Editor’s Note: This recurring series is written by Billy Costigan.
Welcome back lacrosse fans! Who’s ready to make some money betting the Premier Lacrosse League quarterfinals?
Three amazing win or go home games will be coming to you live from my neck of the woods at Gillette Stadium this weekend. I find myself very lucky that I will be at the games to take in all the amazing playoff action in person!
Who’s championship runs begin this weekend and who’s seasons will be over?
Week 11 Recap
Last weekend the regular season closed out on the west coast from Seattle. Here’s how the bets fell for the weekend:
Chrome secured a win and the second seed in the playoffs. However, rather surprisingly, they couldn’t cover even against a depleted Redwoods squad who kept it within one point.
Archers took care of business covering and beating Waterdogs by four points. Certainly a good sign for the Bow Squad as they enter the playoffs and secured their spot in next February’s Championship Series. Waterdogs will miss out on the tournament next winter but they still have hope for this season’s playoff tournament.
The season came to an end for Cannons, as Whipsnakes defeated them by two points en route to their first round playoff bye. Yet true to their history, Cannons kept their loss close and got the cover, ending the year second in the league against the spread at 6-4. They’ll turn their sights to next season and try to figure out how to turn some of those close losses into close wins finally.
Atlas managed to squeak out a one point win, failing to cover, against Chaos. The Bulls have looked a bit shaky but will look to put that behind them and build off this win. Andy Towers’ squad must be thankful to be in the playoffs and probably don’t even remember their regular season record at this point.
We also have updated season long standings for the different types of bets:
Underdogs went 3-1 in Week 11 to maintain a 62.5% lead against the spread (ATS). Chrome and Redwoods remain at the top of the ATS standings while Atlas, despite their solid straight up record, has fallen to the bottom.
Overs and unders split 2-2 again so overs still have a slight 52.2% edge this season. Waterdogs and Redwoods have gone over the most. Whipsnakes and Chrome still go under more than any other squads.
Moneyline favorites were a dominant 4-0 against the spread in Week 11. This brings their lead for the season up to a whopping 70% win rate. Whipsnakes best straight up record has earned them a bye through the first round and this weekend off. Cannons with the exact opposite record became the only team not to make the playoffs this season.
Week 12 Report
Chaos +1.5 (-105) / ML +155
Chrome -1.5 (-125) / ML -190
Over 22.5 (-135) / Under 22.5 (+105)
Kicking off this opening round of the playoffs is the two seed (7-3) Chrome looking to really make a statement taking on the defending champs and last team to make the playoffs (2-8) Chaos.
Between the pipes it’s a battle of the big boys of the league. Sconone comes in for Chaos with a 10.1 scores against average and a 54% save percentage. Riorden also has a 54% save percentage and is averaging 12.6 scores against.
Sconone has done well this year and will need to continue to be solid for Chrome’s playoff aspirations to continue. Riorden has been up and down at moments this season. However we all know he has the ability to get very hot and steal a game at any moment.
The faceoff stripe will also feature a great matchup. Farrell (58%) ranks third in the league and is having another outstanding season for Chrome. Adler (42%) has only played in four games for Chaos.
Despite his low win rate, Adler has the talent to compete with the best. He will need to be on his game, looking to at least neutralize Farrell and not let Chrome get too big an advantage in the possession battle.
Chrome’s offense has been solid this season, helping them secure the second overall seed. Veterans like Anderson, MacIntosh, and Dylan Molloy have provided a solid base. Rookies Nichtern and Wisnauskas have contributed so much that they’ve allowed Chrome to expand on that base with great success. This unit will certainly keep Blaze and the Chaos defense very busy.
Chaos have found their offense dead last in scores for this season. Yet given the parity in this league they still have stars with lots of talent who are capable of getting hot. Byrne, Cloutier, and Fraser provide points from attack. While Dhane Smith quarterbacks the midfield with help from O’Keefe and Ryan Smith. Their Canadian “box style” offense will need to be firing on all cylinders here though.
Chrome and Chaos’ seasons couldn’t look much different on paper given their records. I’ll admit Chrome moneyline isn’t the worst look here, I think they will probably win, but the price is a bit heavy to lay. However we all know about underdogs’ success against the spread and Chaos’ history of getting very hot very late in the year.
