National Lacrosse League Betting Odds, Picks: NLL Week 9 for Thunderbirds-Knighthawks, Wings-Bandits

National Lacrosse League Betting Odds, Picks: NLL Week 9 for Thunderbirds-Knighthawks, Wings-Bandits article feature image

New York Riptide vs Rochester Knighthawks
Courtesy of Brandon Hill/NLL
NEW YORK1/15/2023

The National Lacrosse League returns to a full slate for Week 9, and we have two big East Conference matchups to start the weekend. Let’s take a look at my two favorite picks for Friday’s NLL slate.

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

Halifax Thunderbirds (-1.5) vs. Rochester Knighthawks

Halifax Odds-110
Rochester Odds-110
Day ⋅ TimeFriday, 6 p.m. ET
Odds via Caesars Sportsbook.

The undefeated Rochester Knighthawks continue to take down East Conference opponents and will look to knock off another in the Thunderbirds.

Rochester is a 1.5-point underdog at most sportsbooks, but the game is being priced as a pick ‘em on the moneyline. While I’ve seen enough of Rochester to lean towards betting them to win outright at -110, I’m staying away from the side when it comes to a pick on this matchup.

Instead, I want to bet on the total that sits at 23.5 across most U.S. sportsbooks. I think we’re in for another high-scoring affair this Friday between two offenses that have put up a ton of points through eight weeks.

The Thunderbirds have gone over 23.5 in five of six games this season, despite facing some stout defenses in the Albany FireWolves, Buffalo Bandits and Toronto Rock.

Likewise, the Rochester Knighthawks have gone over 23.5 in four of six contests and have scored at least 11 goals in all six of their games, while also facing Albany, Buffalo and Toronto.

Both teams also rank in the top four in offensive rating with Halifax posting a 120.75 rating and Rochester posting a 120.21 through eight weeks according to

However, the main reason I like this total to soar over 23.5 is that both teams have the ability to play fast and push in transition. Halifax has attempted the second-highest amount of fast break shots with 56 through six games, though so far only converting on 17.9% of those attempts according to Ty Merrow of Rochester is not too far behind, attempting 46 shots in transition and converting on 19.6% of them.

On the flipside, both goalies, Rylan Hartley and Warren Hill, see a ton of shots on the fast break. Halifax and Rochester are two of the six teams allowing an average of 10 or more fast break shots per game, and the Thunderbirds are allowing a third-worst conversion percentage of 26.8%.

I love a bet on over 23.5 (-110 at Caesars) and would probably even still bet the over at 24.5 as well. 

Pick: Over 23.5

Philadelphia Wings vs. Buffalo Bandits (-2.5)

Philadelphia Odds+186
Buffalo Odds-235
Day ⋅ TimeFriday, 7 p.m. ET
Odds via FanDuel.

The Bandits travel to Philadelphia to face a Wings team desperate for a win after an abysmal showing against the Toronto Rock last week. Buffalo enters as a 2.5-point favorite for the fourth time this year, while the total is set at 23.5 at most sportsbooks.

Philadelphia’s biggest weakness is still their transition defense, which Toronto easily took advantage of last weekend. The Wings surrendered four goals on 16 fast break shots (25%) to the Rock in Week 8 in a 14-5 loss.

Furthermore, they are one of six teams allowing an average of 10 or more fast break shots per game and have allowed goals on 23.6% of those opportunities, according to Ty Merrow of This week, they’ll face a Buffalo team that’s converted on 22.2% of fast break shots.

While these rosters have seen some minor changes since last season, the Bandits have had an easy time against the Wings in recent contests. Last year, Buffalo defeated Philadelphia by the scores of 17-5 and 17-12 in their two meetings, and the same transition defense issues plagued the Wings then.

While the Bandits are 1-2 against the spread as 2.5-point favorites so far this season, the Wings are 2-3 against the spread overall this season and 1-2 against the spread as an underdog. The Wings have also suffered 10-goal and nine-goal losses to the Thunderbirds and Rock respectively.

Ultimately, Philadelphia has failed to meet pre-season expectations and appear to be in a lower weight class than the top teams in the East of Buffalo, Halifax, Rochester and Toronto. While 2.5-points is often a lot to lay in the NLL, this is a good matchup to back the heavy favorite against the spread. Bet Buffalo -2.5 (+100 on FanDuel).

Pick: Buffalo Bandits -2.5

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