Arizona Sportsbooks Not Showing Much Love For Phoenix Mercury In Game 2 Of WNBA Semifinals

Written By Derek Helling on September 30, 2021 - Last Updated on October 1, 2021
Mercury WNBA Playoff Odds Semifinals Game 2

Despite the fact that the Phoenix Mercury nearly covered in the opening game of their best-of-five series against the Las Vegas Aces, Arizona sportsbooks have them going into an 0-2 hole by a slightly larger margin Thursday night.

The Mercury playoff odds for Game 2 look pretty similar to the series opener. And that means there could be some opportunities for bettors.

While regular-season trends say that AZ sports betting apps might have gone the wrong way on the total, it’s important to consider the context. It’s desperation time for Phoenix with some clutch players on the roster.

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A look at the Phoenix Mercury playoff AZ betting odds

On Tuesday, the Mercury were 5.5-point underdogs. That line has grown a little, along with the total at most AZ sportsbooks for Game 2.

SportsbookSpreadTotalMoneyline
DraftKings SportsbookPhoenix +6.5 -115
Las Vegas -6.5 -105
Over 170 -115
Under 170 -105
Phoenix +230
Las Vegas -290
Caesars SportsbookPhoenix +6.5 -115
Las Vegas -6.5 -115
Over 170.5 -115
Under 170.5 -115
Phoenix +240
Las Vegas -300
FanDuel SportsbookPhoenix +6.5 -110
Las Vegas -6.5 -110
Over 170.5 -110
Under 170.5 -110
Phoenix +225
Las Vegas -290
BetMGM SportsbookPhoenix +6.5 -110
Las Vegas -6.5 -110
Over 170.5 -115
Under 170.5 -105
Phoenix +240
Las Vegas -300
WynnBet SportsbookPhoenix +6.5 -110
Las Vegas -6.5 -110
Over 170.5 -110
Under 170.5 -110
Phoenix +230
Las Vegas -290

Freshly minted 2021 Sixth Player of the Year Kelsey Plum netted 25 points off the bench to help Las Vegas win 96-90. Throughout the regular season, Plum was a big reason why the Aces had one of the league’s most efficient offenses by several metrics.

Las Vegas led the league in field-goal percentage, free-throw attempts and points scored, just to name a few categories. The Aces executed on those points Tuesday, shooting just under 50% from the floor and attempting 20 free throws to Phoenix’s 16.

On Thursday, there are new wrinkles that could impact the game in both directions. Bettors will have to judge these elements as part of a whole, too.

What might be different for Game 2 of Mercury-Aces

On Tuesday, Aces center Liz Cambage played for the first time in weeks as she works her way back from a positive COVID-19 test. She was only on the court for nine minutes, however. In that limited time, she showed nothing has diminished in terms of her skill, scoring seven points while grabbing three rebounds.

If she can play more tonight, that makes Las Vegas’ loaded frontcourt much more of a problem for the Mercury. At the same time, there’s a reason for bettors to think about the under-total tonight as well.

Throughout the regular season, the WNBA set the schedule so teams would often play each other twice in a three-day span to minimize travel. In most of the latter games of those “back-to-backs,” the totals were lower than in the first games.

If Phoenix’s defense isn’t more effective, though, a number in the 170s is always in play when the Aces are in action. What also might drive consideration of the over and the spread on the Mercury tonight is the state of the series.

Mercury need to rise now to reach WNBA Finals

Since the WNBA went to its current playoff format, no team has ever gone down 0-2 in a best-of-five series then won three consecutive games to take that series. In fact, only once has a team lost the first game of such a series and then came back from that to win.

However, the WNBA adopted the current format in 2016, so bettors might consider that a small sample. Either way, Phoenix faces a must-win situation tonight. It might be hard to quantify exactly how many points that means, but it’s also difficult to dismiss the track record of Mercury players like Diana Taurasi in these situations.

Both sides of the total are in play ahead of the 7 p.m. tip on ESPN2, as are both sides of the spread. Bettors need to make up their minds as to which factors could swing this game their way the most.

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Derek Helling

Derek Helling is a lead writer for PlayUSA and the manager of BetHer. He is a 2013 graduate of the University of Iowa and covers the intersections of sports with business and the law.

View all posts by Derek Helling