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WNBA Preview: New York Liberty Visit the Phoenix Mercury

Phoenix Mercury Basketball

Taurasi Out for Mercury

The New York Liberty and the Phoenix Mercury will battle on Tuesday at Talking Stick Resort Arena. This early season WNBA tilt could be a preview of the WNBA finals. Both teams will be shorthanded tonight.

The Phoenix Mercury will be without guard Diana Taurasi. Taurasi is suspended for one game for a flagrant foul-2 during Friday’s win at San Antonio. She used her forearm to hit Stars forward Dearica Hamby in the back of the head during the second quarter. Officials originally assessed a technical foul. The play was then upgraded to the more serious T2 violation, which calls for a suspension without pay.

New York is also down a key player for the rest of the season. The Liberty lost starting guard Brittany Boyd to a torn Achilles’ tendon on Thursday night in a loss to Minnesota. Bria Hartley is expected to step into the starting lineup.

Oddsmakers have the Liberty as a 1.5-point favorites now.  The total is at 149.

Matchups will be the Key Tonight

Phoenix won its last outing, a 78-72 result against the San Antonio Stars on May 19. The Mercury failed to cover in that game as a -10-point favorite. The 150 combined points took the game UNDER the total. The Mercury could decide to start the game with two point guards. Leilani Mitchell, who is averaging 11-points a game off the bench, could join Danielle Robinson.

The marquee matchup will be in the post with New York’s Tina Charles battling Phoenix’s Brittney Griner. Griner has posted consecutive double-doubles. The 6-foot-9 Griner is second in the league in scoring at 23.3 points per game and has made 20 of 27 shots in the past two games. Griner is going to have be a bigger part of the offense this season. Phoenix replaced everybody but her and Taurasi from last season’s roster.

New York was a 90-71 loser at home against the Minnesota Lynx. They failed to cover the +5-point spread as underdogs. The combined score (161) was profitable news for OVER bettors. Charles led the WNBA in scoring and rebounding last season. She battled illness last week. She is averaging only 9.0 points and 7.0 rebounds through two games.

WNBA Betting Trends

 

Next up:
New York at Seattle Friday, May 26
Phoenix home to Dallas Saturday, May 27

Get all your 2017 WNBA Odds at Bovada Online Sportsbook

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