Editor’s Note: This recurring series is written by Billy Costigan.
Welcome back folks! Can you believe this is the final weekend of the Premier Lacrosse League regular season? Feels like Memorial Day was just yesterday and we were switching over from the NCAA action.
This weekend in Seattle, will be teams’ last chances to improve their position in the standings. Six of eight teams have looked up a playoff berth, two teams have guaranteed a place in next February’s Championship Series, and the Whipsnakes have secured themselves a first round bye.
Let’s take a look at where we’ve gotten this season and what’s coming up in Week 11 as the squads battle it out for their post season positioning.
Week 10 Recap
Last weekend from Utah was another awesome round of close games. The broadcast looked amazing with the field surrounded by panoramic mountain backdrops.
Here’s how the bets fell in Week 10:
Atlas came out very flat after a long weather delay. The first half was all Whipsnakes and they built up a sizable lead. Despite Atlas looking better in the second half it was most definitely too little too late to try and pull themselves out of the hole they dug.
Will Atlas be able to pull it together when it matters most? Also It’s a scary thought for the rest of the league but Whipsnakes may be in full freight train mode.
In a surprising (and hopefully outlier) result, Waterdogs fell to Redwoods. It was a hard fought battle by both sides resulting in just a two score decision. Unfortunately for Redwoods their star defenseman Glazener went down with a non-contact injury that turned out to be a partially torn Achilles.
If Waterdogs succeed in making a strong push from here on out, then no one will probably even remember this game for them. Redwoods still have offensive weapons and coaching, but their defensive unit is in danger of succumbing to the injury bug.
The defending (and struggling) Champion Chaos were handled by the hungry and lethal Archers. “Captain America” Schreiber led his squad to victory over the Canadian Chaos boys. Even Inacio held his own at the face off stripe against a formidable opponent in Adler.
It would take a very unlikely turn of events for Chaos to miss the playoffs. However, even once they’re in, do they have what it takes this year for another unlikely run? Archers have their eyes set on a run ending in Philadelphia this year, and a spot at this winter’s Championship series. It appears they may have what it takes too.
Cannons got the cover keeping it within three scores of Chrome but falling short of the outright win. Chrome appear to have found the right mix of very talented rookies and veterans, finding contributions from a wide variety of players.
It would possibly take a miracle for Cannons to win in Week 11 (plus some other things happening) for the Boom Squad to sneak their way into the playoffs Chrome cling to the second spot in the standings hoping to squash the last team in, in the first round and prove their is a new big dog in town.
Here’s an update on how each team is standing with the different bets this season:
Chrome’s clicking and covering well, which makes sense given the success they’ve found in the win column. Despite their variety of other issues Redwoods also finds themselves at the top of the against the spread standings. While Atlas and Chaos have the worst records against the spread and we’ll have to see if that translates to their outright wins or not the rest of the way.
Teams like Cannons, Redwoods, and Waterdogs have gone over the total the most. Although one would think teams like Cannons and Redwoods might go over more because of their lack of success on defense, whereas Waterdogs might be going over more because of their offensive success. While Chrome actually occupies the lone spot for staying under the total this season.
Whipsnakes have the best outright record and have already secured themselves the number one seed along with a first round playoff bye.Chrome, Archers, Atlas, and Waterdogs all dont seem ready to hand another crown over to Whipsnakes just yet though. While Redwoods seem caught in no man’s land and who knows which way they will go. Then there’s Chaos and Cannons fighting just to stay alive.
Week 11 Report
Chrome -1.5 (-105) / ML -160
Redwoods +1.5 (-125) / ML +130
Over 23.5 (-115) / Under 23.5 (-115)
First game up this weekend is 2nd place Chrome (6-3) looking to sharpen their axes before the playoff grind versus 6th place Redwoods (4-5) who are clawing to keep their season on the tracks.
Redwoods certainly have offensive weapons in veteran weapons Pannell and Jones. Heningburg is also very versatile and a huge contribution. Bertrand has been repeatedly making his way onto the box score and often even the SportsCenter Top 10. Plus Garnsey adds in his high lacrosse IQ which he uses fearlessly and with utter determination.
The problem here for Redwoods is on the other end of the field, and who exactly might be down there for them?
You never want to see any player get injured from any team. It can be brutal and very tough for the athlete. Playing lacrosse in school myself I have seen a wide variety of injuries from the sideline or field myself including multiple ACL’s and other non contact injuries which can often be very bad.
