Premier Lacrosse League Championship Expert Picks and Best Bets: Underdogs or Waterdogs?
For the first time in PLL history, we will have a championship game that does NOT feature the Whipsnakes. While I am a fan of that team, the culture they have built and the way they carry themselves, it is a breath of fresh air to see someone else get a crack at it. That team would be the Waterdogs. I’ve been saying it all year that this is a team that has all of the right pieces in place to make a championship run, and they proved that notion right with their playoff performance so far.
On the other hand, the Chaos snuck into the playoffs and once again flipped the switch when the pressure was applied. Back-to-back impressive wins against the Chrome and Archers have propelled this team into the championship game for the second straight game. Will the Chaos do the impossible and go back-to-back? Or will we crown a new champion? Here’s how I think it is all going to shake out.
Waterdogs ML (-120) over Chaos
If you’ve been following this series, you are aware of my tendency to take the underdogs and fade the favorites against the spread. In the PLL, that trend has proved very profitable since the inception of the league and certainly helped us stack units this season. For that reason, I will be staying away from taking the Waterdogs spread at plus-money.
I have a hard time betting against the Chaos as for two straight years they have proved they are an entirely different team come playoff time, but I just think that the Waterdogs are slightly better in every category besides goalie. The Chaos have beaten down teams so far in the playoffs by bringing an extra amount of toughness and edge to their games. The Waterdogs have done the exact same thing. The teams that succeed in the playoffs are the ones who bring the fight, and both teams have shown the ability to do so the last two weeks. With the championship atmosphere and both teams bringing the energy, I default to the team I trust is more skilled and cohesive. That team would be the Waterdogs.
This game should be close throughout the entire game but I think when the game is on the line with one minute left, I trust the Waterdogs offense to “get a bucket” more than I trust the Chaos offense. In a matchup as even as this one is in a game with as high of stakes as the championship, stats can get thrown out the window. This pick is based purely off vibes, and the Waterdogs feel like the safer pick to get it done for me.
Be sure to check out our full Waterdogs vs Chaos predictions
Over 22.5 (-125)
While I generally default to unders in playoff games, this number scares me to go below the total. Yes, both goalies are capable of being lights out at the snap of a finger and both defenses are very talented, I just think there are many ways to attack them. Both Andy Towers and Andy Copelan are extremely intelligent coaches and will undoubtedly both have sound game plans to capture good looks all throughout the game.
The Chaos know just how dangerous the Waterdogs offense is and will attempt to jump out to an early lead to control the pace of this game. The Waterdogs, like I said, are an explosive offense that can stack goals with the best of them. Both teams have serious two-point threats and will be looking to change momentum throughout the game by hunting some of those looks. All of the above boil down to a recipe for a good amount of goals to be scored. Now, I don’t think we are going to see a 16-15 type game, but 12-11, 13-12 is certainly where I see this game ending. If the number was any higher, I would definitely lean under. But with the total so low, I have a tough time convincing myself to take the under.
Lock in our best player props for the PLL Championship game
1st half over 11.5 (-130)
Much like the analysis for the previous pick, I think both teams get out to fast starts in an attempt to control the pace of this game. Each team in this matchup has been faced with adversity through these playoffs and have responded each and every time. If one team jumps out to an early lead, the other team will undoubtedly respond and respond quickly. The Faceoff battle shouldn’t lean one way or the other, so both teams should have ample opportunities to put up points. I imagine this game being very back-and-forth with neither team allowing the other to gain an insurmountable amount of ground. Each goal should be responded to with an answer, that’s why we take the over.