Game 1 between the Atlanta Dream and the Dallas Wings gave us two of the most memorable quarters of the entire WNBA season. After Rhyne Howard led the Dream to an astonishing 20-point lead early in the second quarter, Satou Sabally and the Wings punched back, tying the game by halftime.
Ultimately Dallas pulled away in the fourth quarter, but both teams proved exactly how dangerous they can be when firing on all cylinders. If the WNBA odds underdogs want to keep their season alive, they’ll need to rediscover their first-quarter form on Tuesday, September 19.
Our WNBA playoffs picks and predictions for Game 2 of Dream vs. Wings believe that unsustainably hot shooting by the Dream on Friday made this matchup seem closer than it really is.
Dream vs Wings Game 2 best odds
Dream vs Wings Game 2 picks and predictions
The Dream came out of the gate like a team possessed, mercilessly bombing from the outside while also getting to the basket in a way almost entirely uncharacteristic of their regular season form. Rhyne Howard tied a WNBA playoff record for scoring in a quarter with 19 points in the opening frame, and with the Dream up 20 and cruising it looked like they were primed to be the first upset of the playoffs.
But then the Dream’s hot shooting cooled off, the Wings shut off the tap in transition and around the basket, and Satou Sabally made play after play to spearhead the comeback. It was a wild opening half that provided insight into both team's strengths and flaws, and sets us up well to make another predictor for the outcome of Game 2.
Once the Wings refocused on transition defense, the math got much harder on the Dream. With Teaira McCowan patrolling the paint and detailed effort on the perimeter from Sabally and Arike Ogunbowale, the tide turned in a hurry.
So, what’s likely to continue and what’s not? The hot start from the Dream in the paint seems unlikely to happen again, if only because the Wings have seen just how costly it is to let their transition defense get away from them like that.
But as critical to Atlanta’s early lead as their rim pressure was their perimeter shooting. The Dream shot 48.1% from three and outscored Dallas by a whopping 18 points from the perimeter. Howard went 8-15 from downtown by herself.
At 19.2 attempts per game, the Dream shot the fewest 3-pointers of any team in the WNBA during the regular season. Their 33.6% hit rate was the fourth-worst as well. They saw incredible results in Game 1, but I’m skeptical of a repeat performance.
And for all that, the Dream still lost comfortably. That kind of shooting is just not very likely to happen again, meaning the margins for a Dream cover on Tuesday go from reasonable to minuscule.
Because despite that outlier shooting edge, the Wings beat the Dream precisely how they expected to: with their size.
McCowan finished with 14 rebounds, including seven on the offensive glass. Those were all morale-killing possessions. The Wings also doubled up the Dream on points in the paint, a decisive 48 to 24.
After the first quarter, Atlanta just couldn’t score in the paint at all. Just 29.3% of their points came in the paint and 15.9% from the free throw line, against 51.1% and 20.2% from Dallas, respectively. While you can’t rule out another shooting game from the Dream, if you want to look at what figures to carry over into Game 2, you're much more likely to see what the Wings did to have similar success.
It took a while, but size ultimately won out in Game 1. Even a superhuman performance from Howard only managed to make Game 1 a competitive loss, and I have much more faith in the Wings’ style of play to sustain.
My best bet: Wings -6 (-110 at bet365)
Not intended for use in MA.
Affiliate Disclosure: Covers may receive advertising commissions for visits to a sportsbook or betting site.
Best WNBA bonuses
Up to $1,500 bonus bets back if your first bet doesn’t win! Claim Now
Get up to $1,000 in bonus bets if your first bet doesn't win! Claim Now
Eligible USA locations only. Also, see our full list of best sportsbook promotions for 2023.
21+. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER
Dream vs Wings Game 2 spread and Over/Under analysis
Game 1’s final result, a 12-point victory for Dallas, has not altered the market whatsoever ahead of Tuesday. The line for Game 2 between the Dream and the Wings opened between -6 and -6.5 favoring Dallas, which is right around where it was ahead of tip-off on Friday.
To me, that makes little sense. While the Dream demonstrated what they can look like when the stars align, they also showed just how hard it is to win that way over the course of a full 40-minute game. The Wings have a much more reliable offensive process, predicated on points in the paint and offensive rebounding. Their size advantage in turn makes both difficult for the other team to match.
The shooting was the only reason this game was close, and Dallas could easily shoot better than the Dream on a higher volume in Game 2. Over the last month of the season, the Wings shot over two more threes per game than Atlanta and hit them at a nearly six percent higher clip. If the shooting doesn’t strongly favor the Dream, then their path to covering becomes difficult indeed. With their loss on Friday, the Dream also drop to 1-10 ATS over their last 11 road games.
The total has come in between 170 and 170.5, and Game 1’s final tally came in at 176. This line seems about right to me because I’m predicting some shooting regression on the Dream side.
While Dallas was able to leverage their shooting into other kinds of offense, Atlanta had nowhere to go when the jump shots went cold in the second half. The Dream live to get to the foul line but failed to break down the Wings defense enough to get there consistently.
The Dream also had no response for Sabally.
Satou’s outstanding game didn’t rely on overly hot shooting. She was the best blend of relentless and patient. Picking her spots but also manufacturing them through hard cuts, aggressive drives, running the floor hard in transition, and mercilessly punishing mismatches. Her offense should sustain, and along with their league-best offensive rebound rate, the Wings have a path to push this toward the Over.
It’s worth noting that the Over has cashed in five straight when the Wings have played on three or more days of rest. That’s unsurprising given how much they lean on their top two stars for on-ball creation.
Kentucky: Sports betting is coming!
21+ and present in KY. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER
Dream vs Wings betting trend to know
Dream are 1-10 ATS in their last 11 road games. Find more WNBA betting trends for Dream vs. Wings.
Dream vs Wings Game 2 game info
|Location:||College Park Center, Arlington, TX|
|Date:||Tuesday, September 19, 2023|
|Tip-off:||9:00 p.m. ET|
Dream vs Wings Game 2 key injuries
Dream: Nia Coffey F (Out).
Wings: Lou Lopez Senechal G (Out), Diamond DeShields G (Out).
Find our latest WNBA injury reports.
Stay updated with the latest picks, odds, and news! Tap the to add us to your favorites on Google News to never miss a story.