Another 2-2 week on the PLL last week in Maryland, losing 0.88 units. Pretty much paying juice for entertainment on this season of lacrosse so far. Let’s turn it around with a winning week as the league goes to Minneapolis.
Archers vs. Redwoods (7/1 7:00)
Last week’s Archers game was strange, with just four total goals in the second and fourth quarters of their 10-9 loss to the Atlas. Really what determined the result of that game was possession as they got out duelled on face offs by Trevor Baptiste of the Atlas. The Archers dropped to 2-2 on the season and now hold fourth place in the PLL. They have been the best team in the league offensively, averaging 14 scores per game while locking it down pretty well defensively, allowing an average of 10.5 scores per game. Adam Ghitelman’s been very good in goal with a 53% save percentage. The Redwoods are 1-3 on the season and are coming off another close game against the Whipsnakes, taking a 12-11 loss in a great matchup. They haven’t been very good this season though. The Redwood have scored an average of only 9 scores per game, tied with the Chaos for the fewest in the PLL while allowing an average of 12. Last season in their only matchup, the Archers beat the Redwoods 15-12. I think this is a great bounce back spot for the Archers after their loss last week and the price is cheaper than I thought it would be. I’ll take the Archers ML for 1.5 units.
Atlas vs. Chrome (7/1 9:45)
This matchup sets up what could be an incredible game tonight between two of the best teams in the PLL this season. Trevor Baptiste dominated the face off battle last week to control possessions and what I thought was ultimately the deciding factor in their 10-9 win against the Archers. The pace of that game was quite strange with only four total goals in the second and fourth quarters. Baptiste has a 73.9% win percentage at the face off stripe that has significantly contributed as it keeps the ball in the sticks of rookie of the year Jeff Teat and the Atlas’s offense that have scored an average of 13 scores per game. Defensively they’ve allowed an average of 10 scores per game. The Chrome have had a fantastic season so far and went from the sole team to miss the playoffs last year coming in last place, they’re now an undefeated 4-0 to lead the PLL standings. Last week against the Cannons, they didn’t play great but came back from down 9-4 to come back to win 12-11 in OT to continue to stay undefeated in a very entertaining game. The Chrome have also averaged 13 scores per game and have allowed an average of 9.5 scores per game. These teams played during the preseason this year with the Atlas winning 11-8. Last year they played twice with the Atlas winning 16-10 in Week 4 and then again 19-10 in Week 7. The Chrome are much more improved of a team this season with their new look offense but I still think the Atlas get a close win. I’ll take the Atlas ML for half a unit and the over for half a unit as well. I considered the -1.5 score line but don’t like it enough to bet on it with how close this matchup might be.
Chaos vs. Cannons (7/2 6:00)
Last week the Cannons blew a 9-4 lead over the undefeated Chrome to end up losing 12-11 in overtime and drop to 1-3 on the season. They actually played pretty well but gave up that lead in epic fashion, which I loved to win my bet on the Chrome. I don’t think the Cannons are as bad as their record shows. Lyle Thompson along with his new partner of Asher Nolting on attack have been good with the Cannons averaging 11 scores per game. Their big issue is on the defensive end of the field as they’ve allowed the most scores in the PLL, an average of 14.5 scores per game. The Chaos, last season’s champions have been horrible so far this year, dropping to last place with an 0-4 record on the season. Last week they got all their offense back with all the Bandits returning with the NLL season over, but that didn’t help much as they got blown out in an 18-9 loss to the Waterdogs. The Chaos have only been able to score an average of 9 scores per game, tied with the Redwoods for the fewest in the PLL. Even with last year’s MVP Blaze Riorden between the pipes, the Chaos have allowed an average of 13.8 scores per game. In the preseason, these teams played a barn burner with an 8-4 Chaos win, but with that low of a scoring preseason game, I’m not putting much stock into that. Last season in Week 4, the Chaos beat the Cannons 14-10. I like the Cannons to win this game, but to get a little more insurance on it, I’ll take the Cannons +1.5 for half a unit. I’d slightly lean the under, but not enough to bet on it.
Whipsnakes vs. Waterdogs (7/2 8:45)
The Whipsnakes, champions of the first two seasons of the PLL are an undefeated 4-0 so far this season, tied with the Chrome for first place in the league. They’re coming off a 12-11 comeback win against the Redwoods last week, their third one score win of the season. The Whips have been very good defensively, allowing an average of just 9.8 scores per game, second fewest in the PLL, backstopped by Kyle Bernlohr’s 60% save percentage. They’ve averaged 11.3 scores per game. The Waterdogs got their first win of the season last week in a dominant 18-9 win against the Chaos. Michael Sowers (5 goals, 7 assists) and the Dogs offense has been very good so far this season, averaging 13.3 scores per game with ten two pointers already. They haven’t been good defensively though, allowing an average of 13.5 scores per game. These teams already played once this season, a 12-11 overtime win for the Whips in Week 2. Last season these teams played twice and split those games with the Waterdogs winning 11-6 in Week 7 and then the Whipsnakes got their revenge, answering back with a 14-10 win in the second round of the playoffs to advance to the championship game. I like the Whipsnakes to get another win here this week and will lay the juice on the ML for half a unit. I’d lean the over but not enough to bet on it.
1.5u Archers ML (-159)
.5u Atlas ML (-152)
.5u Atlas/Chrome over 23.5 (-121)
.5u Cannons +1.5 (-141)
.5u Whipsnakes ML (-186)
Record: 10-10 (-5.14 units)