National Lacrosse League Odds & Picks: NLL Saturday Week 3 Best Bets

National Lacrosse League Odds & Picks: NLL Saturday Week 3 Best Bets article feature image

AP. Pictured: Dillon Ward.

The National Lacrosse League continues its Week 3 slate with five Saturday games featuring plenty of rivalry matchups. I’m eyeing five bets in particular across four of the games.

Let’s dive into the two totals and three sides that I’m playing on Saturday.

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.

Albany FireWolves (-1.5) vs Rochester Knighthawks

Albany Odds-150
Rochester Odds+110
TimeSaturday, 7 p.m. ET

Odds via bet365.

The expectations for both the Albany FireWolves and Rochester Knighthawks were rather low entering this season, yet both teams have managed to stay undefeated entering Week 3, each with a win over a team that appeared in the East Conference Finals last season.

The FireWolves are two weeks removed from an upset win over last year’s East Conference champion Buffalo Bandits. On the flip side, the Knighthawks enter their third game as underdogs despite back-to-back wins over the Georgia Swarm and Toronto Rock.

The Knighthawks' two biggest X-factors in their wins have been offseason acquisition Connor Fields, who’s recorded 17 points in two games, and netminder Rylan Hartley, who’s averaged 48 saves in his past two starts.

Rochester’s ball movement on offense and ability to create space for star players like Fields, Curtis Knight and Holden Cattoni has been very impressive, particularly against a stout Toronto Rock defense in Week 2.

Even more impressive has been the play of the defense in front of Hartley, despite missing defender Ryland Rees. Rees is expected to return to the lineup in Week 3 and should aid a defense that has already held its opponents to less than 12 goals in back-to-back games.

The FireWolves were also impressive in their win over Buffalo, with Doug Jamieson’s 45-save night being the catalyst for their 11-10 victory. Albany also benefited greatly from defender Joe Nardella’s 17 loose balls, two caused turnovers and dominance in gaining possession at the faceoff.

He stifled what little momentum the Bandits had and that was compounded by a fourth quarter that saw Buffalo’s leading goal-scorer Tehoka Nanticoke ejected and Albany go on the power play for the majority of the final period.

Overall, it was a great win for Albany but not necessarily a recipe for sustained future success, especially now given the news that Nardell will miss the rest of the season with a torn ACL.

Nardella’s injury is a big blow for this Albany team. While the FireWolves will continue to be competitive as long as Jamieson is in net, I think what Rochester has shown so far this season gives me much more confidence in backing it to not only cover, but win outright — which Rochester did twice last season as an underdog against Albany.

You can currently bet Rochester on the moneyline on Caesars at +120 — a price that's too good to pass on a team that should be favored. Additionally, I expect this game to be low-scoring given the pedigree of both teams’ netminders and recommend betting under 23.5.

Picks: Rochester Knighthawks ML · Under 23.5

Georgia Swarm (-1.5) vs Philadelphia Wings

Georgia Odds-145
Philadelphia Odds+125
TimeSaturday, 7 p.m. ET

Odds via Caesars Sportsbook.

Since we’re already on the subject of games where the wrong team is favored, let’s take a look at this year’s first installment in the Georgia Swarm-Philadelphia Wings rivalry.

Both teams are coming off losses in the opening week, with the Wings suffering an 18-8 beatdown at the hands of Halifax and the Swarm getting upset by the now 2-0 Knighthawks, 16-11. The oddsmakers made the Swarm 1.5-point favorites for this matchup, despite the Wings winning the past three meetings (all in overtime).

According to the Bet On Lacrosse report, another interesting trend is that the underdog has covered the 1.5-point spread in each of the past three meetings. Now, trends are not necessarily indicative of how this meeting will shake out, but I think the Swarm’s roster overhaul is going to take a lot more time to work itself out than the Wings' will.

The Wings suffered a bad loss against a championship contender, but the addition of last year’s leading goal-scorer Joe Resetarits can’t be understated. I also expect Zach Higgins to play much better than he did in week one and hopefully former Swarm defender Chad Tutton and the rest of the Wings defense can give him the support he needs.

The Swarm, meanwhile, still have arguably the best player in the world in Lyle Thompson, but their roster overhaul has been much more dramatic.

Georgia saw veterans Jordan Hall, Joel White and longtime goaltender Mike Poulin retire, while defender Chad Tutton departed in free agency. It bolstered its offense with the addition of Andrew Kew and second-overall pick Ryan Lanchbury, but this team did not show enough to be favored in this game.

The Wings are +125 to win outright on Caesars, and I think this is the best way to play what will likely be another great installment in the Wings-Swarm rivalry.

Pick: Philadelphia Wings ML (Play to +115)

New York Riptide vs Halifax Thunderbirds (-1.5)

Halifax Odds-200
New York Odds+150
TimeSaturday, 7:30 p.m. ET

Odds via bet365.

The Halifax Thunderbirds travel to Long Island as 1.5-point favorites against the New York Riptide. Both teams have high expectations for the season and opened up with successful first games, even if they differed in results.

Halifax had as good a start as you could ask for, defeating Philly, 18-8, in a game that appeared to be over by halftime. Meanwhile, the Riptide fell to the championship favorite San Diego Seals by just a goal after rallying with a four-goal run that ended with a potential game-tying goal waved off.

Both teams also put up double-digit points in their opening games, averaging 16 goals between them.

While I think there's some value in backing an improved Riptide team on the 1.5-point spread (-110 on bet 365), I think the much safer bet is for these two offenses to light up the score sheet.

At most sportsbooks, the total is 24.5 — the highest of the season so far. Yet, bet365 is currently offering a total of 23.5 and I think that provides a large enough cushion for a game I think should easily exceed 24 goals.

In the Riptide’s last 19 games, 13 of them have featured 24 goals or more. While only nine of Halifax’s past 19 games have gone over 24 goals, I don’t believe the offensive outing the Thunderbirds displayed in Week 1 was a fluke and they’ll get another weapon back in the lineup this week in Austin Shanks, who ranked second on the team in points last season with 65.

I expect a lot of scoring in this matchup and recommend betting over 23.5.

Pick: Over 23.5

Panther City Lacrosse Club vs Colorado Mammoth (-1.5)

Colorado Odds-140
Panther City Odds+110
TimeSaturday, 8 p.m. ET

Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook.

The Colorado Mammoth enter Saturday hoping to avoid an 0-2 start to the season. The defending NLL champions are 1.5-point favorites against a Panther City team that's coming off a Friday night game in Las Vegas.

Panther City currently sits at 2-0 after beating the expansion franchise Las Vegas Desert Dogs in back-to-back weeks. While its 9-3 win last night was much more convincing than its season opener, the offense still struggled to put together a complete game.

The Mammoth, meanwhile, have had two weeks to prepare for this game and get to face a tired Panther City team in a historically great spot.

While I think Panther City can be a sneaky good team to back as an underdog this season, this game is not the spot to do it. Playing in back-to-back games on the same weekend is no easy task in the NLL.

Last season, teams playing in their second game of the weekend against a team playing in its first game of the weekend were 4-10 straight up and 3-11 against the spread.

Colorado has enough talent to put up more than six goals this week against a defense that will be weaker than the Rush one it faced two weeks ago. I also expect 2022 NLL Finals MVP Dillon Ward to have a bounce-back game after allowing 11 goals on 43 shots in Week 1.

This is a great spot to bet the Mammoth at -1.5 (+105).

Pick: Colorado Mammoth -1.5

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