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DIANA TAURASI RANKS SECOND IN THE WNBA WITH 20.1 PPG.
Wed, 06 Jul 2011 05:35 PM EDT

LOS ANGELES SPARKS (4-4)

at PHOENIX MERCURY (5-4)

Tip-off: Tuesday, 9:00 p.m. EDT
Line: Phoenix -5.5, Total: 178.5

The Sparks held their own in their first full game without Candace Parker, but they still dropped a third straight game to start their seven-game road trip. On Tuesday, they’ll still be looking for their first road win of 2011 (0-4) when they visit high-scoring Phoenix.

With Parker out of the lineup, that spread looks more than attainable for the Mercury, who lead the WNBA in scoring (90.3 PPG). The FoxSheets also have a four-star trend that favors PHOENIX to win and cover:

PHOENIX is 18-4 ATS (81.8%, +13.6 Units) versus poor defensive teams – allowing 77+ points/game over the last 2 seasons. The average score was PHOENIX 98.8, OPPONENT 89.5 – (Rating = 4*). Basketball scores.

And although five of the past six meetings between these teams in Phoenix have finished Under the total, the FoxSheets provide a four-star coaching trend siding with the OVER on Tuesday:

Corey Gaines is 18-4 OVER (81.8%, +13.6 Units) off a home win by 10 points or more as the coach of PHOENIX. The average score was PHOENIX 97.6, OPPONENT 92.3 – (Rating = 4*).

L.A. was game in Connecticut last Tuesday, going shot for shot with the Sun until the final minute of the game. They had two attempts to tie it in the final 10 seconds, but missed both three-pointers in a 79-76 loss. Basketball odds.

The Sparks are now 0-4 SU and 1-3 ATS on the road this season. And including last season, when Parker missed 26 games (including the postseason), they’re 10-17 SU and 11-16 ATS (40.7%) without their superstar over the past two seasons.

Not surprisingly in Connecticut, they were dominated by star center Tina Charles, who had 22 points and 23 rebounds against Los Angeles.

The Mercury don’t have the kind of interior strength of a Charles, but they have won five of six SU and ATS thanks to an explosive perimeter attack. Led by Diana Taurasi, the WNBA’s second-leading scorer (20.1 PPG), Phoenix has averaged 93.2 PPG during their recent hot streak. Their last three wins have come by at least eight points each. They went 4-1 SU and 3-2 ATS against the Sparks a year ago. Phoenix won both of their matchups, SU and ATS, after Parker went down with a season-ending shoulder injury. Basketball spreads.


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