So I’ll hold my nose and take Chaos plus the points to keep it close. Hopefully some ghosts of playoff past will be creeping doubt into Chrome’s minds and Andy Towers can keep his squad in the game.
Pick: Chaos +1.5 (-105)
Redwoods +1.5 (-105) / ML +145
Archers -1.5 (-125) / ML -180
Over 24.5 (-115) / Under 24.5 (-115)
The second game of the quarterfinals is third seeded (6-4) Archers hungry for a title against determined sixth seed (4-6) Redwoods.
Goaltending will be a key area in this contest as well. Kelly (46%) has been a more solid option for Redwoods then his save percentage reflects. In his earlier meeting with the Archers this season Kelly was 57% and helped keep the contest close.
Ghitelman (49%) has done well against Redwoods shooters in the past and has the ability to play like an all star when he’s on. Either keeper standing on their head would go a long way for their team’s chances here.
Faceoffs are once again a concern for Archers and potential advantage for Redwoods. Inacio (43%) for Archers will look to continue building and keep the battle somewhat close. Ierlan (54%) will be looking to dominate like he has before and give his team a much needed boost.
Redwoods’ offense has no shortage of talented offensive players but remains third to last in scores for. Midfielders Jones, Bertrand, and Perkovic will need to be at their best. Heningburg’s contributions and hustle will be essential as well. Pannell has been raking up assists and helping facilitate offense. Garnsey and Kavanagh help round out the attack with their mix of lacrosse IQ, flair, and skill.
Archers’ number one ranked offense would look like a championship lock on paper just given the deep list of talented players. They’ll go with Holman, Manny, Fields, and Ament at attack which sounds like the starting line for an all star game. Then at midfield they’re mixing in the likes of Moore, Ambler, and Schreiber. I can’t even imagine how you decide who to cover with a short stick out of this deadly offensive unit.
I’ve got to go with Archers moneyline here. Redwoods have put up their best effort this year but don’t quite seem to have it and they will be without defensive leader Glazener again. I would prefer the better price on the Archers spread, but Redwoods have kept it to close for comfort in the past in this matchup. So while Redwoods may manage to keep it within one point, count on the Bow Squad to get the outright win and move on.
Pick: Archers -180
Waterdogs +1.5 (-120) / ML +125
Atlas -1.5 (-110) / ML -155
Over 25.5 (+100) / Under 25.5 (-130)
Closing out the opening round of the playoffs is fourth seed (6-4) Atlas versus fifth seed (5-5) Waterdogs in what just may be one of the closest and toughest games to call of the weekend.
In the cage Waterdogs look to the towering Ward (51%) who’s just as capable as any of becoming an absolute brick wall. Atlas roll out Concannon (55%) who ranks second in the league in save percentage and is one of the best at shots in close.
For faceoffs Waterdogs will first turn to Withers (47%), hoping he can limit Atlas from gaining too large a possession advantage. Atlas have league leading and odds on MVP favorite Baptiste (70%) to take their draws. If Baptiste gets too hot here that could be a problem for Waterdogs.
On offense Atlas have had no shortage in production from their deadly attack unit of Teat, Law, and Gray. At midfield though they could use some more depth other than standout Costabile. Bucaro, Dennis, and Aitken have all played well at moments this year, but they’ll need all three to step up much more here.
Waterdogs have seemed to be able to make their offense work no matter who injuries force them to throw out each week. Stars Sowers and Walker will threaten from attack along with the red hot lately McArdle. Hannah, Conrad, and Kelly provide more offensive threats from above goal line extended as well.
One last time here I’ll take the underdog plus the points. Atlas certainly have the talent and potential, but their lack of well rounded depth and recent play has me concerned. Waterdogs on the other hand seem to have a great amount of depth which is key come playoffs in any sport. Despite losing their last two games, I’ve still liked what I’ve seen from Waterdogs and have a lot of hope for them this postseason.
Pick: Waterdogs +1.5 (-120)
So who’s ready for some playoffs? There’s nothing quite like a “win or your season is over” environment. Especially in a league with so much parity and so many talented players. It’s amazing to think with confidence that every team still has a shot at the title.
I’m very excited to be attending the games in person at Gillette Stadium to take in all the action and keep you as updated as I can. Feel free to reach out if you’ll be at the games and would like to say hello.
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!