2024 Premier Lacrosse League Award Odds: Early Picks for PLL MVP, Rookie of the Year

2024 Premier Lacrosse League Award Odds: Early Picks for PLL MVP, Rookie of the Year article feature image

The 2024 Premier Lacrosse League season is less than a month away and odds for MVP and Rookie of the Year are finally here. Like any sport, the awards market can often be difficult to gauge prior to the the season and preseason or early season injuries can take out candidates before their campaigns even get started. On the flip side, you can often find value in betting candidates when odds first open.

Let's take a look at my early picks for the 2024 PLL season awards.

2024 PLL MVP Best Bet

PLL MVP is often a difficult award to handicap given its wide-open nature. In the past four seasons, we've seen not only four different players, but four different positions win the award.

Sometimes it's easy to know which team the MVP will come from, but narrowing down which player on that team is difficult. That was the case with Zed Williams in the shortened 2020 season, when Williams (+650 on FoxBet) beat out teammates Joe Nardella (+280), Matt Rambo (+400) and Kyle Bernlohr (+550).

Other times, preseason longshots make late season pushes. Eventual 2021 PLL MVP Blaze Riorden was +4000 with three weeks left in the season before he eventually took home the award.

In other instances, the eventual award-winner opens as a huge longshot, but runs away with the award midway through the season. 2022 MVP Trevor Baptiste opened at +10000, but was down to +150 with two weeks left in the season.

Then there's the MVPs like last year's winner, Tom Schreiber, who opened at no longer than +1000, never got higher than +850 and, despite some competition from other candidates, won the award after a handful of prior MVP-caliber seasons.

While we have yet to see a repeat winner in the PLL's first five seasons, the 2024 MVP odds for Schreiber are good enough to bet him to become the first. 

Major League Lacrosse preceded the PLL and while only two players have ever had back-to-back MVP seasons, Schreiber is one. He won the award in 2016 and 2017 as a member of the Ohio Machine, who made it to the championship in both of those seasons.

In the PLL, Schreiber has been a finalist in three of the four seasons that finalists have been announced (2019, 2022, 2023). No other player has been a finalist more than twice. History (and the fact that he’s the best player on the defending champions) suggests Schreiber will at least be a finalist once again.

So, now that we've made the historical case for Schreiber, let's look at his current odds. 

Lyle Thompson is the favorite at +550, but there has been no indication that Thompson will suit up this summer after he stepped away last season. Even if he does play, the Boston Cannons' roster already features two 2023 MVP finalists in Asher Nolting and Marcus Holman.

Jeff Teat is the next favorite at +750. While his odds are much more accurate, we'll need to see how an Atlas team that won just two games last year performs before knowing if Teat can be as productive as he was in the 2021 and 2022, when he was last a finalist. The addition of rookie Connor Shellenberger should help Teat’s production, but he could also become a candidate himself if he plays well enough. While Teat is never a bad preseason bet, he shouldn’t be favored over the most recent winner.

I’m not sure how much thought the sportsbooks put into these odds considering they’re very similar to the preseason odds we saw last season. Yet, at +1000 on DraftKings, it’s a no-brainer to bet Schreiber to repeat as MVP.

Pick: Tom Schreiber to Win MVP (+1000)

2024 PLL Rookie of the Year Pick

Rookie of the Year isn’t typically as wide open as MVP. For starters, the award is almost always given to an offensive player. Only one defenseman (Brodie Merrill in 2005) and two goalies (Jack Kelly in 2016, Tim Troutner in 2019) have ever won the award. While new Atlas netminder Liam Entenmann certainly has a case at +600, I’m targeting one of the top two offensive prospects in the draft.

We’ll start with first overall pick Brennan O’Neill, who is the co-favorite at +300 on DraftKings. Lauded as a generational talent, O’Neill has a chance to instantly impact a Denver Outlaws team that finished at the bottom of the standings last year. While the Outlaws will have to fix their issues on both the offensive and defensive side of the ball, O’Neill gives them a player who can create his own shot and who already has experience at this level as he played for Team USA and won MVP of the World Lacrosse Championship last summer. Denver also helped O’Neill out by drafting another offensive threat in midfielder Graham Bundy Jr. and O’Neill’s Duke teammate, attackman Josh Zawada. 

However, O’Neill will be the biggest offensive threat on the Outlaws and will be relied on heavily from the start. This could allow him to stand out more than his peers, but it’s also possible he underperforms due to the extra attention defenses give him. He’ll also be joining a Denver team that struggled offensively last season and will have a new offensive coordinator this summer.

Based on raw talent and potential, O’Neill definitely still has a good chance of winning 2024 PLL Rookie of the Year, but now might not be the best time to bet him to do so.

His co-favorite is Virginia attackman Connor Shellenberger, who joins the New York Atlas this season.

I actually think Shellenberger has the better situation of the two and will be able to step into an Atlas offense that isn’t dealing with as many major additions or an offensive coordinator change. He’ll play opposite 2021 PLL Rookie of the Year and two-time MVP finalist Jeff Teat and join former Virginia teammates Xander Dickson and Payton Cormier on a New York offense looking to recapture the success it had in 2021 and 2022.

I think we could easily see Shellenberger lead all rookies in points in 2024 and +300 on DraftKings is a good price to bet him to win the award.

In addition to what I perceive as a better situation, the schedule sets Shellenberger up for more early success. Atlas is the only team to play two games in Week 1, so Shellenberger will already have a chance to double up his stats. Not only does New York play one more game than Denver on opening weekend, but it'll have played two more games than the Outlaws in the first three weeks since Denver has a bye in Week 3.

Given how the schedule shakes out, there’s a better chance that Shellenberger will have a stronger start statistically just based on volume of games.

I expect we’re more likely to see Shellenberger’s odds drop after the first three weeks and it may never get longer than this current price. Just look at Tucker Dordevic last season: The Whipsnakes' rookie opened at +450 and was down to -175 after just four weeks.

While it’s unlikely that either of these rookies will run away with the award that early this season, I still think now is the best time to bet Shellenberger to be the top rookie of 2024.

Pick: Connor Shellenberger (+300)
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