The Dallas Wings, Washington Mystics, and Atlanta Dream are all in contention for the eighth and final seed in the WNBA playoffs with just three days remaining in the regular season.
The WNBA regular season wraps up on Sunday with three games the league rescheduled after players sat out in late August to protest the shooting of Jacob Blake.
Dallas, Washington Tied for Final Playoff Position
At 7-13, Dallas remains in prime position to grab the eighth seed. The Wings start the weekend Friday night with a game against the Chicago Sky, then wrap up against the 2-18 New York Liberty on Sunday. Dallas comes in as a 5.5-point underdog to the Sky in Friday’s game, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.
Dallas will play without rookie forward Satou Sabally on Friday after she collided with Seattle Storm guard Sue Bird on Wednesday. The team placed Sabally in the concussion protocol following the game.
Washington kept their playoff hopes alive with a huge 80-72 win over the Los Angeles Sparks on Thursday night. The Mystics also enter the final days of the season at 7-13, and start with their own game against the Liberty on Saturday.
On Sunday, Washington faces a potentially decisive encounter with the 6-14 Dream, who can still reach the playoffs if they win out and get some help. Atlanta first faces a critical matchup on Friday night when they take on the Connecticut Sun as a 1.5-point underdog.
Seeding Remains Critical for Top Teams
While the top seven teams in the league have already clinched WNBA playoff spots, many are still fighting for seeding. Moving into the top four or top two positions can be critical, as the teams with the best records in the leagues can earn one or two byes in the early rounds of the postseason.
The Seattle Storm (17-3) have already clinched a double-bye into the semifinals. At 16-4, the Las Vegas Aces have the inside track on the No. 2 seed, as they hold a two-game lead over the Sparks (15-6). The Aces solidified their position on Thursday night thanks to a 104-89 win over the Minnesota Lynx.
Kayla McBride led Las Vegas with 21 points, while A’ja Wilson added 20 points and four blocks.
“I take a lot of pride in [defense], especially when it comes to my teammates,” Wilson said after the win, via the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “I want them to know I’m going to be there as much as I can, and as soon as I can to prevent them from getting fouls, but also being that second level of defense.”
The Lynx (13-8) are still in position to get a first-round bye, though they are tied for that spot with the Phoenix Mercury (13-8). Phoenix faces a tough challenge in their final game, as they will play the Seattle Storm on Friday night as 4.5-point underdogs.
WNBA Championship Odds
- Seattle Storm: +115
- Las Vegas Aces: +260
- Los Angeles Sparks: +700
- Phoenix Mercury: +950
- Minnesota Lynx: +1300
- Chicago Sky: +2100
- Connecticut Sun: +3600
- Dallas Wings: +4900
- Washington Mystics: +4900
- Atlanta Dream: +25000
Odds via FanDuel Sportsbook
One matchup is set in stone. The top two teams in the Eastern Conference, the Chicago Sky (11-10) and Connecticut Sun (10-11), will meet in the first round as the No. 6 and No. 7 seeds, though it remains to be seen in which order they finish. That shouldn’t matter much, however: teams can’t gain an edge from home-court advantage, as all games are taking place in a bubble at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida.
The WNBA playoff structure grants a huge advantage to the top two seeds, and the league’s championship odds reflect that reality. FanDuel lists the Seattle Storm as the +115 favorite to win the WNBA championship this year, ahead of the Aces (+260) and the Sparks (+700).