National Lacrosse League Odds & Picks: Best Bets for Rock vs. Thunderbirds, Mammoth vs. Seals
Photo courtesy of NLL. Pictured: Ryan Benesch
The National Lacrosse League playoffs are here!
The 2023 NLL quarterfinals kick off with two games on Friday night, featuring the Toronto Rock vs. Halifax Thunderbirds and San Diego Seals vs. Colorado Mammoth.
For Friday, I’m targeting a spread, total and two player props.
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.
Toronto Rock (-1.5) vs. Halifax Thunderbirds
|Time||Friday, 7:30 p.m. ET|
Odds via FanDuel
The rematch that Halifax Thunderbirds fans have been waiting for since their heartbreaking one-goal, overtime loss to Toronto in last season’s quarterfinals is finally here.
This year’s quarterfinals matchup is expected to be the most competitive of the three, with the Rock hosting as 1.5-point favorites.
The total is set at 22.5 at most sportsbooks.
Last year, the Thunderbirds fell to the Rock in Toronto, 14-13, and fell to them again in their first meeting this season, 17-8.
However, that first meeting came with Randy Staats out of the lineup and was Halifax’s second game of that weekend. The Thunderbirds would take the second meeting in a 14-12 victory on March 18.
I think the Thunderbirds, who are as high as +150 on the moneyline, are live to win outright, especially given the news that Tom Schreiber will be out of the lineup.
However, the Rock are as deep on offense as the Thunderbirds are, and I think a play on the total has a far bigger edge.
Both teams love to play fast and can push in transition. Ironically, both teams’ Achilles’ heel on defense has been their tendency to give up transition opportunities, as well.
I expect these teams to play fast and come out firing.
A whopping 14 of Halifax’s 18 games have gone over 22.5 this season. Both meetings with Toronto also went over this mark, and there have been 23 or more goals scored in five of Halifax’s last six games.
On the flip side, Toronto has gone over 22.5 in just six of its 18 games, but it needs to play fast in order to beat Halifax, especially with Schreiber out of the lineup. You could see Toronto push it more in transition in this one.
Bet this total to go over 22.5 (-120 at bet365).
Additionally, I also have my eyes on two props in this game — both on Halifax players.
We’re going back to a well that has served us well and betting Staats to surpass his goals prop of 1.5 on Friday night. Staats has scored two goals or more in 12 of his 17 games, including the one game he faced Toronto this season.
His true odds to score two goals are -239, but you can bet him to go over 1.5 goals at -130 on FanDuel.
The other player whose prop I like is Ryan Benesch. His points prop is 3.5 despite surpassing this mark in 12 of his 18 games, including both games against Toronto.
His true odds to record four points should be closer to -200, but you can bet him to go over 3.5 points at -113 on FanDuel.
Pick: Over 22.5, Randy Staats Over 1.5 Goals, Ryan Benesch Over 3.5 Points
San Diego Seals (-2.5) vs. Colorado Mammoth
|San Diego Odds||-220|
|Time||Friday, 10 p.m. ET|
Odds via bet365
The Colorado Mammoth head to San Diego to face the Seals in the fourth meeting between these Western rivals this season.
Last year, the Mammoth ended the Seals’ season in the third game of the West Conference Finals.
This year, the Seals enter as the top seed and as high as a 2.5-point favorite at some sportsbooks.
When these teams first faced, the Seals won 13-8, but the Mammoth were without a handful of key personnel, including goaltender Dillon Ward.
Then, just three weeks ago, the Mammoth upset the Seals in Denver, 15-14.
Just last week, the Seals claimed the season series with an 11-8 win.
I think we could see another tight game between these two teams, akin to their two recent matchups.
The Mammoth are finally at full strength after battling injuries during the first half of the season. 2022 NLL Finals MVP and Colorado starting netminder Ward appears to be in playoff form.
He’ll face a high-powered Seals offense, but the Mammoth have the offense to go toe-to-toe with San Diego. Frank Scigliano has finally settled in as the Seals’ starting netminder after a shaky start to the season, but his inconsistencies could rear their ugly head at any moment.
None of last year’s playoff meetings between the two teams saw a squad win by more than two goals. While the Seals secured a three-goal win just last week, they extended their two-goal lead on an empty netter with two seconds remaining in the game.
This 2.5-point spread is an overreaction to last week’s meaningless game.
Colorado has the roster to pull off the upset like they did just three weeks ago, so the +2.5 is a gift from the sportsbooks.
Bet Mammoth +2.5 (-130 on bet365) and enjoy what could very well be another tight finish in San Diego.
Pick: Colorado Mammoth +2.5
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