Premier Lacrosse League Week 9 expert picks and best bets: We're on an 8-1 run!
We are officially reaching the twilight zone of the PLL regular season. Playoff pushes are beginning to start and we are seeing some really good lacrosse games being played. We were able to sweep the board last week, bringing us to 8-1 in our last three best bets articles. If you haven’t been tailing, you’ve been missing out. However, we’re always moving onwards and upwards as we look to keep the hot streak alive and go 3-0 again this week. Here are my best bets for Premier Lacrosse League Week 9.
Archers +1.5 (-150) over Whipsnakes
We say it every week, but the Whipsnakes realistically can only win so many 1-goal games before they lose. The Archers are 4-3 coming off a bad loss to the Atlas, and are in a three-way tie for third-best record in the league. A loss this week as well as Waterdogs and Chrome win would drop them back down to 5th place. Their playoff hopes are probably secured, but they have yet to win a ‘big game’ this season, beating the Cannons twice, the Redwoods and the Chaos. They are due for a big win at some point, and it could come this week.
The Whipsnakes are 6-1 on the year, but a mere 1-5 against the spread as a 1.5-goal favorite. They are great at sneaking out close wins, but in a league as tight as the PLL that pace is bound to regress for a couple of games a year. Their defense has been playing incredibly, but the Archers’ offense is one that can easily give them fits. On the flip side, the Archers’ defense has been super efficient this year, 2nd in the league behind the Whipsnakes. The Whipsnakes’ offense hasn’t been efficient, and that paired with an efficient defense is a recipe for a low-scoring output. With an offense as scary as the Archers have, it will be hard for them to keep pace.
While there is definitely a chance the Whipsnakes can still hang on to win, I would be hard-pressed to trust them to win by more than 1. There’s a lot of juice in this price, but it should be worth it once the final horn sounds.
Archers +1.5 (-150) available at time of publishing. Playable at that number.
Be sure to check out our full game preview of Archers vs Whipsnakes
Cannons/Redwoods under 24.5 (-115)
Both teams have been strong to the over of late, which makes this game look like a shoo-in for a ton of goals to be scored. I beg to differ. The Redwoods are 4-3 to the over this year with 2 straight overs. The Cannons are 5-2 to the over this year with 3 straight overs. Will that pace continue? Probably not.
The Cannons are cemented in last place in the league right now and essentially their playoff run starts this week. They likely will need to win at least 2 of the next 3 games to have any hope of sneaking in. Playing the Redwoods, Chrome then the Whipsnakes, I would call this game a must-win for them. The defense has allowed 13 or more goals in 5 of their 7 games this year, which is a recipe that won’t work against anyone. If there were to be a week when they buck that trend, I would put money on it being this week against the Woods. If they want to win, they have to start with the defensive side of the ball.
Both teams will be playing tight, as neither can really afford to lose. When teams play tight, we generally see unders hit. The total is juiced based on recent trends with these teams, but at some point they have to hit an under. I have a good feeling that will start this week.
Cannons/Redwoods under 24.5 (-115) available at time of publishing. Playable at that number.
Be sure to check out our full game preview of Cannons vs Redwoods
Atlas/Waterdogs under 24.5 (-105)
There are a lot of reasons I like this pick, but here are a few key ones. First, the Waterdogs and the Atlas boast some of the league’s top offenses, but they generally play in lower-scoring games than you might think. Each team is 3-1 to the under when playing a team that currently has a winning record, and their overs have mostly come against teams that are under the .500 mark. In addition, both teams are 2-1 to the under at 24.5 this year. When these teams are in ‘big games’ or just games that are against opponents that can leap them in playoff standings at the top when they meet, they generally keep it low-scoring.
Next, the Atlas have the best faceoff specialist in the league in Trevor Baptiste going against Jake Withers of the Waterdogs who has been up and down in terms of production from the stripe in 2022. Withers sits at a 43% winning percentage this year and went a mere 48% against the Cannons in Week 1. That number is important because Trevor Baptiste managed to go 86% against that same Cannons team just a week later. I think it is safe to say the Atlas will control the pace and tempo of this game from the jump, and when that happens they tend to limit opponents’ scoring opportunities. In each game this year where Baptiste was able to win 70% of the faceoffs or more, the Atlas defense has held their opponent to under 10 goals. In games this year when the Waterdogs have failed to win 40% or greater of the faceoffs they get, they have failed to eclipse the 11-goal mark. I expect a low-scoring output for the Waterdogs.
This game does have some pretty serious playoff implications for the Waterdogs and Atlas, so I expect both teams to be tight and play this one very close. If the game is close and the Waterdogs can muster up only 10-11 goals, the under should hit. The Waterdogs defense and Dillon Ward are plenty good enough to hold this Atlas offense under 12-13 goals and will need to in order to win this game. I expect to see a defensive battle leading this game to stay under.
Atlas/Waterdogs under 24.5 (-105) available at time of publishing. Playable at that number.
Be sure to check out our full game preview of Atlas vs Waterdogs