NLL Conference Finals Betting Odds, Picks: Rock vs. Bandits, Roughnecks vs. Mammoth Game 2 Best Bets
CALGARY, AB – APRIL 30, 2022: The Calgary Roughnecks versus the Colorado Mammoth at the Scotiabank Saddledome on Saturday night. (Photo by Candice Ward/Calgary Roughnecks)
The National Lacrosse League Conference Finals continue with the second game of each series taking place on Saturday night. The Buffalo Bandits travel to take on the Toronto Rock with a chance to go to their third straight NLL Finals. The Calgary Roughnecks return home with hopes of forcing a Game 3 with the defending champion Colorado Mammoth. Let’s take a look at the betting angle for both games.
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Toronto Rock vs. Buffalo Bandits
|Time||Saturday, 7 p.m. ET|
The Rock return home and are 1.5-point favorites in this game despite losing to the Bandits in Buffalo on Friday night, 14-5. The total is 21.5 for this meeting at most sportsbooks.
Game 1 was closer than the score may indicate. Matt Vinc was spectacular in net for the Bandits, stopping 52 shots in the win. Nick Rose picked a bad time to deliver his worst performance of the season, stopping only 17 shots. However, the Toronto defense in front of him deserves a lot of the blame as well, as they were beaten in transition often and did little to help the veteran netminder.
I think we’ll see a better showing from Toronto on Saturday night, but I’m not sure it will be enough to stop this Bandits team. Buffalo just looked faster on Friday and, with their entire cast of offensive pieces healthy again, were tough to slow down. That’s why I was very surprised to see Toronto favored in this second game and the Buffalo Bandits as high as +100 on the moneyline. This is a misprice in my opinion given what we saw in Game 1. Buffalo’s depth made more of an impact than Toronto’s and even if Nick Rose is at his best on Saturday, I’m not sure it will be enough.
The final piece of this handicap is the absence of Tom Schreiber. The Rock’s leading scorer led the team with four points on Friday night but will be out of the lineup for Game 2. While the Toronto offense stepped up in his absence in their quarterfinal win over Halifax, they’ll have a tougher time against this Buffalo defense. The last time Toronto faced Buffalo without Schreiber was last season and the result was a 12-6 regular season loss to the Bandits. The absence of Schreiber will be tough to overcome, so I like backing the Bandits to win outright at even money.
Pick: Buffalo Bandits ML (+100)
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Calgary Roughnecks vs. Colorado Mammoth
|Time||Saturday, 9:30 p.m. ET|
The Calgary Roughnecks return home facing elimination but are once again 1.5-point favorites against the Colorado Mammoth. The total ranges between 22.5 and 21.5 across sportsbooks despite an 8-7 score in Game 1.
I wouldn’t say Calgary outplayed Colorado in Game 1—the Mammoth clearly did enough to disrupt this Roughnecks offense, holding leading scorer Jesse King to just two assists and no goals. Yet, I do think Calgary was in the driver’s seat heading into the fourth quarter and a series of imprudent penalties gave Colorado four power-play chances, two of which the Mammoth scored on. The one-goal loss to Colorado prompted sportsbooks to give us a slightly more favorable line for Game 2 and I think this is a great spot to back the Roughnecks to even the series.
Tyler Pace, Calgary’s second-leading scorer, was notably absent in Game 1 due to issues crossing the border. He’ll be back in the lineup on Saturday night and his presence will certainly be felt. Pace could easily have been the team’s leading scorer had he appeared in every game and he’ll be able to take some attention away from King in Game 2. He’s also an integral part of what Calgary likes to do in transition and I think his impact can’t be overstated.
Both goaltenders were spectacular in Game 1 and I think that continues in the second game of this series, but I think Calgary will expose Colorado a bit more in transition and limit the time they go on the penalty kill. Christian Del Bianco was reading Colorado’s outside shots very well on Thursday and Colorado struggled to generate offense when on the five-on-five. Bet Calgary to not only win but cover the 1.5-point spread (-110 on FanDuel).
Pick: Calgary Roughnecks -1.5 (-110)
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