Indiana Fever @ Atlanta Dream
Having finished last season with a 23-11 record, the Atlanta Dream have struggled mightily without star Angel McCoughtry, limping out to a 1-5 record while getting blown out in 3 straight games after opening the season with a W. Playing without such a key member of their rotation was always going to be a challenge for Atlanta, but having gone 6-4 as unit to end last season after McCoughtry’s injury, it’s been surprising at just how poorly the team has played without her to begin 2019.
The Bright Side
If this is starting to seem like a good spot to jump on the Dream’s opponents sight-unseen, there are a couple of silver linings for Atlanta to consider. For one, there is just no way a unit as experienced and battle-tested as the Dream should be shooting league worst 36.4 FG% and 25 3P% (yes, that’s right, 25% from behind the arc!!) It is much more likely that Atlanta’s shooters are experiencing a particularly bad bout of variance and are shooting well below expectation. A simple eye test will attest to this, with the Dream seemingly unable to put the ball in the bucket, even with wide open shots, leading defenses to collapse the paint and dare Atlanta to get hot from the outside, much like we saw with the Golden State Warriors any time the Splash Brothers didn’t have the ball in their hands.
So with the likely-correct assumption that the entire Atlanta team didn’t magically forget how to shoot simultaneously, the numbers appear to have no choice but to revert to the mean with some above-average shooting games. Eventually.
While there are no guarantees this reversion begins now, today’ matchup does feature an Indiana Fever team that’s given up the 2nd highest 3P% in the league as well as the 2nd highest free-throw attempts – a statistic that will be important if the Fever do indeed attempt to collapse the paint as one would expect them to do.
For their part Atlanta has slowly begun to show the signs of life in their past two games, in one of which they took the 8-1 Connecticut Sun powerhouse down to the wire. In fact, the Dream held the lead in that game with three and a half minutes to go before reverting to this season’s M.O. and giving up a 9-0 run while missing seven shots and committing 3 turnovers to finish with a 6-point L. And although Indiana holds a 4-4 record, all 4 wins have come against league bottom-dwellers Dallas and New York, who have combined to go 4-10 so far this season, making an upset far from a long-shot.
So while this game may not look fantastic for the Dream on paper, when taking everything into consideration we have what seems to be a good spot to fade the public and take the team with the worst record while keeping our fingers crossed that today’s the day the open shots begin to fall. 🤞
EDGE: Atlanta Dream +? (no spread currently available)
- This is a day-game, beginning at 11:00am EST.
- In day-game (11am-2pm) matchups, “rested teams” who have played no more than 2 games in 10 days have covered the spread 56% of the time for an 8.5% ROI. Today that team is the Atlanta Dream.
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