Both teams finished at 22-14 this season, with the Storm claiming the tiebreaker due to winning more head-to-head matchups. They secured home court by taking the first two games of the season series. The Mystics took the third and final meeting, but both contests at the end of July were decided by five or fewer points. Expect this opening game to be a back-and-forth, tight game from the tip.
The Storm were 13-5 at home this year, so they automatically have a slight edge in this series by having the first two games in their building. They defeated Washington 85-71 at home back in June, with MVP Breanna Stewart recording 19 points, nine rebounds, and seven assists. She finished the year averaging 21.8 points and 7.6 boards, so she'll be looking to show out in this year's playoffs.
As a team, the Storm ended with the fourth-best defense, and they also held the Mystics to under 79 points in each meeting. Washington's defense was the best in the league, so they'll try to make Seattle work for every basket. Both of these offenses have capable scorers, with Washington's Elena Delle Donne finishing the season with two 20-point efforts. The Mystics do struggle from deep, though, while the Storm led the league in three-point percentage.
"The battle begins. #TogetherDC" - @WashMystics
The teams are pretty evenly matched, but the experience edge goes to the Storm, with veterans Sue Bird and Tina Charles having a ton of playoff games under their belt.
Seattle Storm vs. Washington Mystics Match Details
Fixture: Washington Mystics @ Seattle Storm
Date & Time: Thursday, August 18,10:00 p.m. EDT
Venue: Climate Pledge Arena, Seattle, Washington
Seattle Storm vs. Washington Mystics Betting Odds
Seattle Storm vs. Washington Mystics Betting Prediction
Washington ended the season with four of their last five games hitting the under. On the year, 23 of their 36 regular season games also went under. Considering they averaged only 75.3 points versus Seattle this year, expect them to stay around or below this number on Thursday.
Playoff games tend to slow down in the second half more often than not, with teams grinding out every possession. Take the Mystics' under as their three-point shooting has been inconsistent this season.