a Game 5 with a win over the San Francisco Giants. Game 5 will be Thursday. The odds are -110 for both teams. 

In the AL, the Houston Astros finished off the Chicago White Sox in Game 4. The Astros are now the World Series favorite at BetMGM, with +200 odds. 

What's the best bet? 

At this point, why bet against a hot streak? The Sky have been cruising, and we might as well grab them at +4 for Game 2. 

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