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Skylar Diggins-Smith
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Wolf's Wagers

WNBA Best Bets: Picks and Game Betting Previews for Friday, June 3

by Jake Wolf
Updated On: June 3, 2022, 3:08 pm ET

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Each team played at least eight games, which means more than 25% of the 2022 WNBA season is  in the books. With four games on the slate for Friday, June 3, I’m looking at two underdogs that I think have a chance to win outright tonight. My WNBA picks went 20-16 so far this season for a profit of just under 12 units and I’m targeting the two late games on tonight’s slate for my best bets this Friday. 

Phoenix Mercury vs. Connecticut Sun

While I picked Connecticut against Las Vegas yesterday, I'm fading the Sun tonight on the second half of a road back-to-back. Teams playing without rest are at a disadvantage in any sport, but that becomes even more of a factor when considering that WNBA players are still forced to travel on commercial flights.

A late matchup with the Aces saw heavy minutes for Connecticut's starters in what was an extremely physical game. Connecticut runs a tight rotation, as only seven players played more than a single minute in last night's win over Las Vegas.

The team is playing without lead guard Jasmine Thomas, a 2021 All-Defensive Second Team selection, and Connecticut's defensive rating jumps from 91.4 to 98.7 in 288 minutes without Thomas on the floor. Without Thomas on the other end, Skylar Diggins-Smith could be in for a big game offensively. Diggins-Smith knocked down at least two threes in each of the three games in which Phoenix covered the spread this year, and she'll need to connect from deep tonight to give Phoenix a chance at an upset.

Phoenix was able to keep it close in a loss to Chicago on Tuesday despite Diana Taurasi being ejected just 13 minutes into the game. Tina Charles is starting to heat up, with two 20-point games in her last three outings after posting only one 20-point game in her first seven appearances with the Mercury.

My biggest concern with Phoenix is whether or not the Mercury frontcourt can limit the Sun on the boards. I put one unit on the Mercury but there might be more value in the live spread. I'd look to target Phoenix on a live spread if Connecticut jumps out to an early lead as teams on a back-to-back tend to slow down in the second half. 

UPDATE: With Charles ruled out due to a shoulder injury, I cashed out my pre-game Mercury bet. The line of +4.5 is still available, but I'd stay off both sides pre-game unless the spread stretches out to +8 or larger. I still think the Mercury can keep it within single digits, so I'll be waiting for live betting opportunities once Connecticut's starters exit the game for the first time in the opening quarter. 

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Dallas Wings at Seattle Storm

Dallas started the season 4-0 ATS on the road but failed to cover in each of the last two road games. While one of those was a blowout loss in Connecticut, the most recent outing was a two-point loss in L.A. as +1.5 underdogs in which Arike Ogunbowale was unable to connect on her game-tying free throw attempts.

Seattle's defense ranks in the bottom-four for opposing second-chance points and opposing points in the paint, which doesn't bode well against a Dallas frontcourt that is among the best in the league converting second-chance opportunities.

The Storm will be without two key pieces in tonight's matchup as Sue Bird and Ezi Magbegor are still in the health and safety protocols. Seattle's offensive rating dropped from 105.31 to 101.76 when playing without Bird since the start of last season. While Mercedes Russell is expected to make her season debut for the Storm, she brings a different set of skills to the table than Magbegor, who was enjoying a breakout season as Seattle's starting center prior to her absence.

The Dallas backcourt performed well against Seattle last season as both Ogunbowale and Marina Mabrey each averaged more than 20 points and three three-pointers per game in three matchups with the Storm.

In the most recent meeting between these teams last June, Dallas grabbed 14 offensive boards compared to just five for Seattle but lost in overtime due to some hot shooting from Jewell Loyd and Stephanie Talbot. If Dallas can control the offensive glass again tonight, I expect another close game that could result in an outright win for Dallas if three-point variance is on the Wings' side. 

My projections call for Dallas to cash the +225 moneyline and I put two units on the Wings at +7.5. I’d be even more confident in this play if Russell is limited in her season debut, which would leave Seattle with a thin frontcourt rotation.

EDGE: Dallas Wings +7.5 (2 Units)

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Jake Wolf

Jake Wolf is covering basketball for NBC Sports Edge and has worked for FNTSY Sports Network and YES Network. Follow him on Twitter @jakewolf13 for betting content and basketball analysis.