Premier Lacrosse League Week 8 expert picks and best bets: Atlas have value in underdog role

Premier Lacrosse League PLL
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Charlie White

Lacrosse · 2 weeks ago

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Lacrosse handicapper for Pickswise.

Post all-star break is always one of the toughest weeks to handicap the PLL. There could be rust, fatigue, etc. for these athletes, and that is something you can’t weigh when handicapping these games. Despite this, we were able to go 2-1 with our only loss by the hook in last week’s best bets article. Can’t go broke taking a profit, but let’s shoot for 3-0 this week.

Atlas +1.5 (-150) over Archers

This might just be the best battle of the weekend here with the two most efficient offenses in the league squaring off. When these two teams last met, the Atlas were able to squeak out a 10-9 victory. So why aren’t they favored again? Trevor Baptiste’s status is still up in the air for week 8 and without a distinct faceoff advantage, they think the Archers are better than the Atlas (which they probably are). However, he has not been ruled out yet. If he does play, these spreads should flip and I think the Atlas are favored. Therefore, you would get great closing line value if you locked in the Atlas +1.5 at this moment. 

Even if Baptiste is ruled out, I don’t give the faceoff advantage to either team in that scenario. I think we would see a more 50/50 split and then the game would just come down to which offense can be more efficient. Both teams are among the tops of the league in efficiency on offense, so the game is still a coin flip. Having the 1.5 hook in a coin flip game gives you an edge over the sportsbooks, and that is what you take every single time. If Baptiste plays, you’ll be laughing your Atlas +1.5 ticket all the way to the bank.

Be sure to check out our full game preview for Atlas vs Archers

Chaos vs Redwoods Over 23.5 (-115)

The last time these two teams met, the game soared under the total of 22.5 with an 11-7 Redwoods win. Since then, the Chaos have returned the bulk of their stars to the lineup and the Redwoods have become slightly more efficient on offense.

The Chaos defense allows by far the most shots per game in the PLL at 45.3. The Redwoods offense only takes on average 36 shots per game, but took 46 last week and 43 in their first meeting against the Chaos. Their base projection for goals in this game should be around 10-11. That doesn’t take into account the fact that they have looked better on offense, have activated some serious two-point threats and have TD Ierlan on the rise at the faceoff stripe. Reaching double digits for the Redwoods should be easy, and they have room to score 3, or even 4 more goals than that. 

On the other hand, the Chaos don’t take a ton of shots and the Redwoods don’t allow a lot of shots. However, the Chaos have only taken 66 shots in the past two weeks, but scored 25 goals (with no two-pointers!). That means they score a goal every 2.6 shots they take since their NLL guys came back. The Chaos realistically only need to get to around 30-33 shots (right around what the Redwoods defense allows per game) to have a chance at scoring 13 or more in this one, not even counting two-pointers. The Redwoods’ goalie situation has been the worst in the league, only saving 42% of the shots they face.

An already uber-efficient Chaos offense is going up against one of the least efficient defense and goalie combos in the league. I think we’re in for a lot of goals scored in this one on both sides, which is why I recommend playing the over. 

Be sure to check out our full game preview for Redwoods vs Chaos

Chrome vs Whipsnakes Under 23.5 (-110)

The Whipsnakes are 5-1 so far, but that record lies mainly on the feet of faceoff specialist Joe Nardella and their defense. The offense hasn’t been terribly efficient this year, but have been given a lot of possessions due to their defense and faceoff dominance. They average the most shots per game in the league but sit at 5th in goals scored per game. If they want to put up a large number, they have to be playing against a defense that is even less efficient (i.e. Chaos last week). Well, this week will certainly be a challenge in both categories for the Whipsnakes offense. 

The battle at the stripe should be relatively even between Nardella and Connor Farrell, so the base projection of possessions for this team should be lower than normal. Add in the fact that the Chrome defense allows the second least shots per game and is the 3rd most efficient, and I have a hard time seeing the Whipsnakes being able to put up more than 10-11 goals without an unprecedented bump in efficiency. 

As for the Chrome offense, they like to play at a pretty average tempo and rely on pretty solid efficiency to put up points. Against a goalie that is as hot as Kyle Bernlohr and a defense as stout as the Whipsnakes, I don’t know if I can see them getting more than 10-11 goals either. I think this game is going to be extremely close, as both the Whipsnakes and Chrome seem to have a penchant for playing in tight games this season. With that, I believe we will see a final score around 11-10. There are a number of ways for this game to go under, and only a few ways for it to go over based on each team’s metrics thus far. Play the numbers here.

Be sure to check out our full game preview for Chrome vs Whipsnakes

Pickswise is the home of PLL Predictions. Check out all of our PLL Picks throughout the Premier Lacrosse League season.

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