2011 Season WNBA Basketball Past Picks
October 02, 2011
Atlanta at Minnesota
Sunday 10/02 08:30 PM Eastern
3 units on Atlanta +7 (-110) (risk 3 to return 3) RESULT: LOSS
I'll back the underdog Atlanta Dream in Game 1 of the Finals. This is a young Minnesota team against an experience Atlanta squad. They've been here before and it shows, sweeping the No. 2 Connecticut Sun in two games in the opening round before knocking off the No. 1 Indiana Fever in three games in the conference finals. This team was in the Finals last year. It's no surprise they are doing it with teamwork and defense: Five players are averaging double figures for Atlanta in the postseason and in the first two rounds of the playoffs, and the Dream forced their opponents into an average of 17.6 turnovers per game. Atlanta is the second highest scoring team in the playoffs (81.8 ppg) and is the top rebounding team (40.6 rpg). The roster is pretty much the same as the one that lost to Seattle in last season's WNBA finals. This team started the year 3-9 but got hot down the stretch, currently on an 11-2 SU, 9-4 ATS run. The Dream is 7-2 ATS in their last nine games overall, 5-1-1 ATS in their last seven vs. the Western Conference and 5-1 ATS in their last six playoff games as an underdog. Atlanta finished the regular first in steals (9.3 spg), second in scoring (82.5 ppg), rebounding (36.1 rpg) and blocks (5.3 bpg) and third in field goal percentage (44.6%), so they are confident, talented and can match up with anyone. Even though Minnesota won both regular season meetings, the Dream was without starting forward Sancho Lyttle in both games, a huge force up front. Play Atlanta!