The Seattle Storm and Phoenix Mercury square off for the second time in four days on Saturday in a WNBA matchup at Climate Pledge Arena. The Mercury (1-1) took a 97-77 victory in Phoenix on Wednesday, as Seattle (1-2) was without Breanna Stewart. The Storm's star player is in COVID protocols, and her status for Saturday's game is unclear. Seattle opened the season with a 97-74 victory against the Minnesota Lynx but has lost two straight. It also dropped an 85-74 road decision to the Las Vegas Aces last Sunday. Phoenix opened with a 106-88 home loss to Las Vegas. It is expected to be one of the final matchups in the storied careers of best friends Diana Taurasi of the Mercury and the Storm's Sue Bird.

Tipoff is set for 3 p.m. ET in Seattle. Phoenix is a two-point favorite in the latest Storm vs. Mercury odds from Caesars Sportsbook, and the over-under for total points scored is 162.5. Before making any Mercury vs. Storm picks, be sure to see the WNBA predictions and betting advice from women's basketball experts Calvin Wetzel and Aaron Barzilai.

Barzilai is a Ph.D. from Stanford who served as Director of Basketball Analytics for the Philadelphia 76ers. Five years ago, he founded -- a groundbreaking website that unlocks insights about the women's game. Wetzel, the site's lead betting writer, incorporates his mathematical background and strong knowledge of women's hoops to turn the site's prediction model into picks.

Now, Barzilai and Wetzel have turned their attention to the WNBA after going 590-430 overall (+127.40 units, +13.6 percent) during the 2021-22 women's college basketball season. They also hit on two of their three picks on the WNBA's Opening Night. Anyone who has followed them has seen huge returns.

Now, they've set their sights on Mercury vs. Storm, and just locked in its picks and WNBA predictions. You can head to SportsLine now to see their picks. Now, here are several WNBA odds and betting lines for Storm vs. Mercury:

  • Mercury vs. Storm spread: Phoenix -2
  • Mercury vs. Storm over-under: 162.5 points
  • Mercury vs. Storm money line: Phoenix -135, Seattle +115
  • Mercury: Diana Taurasi is averaging 19.4 points in 18 years in the WNBA.
  • Storm: Sue Bird is averaging 5.6 assists over her 19-season WNBA career.

Why the Mercury can cover

Phoenix dominated the matchup Wednesday night, with Tina Charles scoring 22 points and grabbing 11 rebounds. Skylar Diggins-Smith had 19 points and six assists, and she is the team's top scorer this season. Diggins-Smith averages 22 points, five rebounds and 1.5 steals. She hits almost 43 percent from 3-point range, while Charles hits at a 44-percent clip. They made five of their eight attempts Wednesday night as the team shot 57 percent from beyond the arc.

The Mercury lead the league in scoring at 92.5 points per game, though they have played just two games, while Seattle averages 82.7 in its three. Taurasi hit four of six 3-point tries Wednesday to push her 3-point percentage over 36, and she chips in 12 points per contest. Shey Peddy averages 13 points and four assists, and she had four steals in Wednesday's victory. The Mercury should be able to take advantage in the expected absences of Stewart and Epiphanny Prince.  

Why the Storm can cover

Seattle could again be without Stewart and Prince, but Jewell Loyd scored 26 points in their absences Wednesday. She is the top scorer at 20.7 per game and helps lead a defense that averages 10 steals per contest. Loyd averages 1.3 and was one of four players with two Wednesday night as they hit that number. Loyd hits 42 percent from 3-point range, and she and Bird each made four of seven tries in the last meeting. Bird has made eight of 15 in the first three games.

Phoenix is unlikely to hit 57 percent from long range again, as Seattle held its previous two opponents to 28 percent. Minnesota made just four of 21 tries in the opener. The Storm are shooting just 42 percent overall but are hitting at a 39-percent clip from outside, third-best in the league. Center Ezi Magbegor has blocked five shots over the past two games, and she had 11 points and five rebounds Wednesday. The Storm average 6.3 blocks per game, second in the WNBA. 

How to make Mercury vs. Storm picks

Barzilai and Wetzel have taken a close look at Saturday's Storm vs. Mercury matchup from every angle, and they are leaning under on the total. They've also found a critical x-factor that has them jumping all over one side of the spread. You can only get the pick at SportsLine.

So who wins the Mercury vs. Storm WNBA matchup on Saturday afternoon? And which side of the spread is a must-back? Visit SportsLine right now to see which side of the Storm vs. Mercury matchup to back Saturday, all from the experts who have crushed their women's basketball picks, and find out.