The Indiana Fever could move one step closer towards becoming the No. 1 seed in the WNBA playoffs on Friday night when they take on the Connecticut Sun. WNBA TV will have live coverage of this crucial clash, which gets started at 7:30 p.m. (ET) at the Mohegan Sun Arena.
Home-court advantage is always crucial when analyzing the WNBA odds, and the proof is definitely in the pudding in this matchup. Indiana is sitting at 19-10 straight up and 17-11-1 against the spread on the campaign, but the Fever are just 7-7 SU outside of Conseco Fieldhouse and will face a tough test to take down Connecticut (18-12 SU, 16-14 ATS) who is 13-2 SU at home.
Indiana bucked the trend the last time that these two met, pulling off the upset as 5 ½-point underdogs here at the Mohegan Sun Arena, winning 69-58 to hand the Sun one of their two home losses on the season.
As a result, Connecticut is 1 ½-games out of first place in the Eastern Conference. The Fever have already clinched a playoff berth and have a magic number of three to clinch the top spot in the East for the postseason. The Sun can punch their postseason ticket with a win on Friday night.
Indiana has been slipping of late though, especially having all sorts of problems with the Atlanta Dream. The Dream knocked off the Fever in back-to-back games, winning 86-80 at Conseco Fieldhouse on August 27 and 92-90 on August 30 at Phillips Arena.
The Fever have now dropped three of their last four games, which has really made this Eastern Conference race a heck of a lot tighter than perhaps it should have been.
With fourth-leading scorer Briann January sitting on the bench, Indiana has gone just 2-4-1 ATS. January's season-ending knee injury has left the trio of Tamika Catchings, Katie Douglas and Jessica Davenport to pick up the slack.
Catchings is one of the best all-around players that this league has to offer. She's averaging 15.8 PPG, 7.0 RPG, and 3.6 APG. The former Tennessee Volunteer has averaged 21.4 PPG in her last seven games, but the Fever are only 4-3 SU and 4-2-1 ATS to show for her work in that stretch.
Meanwhile, Connecticut has been sliding as well with consecutive losses on the road to the Tulsa Shock and San Antonio Silver Stars. The team has lost four in a row as visitors, which is why these final four games are so important.
The New York Liberty are only a game in the Sun's rearview mirror for the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference, a seed which ensures home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs.
The Sun have really dropped off defensively, allowing at least 72 points in nine straight duels. The team is allowing 78.7 PPG on the campaign, only good enough to rank No. 8 in the WNBA.
The offense is paced by four double-digit scorers – Tina Charles, Renee Montgomery, Asjha Jones and Kara Lawson.
This is the fifth and final meeting between these two teams in the regular season. Indiana holds a 3-1 SU and ATS edge coming into Friday's clash. However, Connecticut is 7-3 ATS in the last 10 meetings of these rivals at the Mohegan Sun Arena.
The Fever are 15-7-1 ATS in their last 23 games overall and have covered four straight spreads following an SU defeat. Connecticut is 8-3 ATS its last 11 conference games and 5-2 ATS in the last seven coming off a SU defeat.