Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:57 AM

Cheat Sheet - First Round

The first round of the WNBA playoffs begins on Wednesday, Sept. 11 with a a single-elimination format. The winners of these games will travel to either No. 3 Los Angeles or No. 4 Las Vegas for second round matchups on Sunday.

Those games will be single-elimination as well with the winners advancing to the semifinals against either No. 1 Washington or No. 2 Connecticut for a five-game series before the WNBA Finals, which is also a best-of-five matchup.

(Straight Up - SU, Against the Spread - ATS, Over-Under - O/U)

No. 8 Phoenix at No. 5 Chicago (ESPN2, 8:00 p.m. ET)

-- The Sky went 3-0 both SU and ATS versus the Mercury this season. 

-- The pair met twice in Chicago and the home squad captured an 82-75 victory on June 10 and a 105-78 blowout win on Sept. 1. 

-- The 'over' went 2-1 in the three encounters and the totals ranged from 165 ½ to 169 ½. 

-- Phoenix enters the playoffs as the lowest seed and the worst record (15-19 SU, 17-16-1 ATS). 

-- The Mercury closed the season with four consecutive losses and setbacks in six of their final eight games. In Sunday's finale, the club was outraced 98-89 to Las Vegas at home. 

-- Phoenix went 6-11 away from home but it did manage to produce a 9-7-1 record versus the number. 

-- Versus the Eastern Conference, the Mercury went 10-8 SU and 11-7 ATS. That includes a 4-5 SU and 6-3 ATS mark on the road.

-- The 'under' went 19-15 for the Mercury this season and that include a 7-10 mark on the road. 

-- Since the WNBA created the first and second round elimination matchups in 2016, the Mercury have been involved each of the last three seasons.

-- Phoenix has gone 6-0 in those games, going 3-0 at home in the first round and 3-0 in the second round.

-- Unfortunately for the club, they’ve never captured a semifinal matchup after winning the elimination games. They dropped a 3-2 series to Seattle last season, which was an improvement after getting swept in the 2016 and 2017 semifinal matchups. 

-- Chicago earned the third seed in the Eastern Conferenec with a 20-14 overall record but for our purposes, the club was the most profitable team (21-12-1 ATS) in the league. 

-- At home, the Sky went 12-5 SU and 11-6 ATS.

The team went 9-9 SU and 11-8-1 ATS versus the Western Conference this season. At home, the Sky went 6-3 both SU and ATS at home. 

-- Chicago closed the season with a 100-86 loss at Washington on Sunday. Prior to that setback, the Sky had won two straight and five of the last eight. 

-- The offense has been on fire of late, averaging 107 points per game in the two recent wins and that pushed the averaged up to 84.6 PPG on the season, ranked second in the league. 

-- Along with covering numbers, the Sky were also beasts for 'over' bettors. The high side went 22-10-2 but make a note that the 'under' was 8-7-2 at Wintrust Arena. 

-- After watching the 'under' cash in five straight games for Chicago, the club saw the 'over' go 4-0 their final four matchups versus the West.

-- This will be the first trip to the playoffs for Chicago since 2016 when Los Angeles eliminated the Sky in four games (3-1). Chicago went 1-3 ATS in that series and the 'over' was 3-1 with the lone 'under' connecting in its only win versus the Sparks.

No. 7 Minnesota at No. 6 Seatlte (ESPN2, 10:00 p.m. ET)

-- The Storm went 3-1 both SU and ATS versus the Lynx in the regular season. 

-- At home, Seattle went 2-0 by capturing an 84-77 win on June 4 and an 82-74 victory on Aug. 18. 

-- The 'over' went 3-1 in those games and the totals ranged from 148 ½ to 152 ½. 

-- Minnesota (18-16 SU, 18-15-1 ATS ended the regular season on Sunday with a 77-68 loss at Los Angeles. Prior to that defeat, the Lynx had won five in a row while covering four of those games. 

-- On the road, the Lynx went 7-10 both SU and ATS. 

-- The club went 3-1 both SU and ATS down the stretch away from home and that included Sunday's loss at Los Angeles. 

-- Total bettors saw Minnesota post a stalemate (17-17) in its 34 games, with the 'under' go 9-8 on the road. 

-- Minnesota played in its first playoff elimination game last season and the club dropped a 75-68 decision to Los Angeles as six-point underdogs. 

-- Despite getting sent home early last year, the Lynx have won the WNBA Finals in each of the last four odd years (2017, 2015, 2013, 2011). 

-- While that trend could have you leaning to Minnesota, the Storm are the defending WNBA champions. 

-- Seattle went 6-2 SU and 4-4 ATS in last year's postseason and that included a 5-0 record (2-3 ATS) at home. 

-- At home this season, Seattle went 11- 6 SU and 9-7-1 ATS. 

-- The Storm closed the regular season with a 3-1 record and that included a 78-64 road win over Dallas on Sunday. 

-- Seattle produced the second best 'under' record (20-13-1) in the regular season but the 'over' closed the season with a 5-3 record.

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