PLL Top Props: Star player props for Premier Lacrosse League Week 9
The playoff picture is getting clearer every week. The Whipsnakes and Atlas have clinched, while the Archers, Chrome and Waterdogs are all but certainties to make the postseason. A win this weekend for the Redwoods would go a long way towards punching their ticket and eliminating the Cannons, while the Chaos will need a win to start to pull out of the bottom of the standings. High-stakes games means high-leverage moments for some of the biggest stars in the league.
Josh Byrne (Chaos) under 3.5 points (-105)
Josh Byrne missed the first 3 games of the season while he wrapped up the NLL Championship with Buffalo, and still has more points on the season than some attackmen who were named All Stars. He has 4 points in each of the last 3 games. Only 2 of those points were assists, though, as Byrne has primarily been a threat to get his own shot and score. Byrne has only 10 assist opportunities on the season, which puts him even with faceoff specialist Joe Nardella. He’s out there to score goals. This week, he will be up against his toughest challenge this year as he likely gets matched up with JT Giles-Harris. JTGH is in the running for defensive player of the year, and for some he’s the frontrunner. As good an eraser as there is in the league, he’s been charged with guarding the most dangerous dodger on the other team almost every week this year, and he’s been up to the challenge.
His matchups have been against Matt Moore, Rob Pannell, Kieran McArdle, Lyle Thompson, Jeff Teat, Michael Sowers and Zed Williams. Moore moved to midfield mid-game, Pannell had 3 turnovers and a single goal. McArdle and Thompson were able to do some damage, but not while Giles-Harris was matched up with them. He held Teat to 3 points. Compounding this, the Chaos still primarily initiate from the right side. Dhane Smith has emerged as an elite passing dodger, bringing many of his indoor skills to the field game. The Chaos have taken 36 shots and scored 15 goals from initiations on the righty wing, compared to 45 shots and 9 goals from the lefty wing. With Smith triggering on the right, the Chaos use lefties Mac O’Keefe or Byrne to either but assist targets or redodgers against an unsettled defense. In order for Byrne to really score well in this game, the Chaos will need to do an exceptional job picking and changing Byrne’s matchup on the left side to get him away from Giles-Harris, or reduce the role of players like Smith.
Bryan Costabile (Atlas) over 2.5 points (+120)
Bryan Costabile is regarded as one of the top overall midfielders in the PLL right now but he has had a down season by his standards. He’s shooting just 18% through 8 games. It has largely gone unnoticed because he’s still been a solid midfielder, he’s committed only 12 turnovers, and the rest of the Atlas offense has been productive; they are a team that can win even without big production from him. But Costabile has been on an upward trend the last 3 games. Over those contests, Costabile has 8 points on 6 goals and 32% shooting. He’s committed only 3 turnovers in that time. This week, Costabile is up against the Waterdogs. This season, the Waterdogs have shown a vulnerability to midfield dodgers such as Costabile. In Week 2, Brad Smith and Bryan Cole each had 3 points against the Waterdogs. In Week 3, Justin Anderson had a 5-goal game. Smith had another 3-point game in the rematch. Last week Chris Aslanian had 4 points against the Waterdogs fresh out of the player pool.
Costabile is a similar type of player who can take his defender to multiple spots on the field and be a threat to dodge and score. He’ll likely draw Ryland Rees this week, a difficult matchup, but the Waterdogs are allowing 31% shooting – 13 goals on 42 attempts – from the high righty wing, where Costabile can be dangerous. Costabile is 7th in the league in assist opportunities among midfielders, converted at 40% of the time. Only 2 teams in the league have given up more goals than the Waterdogs this year. The strength of their defense is the close defense unit. It’s the perfect matchup for Costabile to continue to trend in the right direction with a big outing.
Myles Jones (Redwoods) over 3.5 points (+130)
It’s been a season of 2 halves for Myles Jones so far this year. In the first 4 games of the season, he had 8 points on 18% shooting with 8 turnovers. That was a long way off the 2021 version of Jones, who played like a Midfielder of the Year. In his last 3 games, Jones has got back to that version of himself, putting up 10 points on 36% shooting without committing a single turnover. Ever since Redwoods head coach Nat St. Laurent dropped Jones from the starting lineup, he’s played like an inspired force out of the midfield. This week, he is up against the Cannons’ defensive midfield, who just had some serious lineup shuffles. Andrew Newbold now gets the nod at LSM, and Bubba Fairman is paired with Zach Goodrich at SSDM.
Jones is physically overpowering, and has a size advantage over everyone he plays. The Cannons allow 30% shooting from the high righty wing, 28% shooting from the high lefty wing, and 49% shooting from the middle of the field. They are second worst in the league from those wings and worst in the league from the middle of the field at surrendering goals. Jones can capitalize on his hot streak, good matchup and the historical performance of the Cannons defense to have another big day and take the Redwoods into the playoffs.
Check out our full expert preview of Redwoods vs Cannons