Premier Lacrosse League Week 10 expert picks and best bets: Cannons are worth a shot
The hot streak had to come to an end at some point, and it did last week with a brutal 0-3 record. However, we are still killing the books on our best bets this season, well above the 60% mark even with a horrid Week 9. I will try to make it up to you this week. Here are the best bets for Week 10 of Premier Lacrosse League action.
Atlas ML (-105) over Whipsnakes
It has been a popular strategy of mine to fade the Whipsnakes against the spread, and it has become quite profitable over the year. However, the books are catching on and juicing these lines pretty hard, giving the Atlas -155 odds at +1.5 this week. I would probably be more comfortable taking that bet, but not at that price tag. Of all the weeks when I predicted the Whipsnakes to fall, this is probably the one when I am most confident they actually will.
When these teams met earlier in the year, the Whipsnakes came out victorious, 12-9, thanks to their own barrage of 2-pointers and a porous offensive performance from the Atlas. The lone bright spot in that game for the Atlas was Trevor Baptiste. Whipsnakes faceoff specialist Joe Nardella has been easily the second-best faceoff man in the league this year, but Baptiste was able to win 63% over him in that game. One of the biggest reasons for the Whipsnakes’ success this year has been dominance at the stripe with Nardella. If Baptiste can replicate his performance from their first matchup, that already puts the Whips at a disadvantage. I wouldn’t count on the Atlas offense looking as bad as they did in that game again, as they have yet to put up a number as bad as their 9-goal outing since that loss. I would expect them to fall closer to their 13.75-goal average in this game.
On the flipside, their defense didn’t play all that badly in the first matchup. 12 goals in a vacuum is an average defensive performance for most teams in the league, but when you factor in the Whipsnakes scoring on 3 2-pointers, they really played much better than average. Goalie Jack Concannon has had trouble stopping 2-bombs all year long, but I would be hard-pressed to assume he will allow 3 again.
The Whipsnakes have already clinched a playoff spot this year and are a win away from clinching the #1 seed and a first-round bye. The Atlas, however, would fall to the 3rd or 4th seed with a loss this week. Coming off a gut-wrenching loss to the Waterdogs in overtime last week, I would expect their A-game in this spot. They need to make a statement against the best team in the league going into the playoffs, which is why I like them to win this game.
Chaos vs Archers under 24.5 (-125)
Thanks to the Chaos loss last week, the Cannons still have playoff hopes. This is important because while the Chaos are certainly a playoff-caliber team, they’re not out of the woods just yet. A win this week would help that cause and almost guarantee them a spot in the playoffs. The Archers have dropped back-to-back games and sit at 4-4 despite being a lot of people’s favorite pick to win the championship this year. Both teams are underperforming relative to their on-paper talent and are looking to pick up a key win. For those reasons, picking a winner in this game scares me a little bit. However, a playoff-like atmosphere for both these teams gives me hope that the under is in play.
These teams have a history of playing in relatively low-scoring games since last season. In their 4 matchups, 3 have gone under. The outlier in this set was their first meeting this year when the Chaos were missing the majority of their starters due to NLL commitments. Last year, they went 3/3 on unders, scoring 20, 20 and 23 goals in their meetings.
When teams play when they both are in “can’t-lose” scenarios, we tend to see unders hit. The over may seem the obvious play between these high-powered offenses, but I am much more confident in the under.
Cannons +2.5 (-140) over Chrome
This is probably the ugliest bet of the week, but as a wise man once told me, if your legs aren’t shaking when you hit the submit button on a bet, you’re probably taking the wrong bet. This one undoubtedly makes my legs shake. You have a Cannons team that has lost 7 straight games by an average of 4.4 goals going against a Chrome team that many think is built to win a championship this year. Why wouldn’t you take the Chrome? Here’s why.
The Cannons are on the outside looking in for a playoff position, but still have a slim chance of making it with some help from other teams losing over these next 2 weeks. Those hopes would evaporate with a loss this week. While they have had their backs against the wall for quite some time, it’s put up or shut up time for this Cannons squad. They still have Lyle Thompson who can single-handedly take over a game on the offensive side of the ball and Nick Marrocco in net who has games where he goes absolutely nuclear in the save department. If there was a game when you needed both to have their best games of the year, it would be this one.
Since 2021, 2.5-goal underdogs are 8-4 (66%) against the spread with 2 of those losses being the Cannons this year. While that might scare people away from the Cannons in this spot, with a trend that solid I have a very hard time believing the Cannons will go 0-3 against the spread as a 2.5-goal underdog in a single season. They’ve shown the ability to climb back from large deficits late to cover spreads (i.e. the Waterdogs game 2 weeks ago) and should stay in this one till the very end. Whether they win or lose isn’t the point, when the books give you a line this large in a league as tight as the PLL, you have no choice but to take it.
Play the numbers even if they have failed you in the past and give yourself a winning record over a long period of time rather than be short-sighted. Take the Cannons and the points in this game.