Premier Lacrosse League Week 7 Expert Picks and Best Bets: Big weekend for underdogs?
After a two-week hiatus from meaningful PLL action, it’s great to finally be back in the swing of things. We ended the last slate of PLL games with a clean sweep of the board on our best bets and are looking to carry that momentum into this week and throughout the rest of the season. While we are in the middle of the season, the two-week all-star break serves as somewhat of a reset for all teams. Momentum from previous week’s wins has all but evaporated with almost half a month of these guys not having meaningful reps together. With a semi-reset for these teams, we are going to find value all over the board. Let’s get right into it.
Chaos +1.5 (-115) over Whipsnakes
The Chaos find themselves in a similar spot to last year where they were near bottom of the league standings after the all-star break before they went nuclear on their way to winning the PLL Championship. I alluded to it in the last best bets article that this team plays their best lacrosse when their backs are against the wall. Even after a big win against the Cannons they still sit at 1-4, tied for last in the league with the Cannons and Redwoods. They can’t afford to drop games at this point in the season if they want any chance at repeating as champions. I believe you will get their best effort against a Whipsnakes team that has a history of coming out flat after the all-star break.
The Whipsnakes are 1-4 ATS this season and 0-4 as a favorite. They have been able to win three games by one goal this season on their way to a 4-1 record. Although the Whipsnakes are very good, winning by one goal every week is not a sustainable method of victory across an entire PLL season. At some point, those one-goal wins are going to turn into losses, like we saw in their last game against the Waterdogs. The Chaos were monsters as a 1.5-goal underdog in 2021, going 7-1 ATS at that number. Like I said, they thrive when their backs are against the wall. This week is no different.
Be sure to check out our full game preview for Whipsnakes vs Chaos
Redwoods +2.5 (-145) over Atlas
The Atlas are the favorite to win the PLL Championship while the Redwoods have the joint-lowest odds at the moment. There is no reason to believe that the Redwoods have any chance of keeping this game close, nevermind winning it outright. Or do they? Here’s why I like the Redwoods.
Potential MVP Trevor Baptiste sustained what seemed like a pretty significant injury late in the game against Chrome that sidelined him for the all-star game last weekend. There has been no actual news yet, but my gut leads me to believe that the Atlas will be in no rush to bring Baptiste back until fully healthy. There is a high probability that the Atlas will be without the biggest field-tilter in the league which drastically changes the landscape of this game.
Now to the other side. Redwoods FOGO T.D. Ierlan was tied with the highest faceoff win percentage in the league last season but has fallen to the dreaded sub-50% mark this season. With someone as talented as Ierlan, he has to bring that number up at some point. If the Atlas are without Baptiste, I can see this as a “get right” spot for Ierlan where he reaches above a 60% mark. Another cool nugget, the Atlas backup FOGO would be rookie Jakob Phaup, who Ierlan actually coached last season at Syracuse. If there is anyone who knows how to beat Phaup, it would be the guy who spent an entire season coaching him. If the Redwoods can dominate at the faceoff stripe and keep the ball out of the Atlas’ offense sticks, this game will be tight.
Since 2021, there have been 10 times that sportsbooks have posted a 2.5-point spread. In seven of those games, the underdog has covered (70%). There are few things in sports betting more profitable than taking a 2.5-point underdog in the PLL. Even without that blind knowledge, I think the Redwoods have to figure it out at some point, and I think the all-star break will serve as a great reset for them.
Be sure to check out our full game preview for Atlas vs Redwoods
Waterdogs +1.5 (-130) over Chrome
I think you’re seeing a theme here. Any time I can find a reason to take an ATS dog in the PLL, I will do it. Since 2021, over 67% of underdogs cover the spread in this league. Blindly betting every underdog is profitable in and of itself, but here’s why I like the Waterdogs this week.
I get the Chrome love, I truly do. In week two of the season, I declared my allegiance to the Chrome for the rest of the season and have become somewhat of a fan. However, you have to put your blinders on when handicapping any sport. For the life of me, I can’t understand why the Waterdogs are consistently underdogs in these games. Sure, their 2-3 record is sub-par so far but they play so much better than that. For my money, this is the second most talented roster in a league where each team is littered with elite talent. For as good as they have looked recently, they still have so much more room to improve. Each week we have seen them get better and better and I believe we are a week or two from seeing their peak performance
On the other hand, the Chrome have had two weeks in a row where they have played far from their best game but somehow clawed back in the second half to make it close. Is that a sustainable way to win in this league? Absolutely not. Much like the Whipsnakes, those close wins are going to turn into losses eventually.
The Chrome defense is incredible, but the Waterdogs have the exact type of offense that can give them fits. We saw it earlier in the season when these two teams met and the Waterdogs put up 14 goals. With Dillon Ward back in net and the defense looking as well-rounded as they have all season, I don’t see a scenario in which the Chrome can put up 17 goals again.
This is a great buy-low sell-high spot, which is why I like the Waterdogs as underdogs this week. It may be the last time we see them not favored all season, get it before you can’t anymore.
Be sure to check out our full game preview for Chrome vs Waterdogs