National Lacrosse League Odds, Picks: Week 2 Bets for Panther City vs Las Vegas, San Diego vs Saskatchewan

National Lacrosse League Odds, Picks: Week 2 Bets for Panther City vs Las Vegas, San Diego vs Saskatchewan article feature image

Photo courtesy of the Saskatchewan Rush.

The National Lacrosse League follows up its opening weekend with four matchups for week two. Last week, I went 4-1 with my picks and am looking to stay hot with two more bets this Friday. Let’s take a look at the total I’m playing this weekend and an underdog I think could come away with another upset.

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National Lacrosse League Week 2 Odds, Picks

Panther City Lacrosse Club (-1.5) vs Las Vegas Desert Dogs

Panther City Lacrosse Club Odds-160
Las Vegas Desert Dogs Odds+140
TimeFriday, 8:30 p.m. ET

Odds via Caesars Sportsbook.

Last year’s expansion franchise Panther City hosts this year’s Wayne Gretzky-owned expansion franchise Las Vegas Desert Dogs. Panther City opens up as 1.5-point favorites, a spot fairly unfamiliar for them, and the total is the lowest of the week and season so far at 21.5 at most sportsbooks.

Last season, 11 of Panther City’s 18 games went over 21.5 and while their offense certainly had some rough outings, they’ll enter this season with much more chemistry and experience. Their offense is led by 2022 Rookie of the Year finalist Patrick Dodds and Will Malcolm, who each surpassed 80 points last season. Fellow forward Phil Caputo also had a strong 51-point campaign and the team expects Nathan Grenon to take a big leap in his sophomore season as well.

While Las Vegas only had a few short weeks to build chemistry, it has a fairly seasoned corp of veterans led by former Toronto Rock teammates Rob Hellyer and Reid Reinholdt. Hellyer in particular has averaged just under five points per game in his last two seasons and I think he’ll play a big part in the Desert Dogs debut, even considering he’ll have a much different supporting cast this season.

Now, Las Vegas will be without a few key forwards in Charlie Bertrand, Marshal King and Zack Greer, but I think Hellyer, Reinholdt and other veteran forward Jacob Ruest should still be able to lead the charge and do their part in pushing this total over.

Ultimately, the bet on the over is just as much a fade of the two young netminders as it is a backing of these offenses. Despite plenty of hype leading up to his debut, Landon Kells will be making his first NLL career start. On the flipside, Nick Damude is expected to start for Panther City and last season his 11.88 goals against average was third worst among goaltenders who saw at least 700 minutes last year.

While exhibition matchups should be taken with a grain of salt, the results of both team’s four combined exhibition games all exceeded the 21.5 mark. Ultimately, I think these offenses find a way to test both young goaltenders early and we see this game go well over the relatively low total of 21.5 (bet365 and Caesars).

Pick: Over 21.5 (Play to 22.5)

San Diego Seals (-1.5) vs Saskatchewan Rush

San Diego Seals Odds-140
Saskatchewan Rush Odds+120
TimeFriday, 10 p.m. ET

Odds via Caesars Sportsbook.

Both the San Diego Seals and Saskatchewan Rush got a win in week one, cementing themselves as contenders in the West. While the Seals narrowly escaped a hard fought 15-14 battle with the New York Riptide, the Rush secured an upset over the 2022 NLL defending champs, 18-6. Despite this, the Seals enter their home opener as 1.5-point favorites against the Rush and remain the favorites to win the 2023 NLL Finals.

The Rush put the league on notice last week with their beatdown of the Colorado Mammoth. Their offense was getting production from all of their top guys and their revamped defense smothered the Mammoth’s offense. While the usual suspects of Mark Matthews and Robert Church led the way on the score sheet with 10 and nine points respectively, the Rush had 10 different players record a point in the contest. New starting goaltender Alex Buque also looked great in his Rush debut, stopping 40 of 46 shots.

The Seals' offense looked equally impressive on Saturday, putting up 15 points on a Riptide team that has high expectations for the 2022-23 season. The offensive surge was led by Curtis Dickson (5G, 3A), Dane Dobbie (1G, 5A) and Casey Jackson (3G, 2A).

The bad news for San Diego this week though, is both Dobbie and Jackson are listed as doubtful along with defender Eli Gobrecht. While the Seals will be getting Austin Staats back for this game and still has plenty of offensive weapons, the loss of Dobbie, Jackson and Gobrecht would make this game even more of a coin flip.

It’s important to also consider how the Rush have played under Jimmy Quinlan, who was inserted as the Rush head coach last season. The Rush have yet to lose a game with him at the helm (5-0) and were playing some of their past lacrosse during their four-game win streak last season—which included a 17-14 win over San Diego.

This game should be closer to a pick‘em and the injury report gives an even greater edge to the already undervalued Rush, who have a great chance of leaving San Diego with a win. While Caesars is offering Rush +1.5 at -130, I think this is too good of a spot to pass up betting Saskatchewan on the moneyline at +120. Bet the Rush to steal a win in San Diego and secure their spot at the top of the West Conference.

Picks: Rush ML

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