We’ve arrived at the final week of the PLL regular season in Seattle with some playoff seeding still yet to be determined. Last week in the penultimate week of the regular season I went 3-4 to lose 1.6 units. Let’s win and finish the regular season on a good note.
Chrome vs. Redwoods (8/20 7:00)
Last week the Redwoods beat out the Waterdogs 14-12 for their second win in a row to improve to 4-5 on the season and clinched their spot in the playoffs. They’ve averaged just 11.3 scores per game and have allowed an average of 12.3 scores per game. I don’t expect much from them in the playoffs this year. A win for the Chrome this week locks up second place seeding for them as they come into this week with a 6-3 record. That would give them a first round matchup most likely against the Chaos with a tiny chance at it being the Cannons. Either way, a solid matchup for the Chrome if they can get a win this week. The young Chrome offense has averaged 11.9 scores per game but they’ve had one of the best defenses in the league, allowing an average of only 10 scores per game, the second fewest in the PLL behind the Whipsnakes who have allowed just one less goal than the Chrome have. That defense really shined the first time the Chrome played the Redwoods this season, where they beat them 12-3 in Week 2 with Sean Sconone posting a 70% save percentage and Connor Farrell dominating the face off stripe and winning 63% of his draws. I like the Chrome to win this week and will take them for a unit. I’ll also take the under for half a unit.
Archers vs. Waterdogs (8/20 9:30)
The Waterdogs five game win streak came to an end last week as they got upset 14-12 to the Redwoods (a loss for me). The Dogs are a very complete team and have played awesome lacrosse after their three game losing streak to start the season. They have the highest scoring offense in the PLL, averaging 13.1 scores per game but have allowed an average of 13 scores per game. Because of that, every single game they play has been very entertaining. The Archers are 5-4 and last week bounced back from their two game losing streak with an 11-8 win over the Chaos. They have the deepest offense in the PLL with some many players that could contribute to scoring and they’ve averaged 12.7 scores per game, third most in the PLL. They’ve been quite good defensively as well, allowing a third fewest in the PLL average of 10.9 scores per game. These teams haven’t played yet this season and their last matchup was all the way back in Week 3 last year where the Archers won 17-8. I expect this to be a close, back and forth game between two awesome offenses and I will take the over for a unit. I’d slightly lean the Archers with the slight edge of their defense but don’t think there’s value in betting it. I also considered taking the Waterdogs +1.5 but I’d rather just stay off a side on this game completely.
Whipsnakes vs. Cannons (8/21 3:00)
The Whipsnakes already have first place locked up with an 8-1 record and have a bye week next week before heading straight to the semifinals. A huge advantage for the team that has appeared in all three PLL Championships and won the first two of them before losing to the Chaos last year. Their offense has averaged just 11.9 scores per game but their defense has been incredible, the only team in the PLL allowing an average of less than 10 scores per game (9.9 average). They’ll cruise through this week’s matchup, take next week off and be ready for the semis in a few weeks. The Cannons on the other hand have had a horrendous season. After beating the Waterdogs on opening weekend, they’ve lost their last eight straight games to come into this last week of the season with a 1-8 record in last place. They have very little chance at making the playoffs. They first have to win this weekend, then hope for an Atlas win over the Chaos while also needing to beat out the Chaos in score differential (going into the week, the Chaos have a 3 score lead over the Cannons in that category). So pretty much, they’re out. And to make matters even worse for them, the Cannons already traded away their first round pick for next year so they don’t even get the first overall pick. Nightmare scenario, especially when you have the best lacrosse player in the world in Lyle Thompson on your roster. Lyle leads the league in points (39) and goals (24) and with that kind of production from him, his Cannons have averaged 11.3 scores per game. Their defense is absolutely horrendous though and they’ve allowed an average of 14.3 scores per game, easily the worst in the PLL. These teams haven’t played since Week 2 of last year which turned out to be a close game with a 15-14 Whipsnakes win. I don’t expect it to be that close this year though and would expect a relatively easy win for the Whips. This is easily the heaviest moneyline I’ve ever seen on a PLL game at an insane -435 which shockingly puts a ton of value on the Cannons at +305 or even the +2.5 at even money, especially with the Whipsnakes playing for absolutely nothing. Even with that though, I can’t bet this game. Just not worth doing, so I’lll just skip on this game entirely.
Atlas vs. Chaos (8/21 5:30)
The Chaos came out of no where in the second half of last season to ride their way to their championship win of last season. This season hasn’t gone well for them though in defending that title as they come into this final week of the season with a 2-7 record and in second last place and currently holding the final playoff spot for the chance to defend that title. The good news for them though, the Chaos control their own destiny. Win and they’re in and even that might not be necessary if the Cannons lose earlier in the day. In that case, the Chaos are in anyway with the last playoff seed locked up. The Chaos and their mostly Bandits offense have struggled this summer after their extended NLL season on the way to those guys losing their NLL Championship series and the Chaos offense has only scored an average of 10.2 scores per game this year, easily the lowest scoring in the PLL by a significant margin. Defensively the defending champs have been bad as well, allowing a third most in the PLL average of 12.9 goals per game. I had huge expectations for the Atlas this season going into this season and they come into this week with a 5-4 record, playing for seeding in the playoffs now. Last week they got dominated 16-8 and look to bounce back this week from back to back losses. The Atlas offense has been stellar, averaging 13.1 scores per game, the best in the PLL. They have had a bit of defensive struggles though, allowing an average of 12.2 scores per game. The other big factor to their team is face offs, having the best face off guy in the league in Trevor Baptiste. Baptiste has dominated at the stripe, winning a very impressive 70% of his draws to lock up possession for his Bulls. This game will be a rematch of last year’s semifinals where the Chaos beat out the Atlas 15-9 on their way to the ship. I think the script flips this weekend with an Atlas win. Although I’d expect head coach Andy Towers to get his Chaos going, especially if the Cannons win earlier in the day, I still think the Atlas are such a better team this season. I’ll take the Atlas for half a unit on the ML and to cut down on some juice, I’ll take the -1.5 goal line as well for half a unit.
1u Chrome ML (-167)
.5u Chrome/Redwoods under 23.5 (-113)
1u Archers/Waterdogs over 24.5 (-113)
.5u Atlas ML (-175)
.5u Atlas -1.5 (-113)
Record: 26–23 (-6.12)
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