Solid weekend last week on the PLL, going 3-1 with the sole loss coming in overtime to win 1.72 units. This week we go to Salt Lake City for the second last week of the regular season, let’s win!!
Atlas vs. Whipsnakes (8/12 8:00)
In the short several year history of the PLL, the Atlas have never beat the Whipsnakes and they look to change that tonight, but it won’t be an easy task. The Atlas are 5-3, coming off a 16-15 overtime loss to the Waterdogs. They have the highest scoring offense in the PLL, averaging 13.8 scores per game. Attackman Jeff Teat is second in the PLL in goals, with 19 of them, only trailing Lyle Thompson. The Atlas have been decent defensively as well, allowing an average of 11.8 scores per game. The real X factor that the Atlas have though is they dominate possessions, with Trevor Baptiste leading the league at the stripe with an impressive 70% face off percentage. He’ll have the best face off battle of the season tonight though going up against Joe Nardella, who’s right behind him at 68%. It’ll be like a chess match for them this week with Baptiste leading the league in clamp percentage (71.8%) but Nardella winning 42.2% of face offs after losing on the initial clamp, which is a quite impressive way to rack up possessions. Nardella’s Whipsnakes lead the PLL with a 7-1 record and they can lock up first overall and a first round bye in the playoffs with a win tonight. The back to back champs of the first two PLL seasons would love to lock up that spot to make their push for three ships in four years easier. Last week they took down the Archers in a 13-11 win, another close game for the Whipsnakes. The Whips have allowed the fewest scoring in the league, allowing just 10.1 scores per game. The offense hasn’t been excellent though, averaging 11.4 scores per game but they find a way to win as a team. When these teams played in Week 3, the Whipsnakes won 12-9. Although I would slightly lean the Whips find a way to win, I think the Atlas are the better team. I’m not gonna trust the ML on them, but I’ll take the Atlas +1.5 for half a unit. I’d lean the under but not enough to bet against the Atlas offense.
Waterdogs vs. Redwoods (8/12 10:30)
The Waterdogs are the hottest team in the PLL right now. They’re 5-3 and have rattled off five straight wins after starting the season 0-3, coming off a huge 16-15 overtime win over the Atlas last week. They have the second highest scoring offense in the PLL, averaging 13.3 scores per game. Their defense hasn’t been as good though, allowing an average of 12.9 scores per game. The Redwoods upset the Cannon 15-12 last week in Denver to get to 3-5 on the season. A win this week would lock up their spot in the playoffs. The Woods have struggled on both ends of the field. They have the second lowest scoring offense in the league, averaging just 11 scores per game and they’ve allowed an average of 12.4 scores per game. I like the Waterdogs to keep on rolling with another win this week and I’ll take them on the ML for a unit. I expect them to be able to keep scoring. If the books would have offered team totals for the PLL, I’d be on the Waterdogs TT over, but since they don’t I’ll take the over for half a unit.
Chaos vs. Archers (8/13 12:00)
The Archers were my pick to win the league this season but they’ve lost their last two games to drop to 4-4 on the season and they still haven’t beaten a team with a winning record this season, not great going into the playoffs. They have immense depth to their offense and are the third highest scoring unit in the league, averaging 12.9 scores per game. Defensively, they have allowed an average of 11.3 scores per game. The Chaos have knocked the Archers out of the postseason in back to back seasons. The defending champs from last season have been pretty bad this season though. They’re 2-6, in second last place and haven’t been good on either end of the field. The Chaos and all their Bandits offense have the lowest scoring offense in the PLL, averaging only 10.5 scores per game. Their defense has been pretty bad too, even with the best goalie in the world with Blaze Riorden between the pipes and they’ve allowed an average of 13.1 scores per game, second most in the PLL. These two teams played each other in Week 2 with the Archers winning 17-12. I see no chance that this team even comes close to a repeat to defend their championship. I like the Archers to bounce back from their recent losses with a revenge win against the struggling Chaos and will take them for a unit this weekend. I think the Archers offense feasts on the weak Chaos defense for a big win and I’ll also take the over for half a unit.
Cannons vs. Chrome (8/13 2:30)
The Cannons are horrendous this season and easily the worst team in the PLL with a 1-7 record, on a seven game losing streak with their only win coming on opening weekend against the Waterdogs. The enigma behind that though, they have the best lacrosse player in the world in Lyle Thompson. Lyle leads the league in scoring with 36 points and 22 goals with creativity that makes SportsCenter on a weekly basis. Even with Lyle though, the Cannons are still averaging 11.6 scores per game. The huge issue they have is their horrendous defense. The Cannons have allowed an average of 14.8 scores per game, easily the most in the PLL. Last week in Denver, the Chrome, who were the team to miss the playoffs last year, ended their three game losing streak with a 13-9 win over the Chaos. The Chrome’s new look offense packed with rookies have averages 12 scores per game and they’ve gotten much better defensively as well. The Chrome defense has allowed the fewest scores in the PLL, an average of just 10.1 scores per game. The Week 4 matchup between these teams was one of the best games of the season when the Chrome came back from down 11-6 with five goals in the last 6:26 of regulation before going on to win 12-11 in overtime, with the milk man Connor Farrell dominating the face off stripe to keep getting possessions. The Cannons need a win this week to keep their season alive, but I just don’t see it happening. I expect the Chrome to eliminate the Cannons from playoff contention. I wish the goal line was -1.5 and would’ve gone with a unit on that, but don’t like the -2.5 enough to bet on it, so I’ll just stick with laying the heavy juice on the Chrome for half a unit. I’ll also take the over for half a unit, expecting both teams to be able to score.
.5u Atlas +1.5 (-155)
1u Waterdogs ML (-167)
.5u Waterdogs/Redwoods over 24.5 (-113)
1u Archers ML (-175)
.5u Archers/Chaos over 24.5 (-106)
.5u Chrome ML (-225)
.5u Chrome/Cannons over 23.5 (-121)
Record: 23–19 (-4.52)
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