National Lacrosse League Betting Picks: NLL Week 17 Best Bets for Friday

National Lacrosse League Betting Picks: NLL Week 17 Best Bets for Friday article feature image

CALGARY, AB – FEBRUARY 10, 2023: Saskatchewan Rush versus the Calgary Roughnecks at the Scotiabank Saddledome on Friday night (Photo by Angela Burger/Calgary Roughnecks).

The National Lacrosse League playoff race is getting tight as we enter Week 17. Friday night features two matchups with playoff implications for all four teams and I have bets for both games.

Let’s take a look at my NLL best bets and betting picks for Friday of Week 17.

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.

Panther City Lacrosse Club vs. Buffalo Bandits Odds

Panther City (+2.5)Moneyline (+205)
Buffalo (-2.5)Moneyline (-260)
TimeFriday · 8 p.m. ET

Odds via FanDuel

The defending champion Bandits enter this weekend fresh off another win over the Toronto Rock and a season sweep of their Ontario rivals. While Buffalo’s win was impressive, the sportsbooks overreacted by making them a 2.5-point favorite against a Panther City team that’s just one game behind Buffalo in the standings and has the same goal differential of +2.

Buffalo is 2-9 against the spread this season as a favorite, 1-5 against the spread this season as a favorite of 2.5 or greater and has lost outright as a 2.5-point favorite or greater three times already this season. Buffalo should be a very slight favorite in this game, but 2.5 points is way too much for the Bandits to lay based on what they’ve shown all season.

Buffalo has also failed to win more than two straight games this season and despite the win over Toronto, hasn’t convincingly solved their issues on the defensive end. The Bandits have allowed an average of 13.56 goals in their last nine games and their bottom-five defense has allowed opponents to shoot an average of 18.9% this season according to LaxMetrics. While trading for Paul Dawson and activating Justin Martin will certainly help their defensive efforts, expect Panther City’s offense to take advantage of a defense that still allowed a 20.34% opposing shooting percentage last week.

While Panther City's offense has had its ups and downs this season and could be missing Callum Crawford for a third straight game, their defense has kept them in close games against prolific offenses comparable to Buffalo. The Nick Damude-led defense has held opponents to the sixth-lowest shooting percentage of 16.9% and allows the second-fewest breakaways in the NLL, which bodes well for stopping a Bandits team that loves to generate transition offense.

Bet Panther City to keep this game close and cover the 2.5-point spread at -115 on FanDuel.

Pick: Panther City +2.5

Calgary Roughnecks vs. Albany FireWolves

Calgary (+1.5)Moneyline (+110)
Albany (-1.5)Moneyline (-140)
TimeFriday · 9 p.m. ET

Odds via Caesars Sportsbook

Despite boasting a top-five defense, the Calgary Roughnecks’ playoff hopes are dwindling. With a record of 5-8, another loss could put Calgary’s playoff chances in jeopardy. They enter Friday night as a slight underdog against the Albany FireWolves, who currently sit in third place. Despite the disparity in the standings, Calgary has the ability to pull off an upset at home.

The Roughnecks rank fourth in shooting percentage allowed at 16.3%, which is three spots ahead of Albany’s 18.4% according to LaxMetrics. While Calgary’s offense has been middle of the pack, they also rank above Albany’s offense in experimental offensive efficiency and offensive rating, where the FireWolves rank 12th and 13th respectively out of 15 teams.

Albany’s defense continues to be overly reliant on goaltender of the year candidate Doug Jamieson and Calgary’s top-ranked transition offense should be able to take advantage of a FireWolves defense that has allowed the sixth most breakaways in the league.

Ultimately, there’s value in betting an undervalued Calgary squad with a lot to play for to win outright. Bet Roughnecks on the moneyline at +110 on Caesars.

Pick: Calgary Roughnecks ML

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