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National Lacrosse League Betting Odds, Picks: NLL Week 5 Bets for Thunderbirds vs Bandits, Seals vs Roughnecks

National Lacrosse League Betting Odds, Picks: NLL Week 5 Bets for Thunderbirds vs Bandits, Seals vs Roughnecks article feature image
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Buffalo Bandits players watch from the bench late in the second half of Game 2 of the National Lacrosse League finals against the Colorado Mammoth on Saturday, June 11, 2022, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

After a week hiatus, the National Lacrosse League is back with three games to wrap up 2022 and kick off the new year. I’m eying two NLL matchups in particular on Friday night, with bets on one moneyline favorite and one underdog.

So far, my NLL picks have gone 10-4 for +6.2 units, so let’s keep the momentum going into the new year.

If you’re an avid bettor who’s new to lacrosse or a lacrosse fan who’s new to betting, check out my guide on how to bet on lacrosse for some tips to use when placing a lacrosse bet.

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National Lacrosse League Odds, Picks

Buffalo Bandits (-1.5) vs Halifax Thunderbirds

Buffalo Bandits Odds -145
Halifax Thunderbirds Odds +115
Total 24.5
Time Friday, 7:30 p.m. ET
TV ESPN+

Odds via BetMGM.

The first matchup of Week 5 is a pivotal battle between East Conference rivals with the Buffalo Bandits hosting the undefeated Halifax Thunderbirds. The Bandits are 1.5-point favorites at home and the total sits at 24.5. 

Following the Bandits’ 11-8 victory over the Toronto Rock, the sportsbooks are giving the 2022 NLL runners-up the same respect they opened the season with before falling to the Albany FireWolves in the season opener.

The Bandits are still the contenders we thought they were at the beginning of the season and if it wasn’t for an undisciplined fourth quarter in Week 1, they might be 2-0 as well. Yet, this game should be much closer to a pick’em (and is priced as such on bet365). 

The Thunderbirds did not just beat the Philadelphia Wings and New York Riptide, they disposed of them by the scores of 18-8 and 20-11 respectively. Randy Staats hasn’t lost a step since missing last season with an ACL injury and he and Cody Jamieson have each contributed 10 assists to an offense that looks rejuvenated.

Part of its rejuvenation has come from Ryan Benesch, who rejoined the team this offseason and has contributed 16 points — which is tied for third best in the league through three games — despite being one of the oldest players in the league at age 37.

While some offensive regression should be expected, especially against a physical Bandits defense, there is no reason the Thunderbirds shouldn’t be favored in this matchup. The offense is aided by a stout defense that has played well despite starting goalie Warren Hill missing their last game.

They also have the physicality to go toe-to-toe with this Bandits offense, which will now be without lefty forward Chris Cloutier after he was placed on the injured reserve this week.

This is a great spot for Halifax, so I recommend betting them on the moneyline at +115 on BetMGM and would play them down to +100.

Pick: Halifax Thunderbirds ML

Calgary Roughnecks vs San Diego Seals (-1.5)

San Diego Seals Odds -125
Calgary Roughnecks Odds -115
Total 22.5
Time Friday, 9 p.m. ET
TV ESPN+

Odds via bet365.

Another matchup that featured the wrong team favored earlier in the week has since flipped since the opening lines were released. The Calgary Roughnecks opened as 1.5-point favorites on a couple of sportsbooks, but the line quickly flipped with the San Diego Seals now favored by 1.5.

However, the moneyline has barely shifted with the San Diego Seals going from -115 on numerous sportsbooks to now -125 at bet365.

While both teams enter Week 5 with a 2-0 record, the quality of wins is fairly drastic. The high-powered Seals escaped with wins against the New York Riptide and Saskatchewan Rush, while the Roughnecks had the luxury of facing the 0-3 Vancouver Warriors twice.

The Roughnecks are a solid team and are led by goaltender Christian Del Bianco, who’s put up back-to-back 40+ save performances. Yet, arguably Calgary’s greatest asset last season was Curtis Dickson, who now plays for San Diego.

The Seals won all three matchups with Calgary last year and I don’t see that changing this year given the Seals’ additions on offense. I think the Seals improve to 3-0 and like backing them on the moneyline at the short price of -125 on bet365.

Pick: San Diego Seals ML

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