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College Lacrosse Betting Odds & Picks: Best Bets for Ohio State vs. Detroit Mercy, Denver vs Utah (February 5)

College Lacrosse Betting Odds & Picks: Best Bets for Ohio State vs. Detroit Mercy, Denver vs Utah (February 5) article feature image
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Getty Images. Pictured: Head coach Bill Tierney of Denver.

Betting on NCAA Lacrosse is available for the first time to start a season. And to get things off on the right foot, I’m eyeing two bets in particular for Saturday’s men’s lacrosse slate.

If you’ve read my guide on how to bet on lacrosse, then you know I’m a big fan of using teams’ pace of play when looking at college lacrosse totals. While it’s a new season, we can expect the pace at which these offenses play to remain relatively the same from last season.

So, for my two featured plays, I went with two game totals to start things off.

College Lacrosse Picks

Click on a game to skip ahead
Ohio State vs Detroit Mercy 12 p.m. ET
Denver vs Utah 3 p.m. ET

Ohio State vs. Detroit Mercy

Pick Under 22.5
Best Book DraftKings
Time 12 p.m. ET
TV Big Ten+

The first play I like is betting the total staying under 22.5 goals in Ohio State’s matchup with Detroit Mercy. The Buckeyes are currently 7.5-goal favorites, and while I expect them to win fairly easily, I think the spread is a bit too steep. I foresee Ohio State getting off to a comfortable lead, then riding that to a low-scoring victory.

Ohio State’s defense gave up 12.91 goals per game last season, which is a decent number when playing in a competitive Big Ten conference. The Buckeyes should fare even better against a Detroit Mercy offense that only managed to score 9.71 goals per contest against much weaker opponents than the Buckeyes faced last year.

On the flipside, the Ohio State offense managed to average just 11.36 goals per game last season and heads into this campaign without Tre Leclaire, the program’s all-time leading scorer. While this offense has faced far more intimidating defenses, the Detroit defense, which only allowed 9.57 goals per game last season, won’t be a walk in the park.

As I mentioned above, pace of play is an even greater indicator of whether the score will go under or over the total set by oddsmakers. According to Lacrosse Reference, Detroit ranked 43rd in pace of play last season, averaging 45.14 seconds before taking its first shot. The Buckeyes were even lower in pace at 56th, taking an average of 46.86 seconds before getting a shot on cage.

I expect these offenses to play at a slow tempo and this total to fall under 22.5 goals, and would play it down to 21.5 goals.


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Denver vs. Utah

Pick Under 22.5
Best Book DraftKings
Time 3 p.m. ET
TV N/A

The game between Denver and Utah features another 22.5 total, which I think is too high.

Last season, these teams played a tight game that saw Denver sneak by with a 9-8 home win. This year, the game will be played at Utah and will feature a Utes program led by first-year head coach Andrew McMinn.

According to Lacrosse Reference, the Utes ranked 39th in pace last year and with many of the same cast returning this season, we should expect this offense to play at a similar pace.

It’s hard to discuss pace of play without discussing Denver, a team that has been known for its “stall-ball” offense ever since Bill Tierney arrived in 2009. Denver’s game plan is to get into settled six-on-six offense and make teams pay with carefully timed, efficient offensive possessions. Last season, the team ranked 65th in pace, waiting an average of 48.54 seconds before getting their first shot on cage. 

Additionally, this offense will be without it’s top two leading scorers from last year in Ethan Walker and Jackson Morrill. With Alex Simmons expected to play more midfield this season, Denver’s attack line will likely feature all new starters and may need a few games to really get going.

I expect another grind of a game between these two teams and would bet the under at 22.5 goals. I would play this total down to 21 goals.


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