So this week when there were only six players on the league’s injury report I thought that’s a relatively small number compared to a lot of weeks. The thing is though, three of those six are Redwoods players who carry a long stick and contribute to the defensive unit.
Glazener most certainly won’t play this week after a non contact partial Achilles tear last weekend. He is a huge loss to their close defense both physically and his vocal leadership will be missed. Fellow defenseman Cohen is questionable. Also veteran long stick midfielder Hartzell is questionable.Redwoods definitely use his leadership and skills on both sides of the field, being capable of holding his own in offensive transition.
The possibly debilitated Redwoods defense will have a tough task against Chrome’s 3rd ranked offense. Rookies Nichtern and Wisnauskas are battling it out for Rookie Of The Year. They’re accompanied at attack by veteran star Dylan Molloy. Plus their midfield has threats in Anderson, MacIntosh, Morrill, and a half dozen other players who find points while causing problems for opponents’ defenses.
If you’ve been watching the league for a bit by now the faceoff battle is familiar to you between two talented specialists, Ierlan for Redwoods and Farrell for Chrome. The problem for Ierlan is he needs to be extraordinary at the X to gain an advantage and help his team which is already at a disadvantage. Farrell jts needs to keep it about 50-50 or better his way and then his team should be able to carry the other areas.
Despite their team’s defensive issues I would take a look at some of Redwoods’ offensive players props over. I like Henningburg and Garnsey to get points, they both have the skill and minds to do it. Also would take a look at Bertrand’s goal prop, an over 1.5 could be tempting considering he seems to be getting one or two crazy goals a game.
From Chrome’s side I would look at maybe going over Anderson’s point prop, he can quietly and dependply put up points whether it be goals or assists.
For the side in this one though it has got to be Chrome. I’m going to take them to cover the spread. The safer play here though is Chrome on the moneyline so nothing wrong with taking that as favorites do better on the moneyline than against the spread.
Chrome have done well this season but are still hungry to prove they really belong and their opponent Redwoods is barely on the edge of still having a shot at really competing. It’s looking like Chrome will be tipping Redwoods towards the problems than succes side, at least in the wins – losses column.
Chrome -1.5 (-105)
Heningburg Over 2.5 points (-115)
Anderson Over 2.5 points (+135)
Garnsey Over 2.5 points (-115)
Bertrand Over 1.5 goals (-165)
Archers -1.5 (+110) / ML -140
Waterdogs +1.5 (-140) / ML +110
Over 24.5 (-125) / Under 24.5 (-105)
Capping off the Saturday night double header is going to be a real treat to watch. It’s a battle of Archers (5-4) again hungry for the crown against Waterdogs (5-4) who are also eager to make a statement.
Both teams have decent defenses as a whole. Archers have strong defensive midfielders. Their close defense though will need to step up against a formidable Waterdogs’ offensive unit. Ghitelman is capable of playing very well in net and really bailing out and defensive issues potentially.
For Waterdogs, their goalie Ward is not only physically huge but also almost always never very easy to get the ball by. Although, despite his size difference, Archers’ Ghitelman sometimes makes up for that with aggressive play, often outside the crease.
At the faceoff X, Waterdogs work with the duo of Tucci and Withers. Both are talented although neither has been super dominant this season. This area of the field is traditionally where Archers struggle and they will go with the rookie Inacio.
While he may still be finding his footing in the pros, Inacio held his own last week going 50% against Chaos’ Adler who is a very talented and tough opponent. That was a very promising sign for the Archers’ rookie specialist with a high ceiling.
On offense Waterdogs have multiple weapons including star attackman Sowers. McArdle has also become quite the threat this year at attack and I really like his point total prop over 3.5 points. Plus they can work in Walker and now have sharpshooter Ryan Brown back for this unit.
There are also plenty of places for Waterdogs’ offense to look at the midfield. Kelly, Currier, Conrad, and Hannah are all putting up double digit points this season. Schlosser and DeNapoli make contributions as well.
Archers’ number one ranked offense is looking lethal as ever and will attack Waterdogs with all they have. Schreiber, Holman, and Manny provide a wealth of talent, knowledge and leadership. Having all-star Ament back in the mix always helps. Then Moore and DeSimone provide depth far beyond many rookie’s levels. This squad also benefits from skilled players like Fields and Ambler who have been contributing even more lately and I like to go over their point total props.
