Last week I went 2-2 on the PLL to lose 1.48 units, again losing my biggest play of the week on the Atlas. Let’s bounce back and get a winning week as the league heads to the hotbed of lacrosse in Baltimore, MD.
Redwoods vs. Whipsnakes (6/24 6:30)
The biggest rivalry in the PLL meets again this season with the Redwoods still seeking revenge for their heartbreaking playoff losses to the Whipsnakes in all three previous seasons of the PLL, including the championship game of the inaugural season. The Redwoods got their first win of the season last week on Long Island, as they beat the shorthanded Chaos 11-7. The Redwoods haven’t been great on either side of the ball so far this season, especially offensively as they’ve averaged the fewest scores in the PLL with only 8.3 per game while allowing an average of 12 per game. The Whipsnakes haven’t impressed me much in their first two wins of the season but last week they were dominant in their 12-9 win against the Atlas to go 3-0 on the season. The Whips have averaged 11 scores per game and tonight Zed Williams rejoins the Whips offense after winning the NLL Championship last week with his Colorado Mammoth which should add an extra boost to their offense. They’ve been good defensively, allowing an average of 9.3 scores per game with a 62% save percentage from Kyle Bernlohr. Last season these teams met twice. In the last week of the regular season, the Whips won 14-12 and then the following week in the first round of the playoffs won again, 14-13. As usual when these teams meet, I’d expect the Whipsnakes to get the win in a close game. Especially at home at Homewood Field where a majority of these guys played their college lax for the Terms. I’d much rather take the juicy ML than lay the -1.5 score line, so I’ll take the ML for half a unit.
Chaos vs. Waterdogs (6/24 9:15)
These two 0-3 teams are both looking for their first win of the season after their very slow starts and they both get key parts to their teams this week. The Chaos have struggled offensively, through their first three games of the season, averaging just 9 scores per game but that should all change tonight. Josh Byrne, Dhane Smith, Ian MacKay, Chase Fraser and Tahoka Nanticoke coming off of losing in the NLL Championship for the Buffalo Bandits last weekend (pain), are back to the PLL and got activated for this weekends games will give a complete new look for the Chaos offense and look more like the team that won last season’s PLL Championship. Last year’s offense was very good, running a box style offense and the addition of another Bandit in Tehoka Nanticoke making his PLL debut tonight for his first professional field lacrosse game should be a nice add. Defensively, the Chaos have allowed an average of 12.3 scores per game. The Waterdogs offense hasn’t been too bad through their three losses, averaging 11.7 scores per game but they’ve been horrible defensively, allowing an average of 15 scores per game. The Dogs will get back their world class goalie Dillon Ward who last week won the NLL Championship along with Championship MVP honors for his Colorado Mammoth in the box. That should help out the Waterdogs replacing Matt DeLuca, who had a 42% save percentage in Ward’s absence. Last season the Waterdogs beat the Chaos 14-12 in their Week 2 matchup. I think the switch flips on that tonight with the Chaos getting their first win of the season on the backs of their new (old) look offense and the Waterdogs dropping to 0-4, which will be a thrill to listen to Big Cat complain about on Monday’s episode of Pardon My Take. I’ll take the Chaos for half a unit. I’d lean the over but not enough to bet on it.
Cannons vs. Chrome (6/25 6:00)
This game is a pretty uneven matchup to me. The Chrome went from last place last season and the only team to miss the playoffs to leading the league so far through three weeks with a 3-0 undefeated record. Their three attackmen are tied for fourth in the league in points, all with 11 and their new look offense has averaged 13.3 scores per game. Their defense is also much improved from last year, currently allowing the fewest scores per game, an average of just 9 per game with goalie Sean Sconone holding a 54% save percentage. He’ll be tested today against Lyle Thompson and the Cannons offense, who have averaged 11 scores per game. The 1-2 Cannons have been terrible defensively though, allowing the most goals in the PLL, an astonishingly high average of 15.3 scores per game. Last season the Cannons beat the Chrome 13-10 in Week 8 of their inaugural season, but this year’s Chrome look like a whole new team and I think they get the win this week. I’ll take the Chrome ML for half a unit.
Archers vs. Atlas (6/25 8:45)
This should be an awesome game between two fantastic offenses and the two teams that I see competing for this season’s championship in the PLL. Jeff Teat, last year’s rookie of the year has been spectacular so far this season with 13 points and nine goals. His Atlas are 2-1 after last week’s loss to the Whipsnakes and they’re second in the league in scoring, averaging 14 scores per game. They’ve been good on the back end as well, allowing an average of 10.3 per game. The also 2-1 Archers have been even better offensively than the Atlas have been, leading the league in scoring with an average of 15.7 scores per game. They’ve allowed an average of 10.7 per game. Last season the Archers completely blew out the Atlas 18-6 on Opening Weekend, but that team still hadn’t gotten some of their rookies dressed including Teat and they definitely weren’t as great as how they finished last season and picked right up this year. I think this ends up being a close and competitive game with offensive firepower on both sides of the ball. I’d slightly lean the Archers win it but not enough to bet on them. I love the over though and will take it for a unit.
.5u Whipsnakes ML (-185)
.5u Chaos ML (-148)
.5u Chrome ML (-186)
1u Archers/Atlas over 25.5 (-113)
Record: 8-8 (-4.26 units)