If balance and defense win championships, the Seattle Storm should be atop everyone's list to win the WNBA title.
Whether or not Sue Bird can ride off into the Pacific Northwest sunset with another ring in the final season of her illustrious career remains to be seen, but it wouldn't shock me.
The Las Vegas Aces started out with guns blazing but fizzled down the stretch of the first half, and suddenly look like a defensive casualty that allows any offense to look good.
They're the top two teams in the Western Conference, no bones about it, as one-half game separates the Storm from first-place Las Vegas.
From the Eastern Conference, Sky's the limit for defending champion Chicago, which leads Connecticut by two games. But I wouldn't count the Sun out so easily with reigning MVP Jonquel Jones leading the charge.
Then there are the wild cards from each conference.
The West is suddenly clogged in the middle of the standings with Dallas, Los Angeles, and Phoenix all sitting on 10 wins, while last-place Minnesota was one of the better performing teams heading into the All-Star Break.
From the East, it's Washington with the No. 1 scoring defense sitting in third place, while Atlanta could be dangerous if it gets back to the way it started the season. Since winning seven of their first 11, the Dream are 3-8. There's also hard-charging New York, which has won eight of 13 since a 1-7 start.
Here is a quick glance at some ATS and O/U numbers heading into the start of the second half of the season:
Las Vegas' fast start saw it win nine of its first 10 and cover eight of those games. Since then, the Aces are 6-6 SU and 2-10 ATS. They're on a 5-2-2 over run coming out of the Break.
- After Seattle's sluggish start to the campaign, splitting its first 10 on the hardwood and failing to cover 10 of its first 15, it has won 10 of 13 SU and six of eight at the window.
Dallas opened the season by covering eight of its first 12 but is just 4-5-1 ATS since. The Wings stayed under in five of their last six.
Phoenix is doing its best to keep things together and has been relying on its defense to stay close in games. Four of the Mercury's last six have stayed under.
Los Angeles finished the first half competitive against some heavy competition, covering five of its last six games.
Minnesota opened the season 3-13 but won five of its final seven before the Break. More importantly, the Lynx come into the second half of the season on an 8-1 ATS run.
Chicago might be 16-6 on the year, and it might be proving it's not about to relinquish its title so easily, but don't be so quick to lay points with the Sky. They're 6-11 ATS as a favorite. Incidentally, the defending champs are 4-1 ATS as an underdog.
Connecticut stumbled a bit to close the first half, losing four of six on the floor. The Suns also dropped five of their last six to the books. Connecticut stayed low in eight of its last 10.
Washington has been the more consistent cover this season, having cashed out a WNBA best 15 of 24 games. The Mystics have also stayed under in 16 of their 24 outings.
Atlanta won six of its first nine games but has lost nine of 13. The Dream tend to go over, with seven of their last 10 soaring past the number.
New York opened the season 1-7 SU and 2-6 ATS; since then the Liberty have won eight of 14 while covering 10 of those contests. New York has covered eight of its last 11 as an underdog.
Indiana is the worst team in the league, with a 5-19 SU mark. The Fever are 8-16 ATS on the year. When catching +7 or more, the Fever are 4-9 ATS.