This could very well be a close and hard fought matchup possibly decided by one point. While I think the Waterdogs might have a shot in the playoffs, to pick a winner here I’m going with Archers. They just have a bit more depth and experience than Waterdogs. It could be close though so I’ll take the moneyline. This wouldn’t be a bad spot to look to get either team plus points live betting as well.
McCardle Over 2.5 points (-155)
Ambler Over 1.5 points (-170)
Fields Over 2.5 points (+100)
Whipsnakes -2.5 (-125) / ML -315
Cannons +2.5 (-105) / ML +245
Over 23.5 (-115) / Under 23.5 (-115)
To begin Sunday’s action is 1st place Whipsnakes (8-1) taking on last place Cannons (1-8). Cannons have to win this game to get in the playoffs and they would also need a Chaos loss as well.
Whipsnakes’ defense has been led by the amazing (league leading) play of their goalie Bernlohr. He has been able to take over games and shut other teams down. Morocco gives it his all for Cannons but their defense has not been nearly as stellar.
Cannons will hope that Stephen Kelly can hold his own at the face off X and not let them fall behind in the possession battle. Squaring off against him will be Nardella for Whipsnakes who’s been crushing it this season and one of the best in the league.
Thompson leads Cannons’ offensive attack with his hall of fame skill level. Notling Cockerton, Drenner, Donville, and others look to support and fill in the rest of the offense. Yet this unit still has been enough yet to collect many wins, although they’ve got to be a little extra motivated this time.
Offense hasn’t been too much of an issue for Whipsnakes. While some of their totals might not have been the highest, they were almost always more than their opponents. Rambo, WIlliams, Guterding, and the rest are no easy group to cover.
Most likely here Whipsnakes will win. However Cannons are getting the notoriously successful plus two and a half point. They are also the league highest 6-3 to the over. Whipsnakes have the talent to put up points and Cannons have the motivation. I’m going to bet the over and lean cannons spread with a couple player totals as well.
Over 23.5 (-115)
Thompson Over 2.5 goals (-155)
Cannons +2.5 (-105)
Chanenchuk over 2.5 points (-105)
Atlas -1.5 (-120) / ML -175
Chaos +1.5 (-110) / ML +140
Over 24.5 (-110) / Under 24.5 (-120)
To close out the Weekend is Atlas (5-4) battling Chaos (2-7). Chaos would love to get a win here to prevent any chance of Cannons stealing their playoff spot at the finish.
Concannon minds the net for Atlas and does a solid job. He is amazing up close and with rebounds. Riorden is Chaos’ first look. He was noted as questionable but in a game of this importance I would think he plays, in which case he is a plus for Chaos.
Atlas have the probable MVP taking faceoffs in Baptiste. He’s also been contributing to the offense and I like his point total over. Adler will take draws for Chaos though and is also very talented. There’s a chance Chaos could put up a good fight here.
Offensively, Atlas have plenty of firepower. Teat, Law, and Gray can all go off from attack. Costabile and numerous other midfielders are capable of grabbing points as well. Although their offense hasn’t led to wins in three of the last four outings.
Chaos’ canadian-esque “box style” offense will have to be firing on all cylinders here. Josh Byrne and Dhane Smith will be looking to help get the offense flowing. Fraser, Cloutier, and O’Keefe could all be big contributors as well.
First look might have you leaning Atlas and I don’t hate Atlas moneyline here. Atlas have struggled a bit lately though and Chaos have plenty of reason to be motivated. Given that and the historic success of underdogs against the spread I’d look at Chaos. For what could maybe be the last time this season I’m going to hold my nose and take them plus the points.
Chaos +1.5 (-110)
Baptiste Over 1.5 points (+125)
O’Keefe Over 1.5 points (-165)
Gray Over 3.5 points (-130)
Josh Byrne Over 3.5 points (-130)
Riorden Over 0.5 points (+600)
There you have it folks, the final weekend of the Premier Lacrosse League regular season! I hope you all enjoy watching how the games playout and seeing the playoff bracket laid out.
Soon we will be at Gillette Stadium, in my home turf, for the Quarter Finals!
Be sure to check out my Twitter for more updates and plays throughout the weekend and as always my DM’s are open with any questions you may have about lacrosse or sports betting @bCostigan84.
Best of luck and let’s cash some bets!