There are WNBA playoffs AND football on my TV tonight? Now THAT’s a good way to spend a Thursday. Single-elimination basketball is back, as the first round of the WNBA playoffs tips off tonight. The Panthers-Texans battle may not be overly appealing, but it’s still an NFL game to watch. Plus, the AL wild-card race continues and an intriguing Group of 5 duel in college football also is worth checking on.
Here’s what I’ll be watching tonight.
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Dallas Wings at Chicago Sky
Who doesn’t love single-elimination basketball? The WNBA playoff format produces thrilling winner-take-all games in the early rounds, and things get underway tonight when the Wings visit the Sky. The Wings have never advanced past the third round of the playoffs since moving to Dallas in 2016, but this young team has been tough to beat down the stretch behind the outstanding play of Arike Ogunbowale. Meanwhile, it has been an up-and-down season in Chicago for Candace Parker and the Sky, a team that at times has looked good enough to make a championship push and at other times has looked rather pedestrian. This should be a tight, high-energy game with everything on the line.
8 p.m. ET, ESPN2, watch on fuboTV
- Arike Ogunbowale Is Unfazed (Ben Pickman)
- Roundtable: Our 2021 WNBA Playoff Predictions (SI Staff)
- Our 2021 WNBA Award Picks (Ben Pickman)
- Carolina Panthers at Houston Texans | Sam Darnold and the Panthers have looked good through two games, particularly in their dominant win over the Saints on Sunday. A 3–0 start could be in the cards against rookie QB Davis Mills and the Texans. 8:20 p.m. ET, NFL Network, watch on fuboTV
- New York Liberty at Phoenix Mercury | The Liberty snuck into the playoffs on the season’s final day, and they’re rewarded with a cross-country trip to Phoenix to take on a team that has been perhaps the league’s second-best in the second half. 10 p.m. ET, ESPN2, watch on fuboTV
- St. Louis Cardinals at Milwaukee Brewers | The Cardinals’ ridiculous 11-game winning streak has all but locked up their playoff spot, but this matchup between ace Adam Wainwright and Adrian Houser should be fun to watch. 2:10 p.m. ET, YouTube
- Seattle Mariners at Oakland Athletics | The three AL East teams fighting for wild-card spots will face off against each other plenty before the end of the season, leaving room for one of these AL West teams to swoop in. The Mariners could complete a four-game sweep with a win today. 3:37 p.m. ET, NBC Sports California/ROOT Sports Northwest, watch on fuboTV
- FC Barcelona at Cádiz | More midweek soccer, this time from La Liga, where Barcelona will go on the road looking for three points from Cádiz. 4 p.m. ET, ESPN+
College Football: Marshall at Appalachian State
Want to watch football on a Thursday but don’t want to watch Mills and the Texans? If so, this game is right up your alley. It’s a battle of two Group of 5 conference contenders, with Marshall’s high-powered offense under first-year coach Charles Huff taking on an Appalachian State program that has won nine or more games in six straight seasons. Plus, the fall foliage in the background in Boone, N.C., can’t be beat.
7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN, watch on fuboTV
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