Premier Lacrosse League Betting Odds & Picks: PLL Bets for Archers vs. Chaos (Sunday, September 11)
WASHINGTON, DC – SEPTEMBER 19: Chaos Midfielder Dhane Smith (92) controls the ball during the Premier Lacrosse League championship game between the Whipsnakes and the Chaos on September 19, 2021 at Audi Field in Washington, DC. (Photo by John McCreary/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
The second Premier Lacrosse League semifinal game marks the third time the Archers and Chaos have faced each other in an elimination game. During the 2020 PLL Championship Series, Chaos defeated Archers as 2.5-point underdogs in the semifinals before losing to the eventual champion Whipsnakes. In 2021, Chaos entered as 1.5-point underdogs, but came away with another playoff victory over the Archers.
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Archers (-1.5) vs. Chaos
|Time||Sunday, 3:30 p.m. ET|
Odds via FanDuel.
While the majority of the Chaos and Archers rosters have remained intact through the past three seasons, their Week 2 meeting featured a cast of characters very different from the current rosters. The Chaos were without four offensive starters in Chase Fraser, Chris Cloutier, Dhane Smith and Josh Byrne as that group played for the Buffalo Bandits in the National Lacrosse League Finals. Midfielder Ian MacKay and leading faceoff specialist Max Adler were also absent due to the NLL Finals. As for the Archers, they were missing starting faceoff specialist Justin Inacio and attackmen Grant Ament and Connor Fields.
All of the aforementioned players were back by the time these teams faced off in Week 10, which makes that matchup a better reference point for this one. The in-season additions both teams have made have certainly had an impact, but the offseason moves have had a greater impact on both teams — for better or worse.
The Archers drafted Matt Moore fourth overall to be the true dodging threat they lacked in 2021. In the past two seasons, Chaos stifled an Archers offense that was filled with the best passers and finishers in the league, but lacked a dodger who could gain separation, beat his matchup and force defenses to react. Chaos exploited that in 2020 and 2021, holding Archers to nine and 10 goals, respectively. Moore was drafted to exploit defenses like Chaos that are slow to slide. In Week 2, Moore recorded four points against Chaos and teams have been forced to throw a long-stick defender on the rookie ever since.
Additionally, the Archers rarely roll out the same offensive set. Ament’s re-insertion into the lineup has allowed coach Chris Bates to run traditional attackmen like Will Manny and Marcus Holman out of the box and continue to use Tom Schreiber all over the field. The addition of Moore has forced teams to defend him with a long-stick middie, which opens up opportunities for other players to attack defensive mismatches. Ryan Ambler and Connor Fields, who thrived off ball last season, have been able to invert and exploit short-stick matchups as dodgers, while also continuing to score off ball.
Simply put, Archers have a plan to exploit whichever defensive scheme you throw at them.
Meanwhile, the Chaos have been without starting defender Johnny Surdick due to his military commitments. After trying out rookie Brett Kennedy as a replacement during the early part of the season, the Chaos started using long-stick midfielders CJ Costabile and Troy Reh as their third defender. The result was a defense that allowed goalie Blaze Riorden to see a league-high 428 shots. In the PLL Quarterfinals, Chaos opted to use Matt Rees down low, which helped Chaos hold their first round opponent to just three goals.
However, the team still allowed 35 shots and relied on Riorden to make way too many saves (15). Their early slide approach to defusing the Chrome offense was effective in forcing the Chrome to take bad shots, but the Chrome offense also played far too tight, allowing Chaos to stay packed in and force lower-quality, outside looks. While their defensive scheme worked against the second-worst settled offense in terms of efficiency, it likely won’t work against the most efficient offense in the league. Riorden could have another 19-save game, but it’s likely we’ll still see a similar result to their Week 10 matchup — in which Chaos lost by multiple goals. That’s why I like Archers to not only win, but cover as 1.5-point favorites (-122 on FanDuel).
The week 10 matchup was a prime Chaos-Archers game. Chaos controlled the possession battle and disrupted the Archers offense enough to force them to make poor decisions and take low-quality shots early on. The Archers still managed to get plenty of quality looks as the game progressed and would have had a more sizable lead had Riorden not made so many stops. With the exception of the Archers coming away with a win, the game was reminiscent of many previous matchups: Chaos slowed the tempo and relied on Riorden to make stops, while Archers struggled to make the most of limited possessions.
I expect Archers to have more success offensively and for Justin Inacio to give them more quality possessions, but I still expect this game to be low-scoring. Riorden should keep the Archers offense from posting a high scoring total and the Archers defense is sound enough to stifle Chaos. I’m betting this game to fall under the total of 23.5 (-110 on FanDuel), as six of the past seven meetings between these teams have.
Picks: Archers -1.5, Under 23.5
Player Prop Bets
The play of the Archers defense last week, particularly their short-stick defensive midfielders, is also an encouraging sign for betting the under — and a specific player prop.
Dhane Smith consistently puts up two or three points per game, but rarely records four or more. Since Smith’s seven-point game in Dallas, his points prop has remained high at 3.5 and he has yet to go over that mark in the four games that followed. Furthermore, Smith has gone over this mark just once in the past four games against the Archers. In fact, he’s recorded more than three points just six times in his past 27 games.
While we can’t bet under 3.5 points at the nice value of +100 like earlier this season, Smith’s statistical odds of going over 3.5 points is just 22% — way lower than the 40.82% implied odds being offered by sportsbooks via the price of -145. I recommend betting Smith to go under his points prop of 3.5 and would play it down to -160.
On the flip side, former Chaos attackman Connor Fields has been extremely productive for the Archers lately. He’s recorded three or more points in four of seven games this season, including the past three straight games. While listed as a midfielder, Fields has benefitted from more runs on attack and has thrived both as an off-ball finisher and dodger drawing short-stick matchups. While it’s juiced at -145, it is still a favorable number to bet him to go over his points prop at 2.5, especially considering that he’s recorded three points in the past three meetings with his former team.
Picks: Dhane Smith Under 3.5 Points, Connor Fields Over 2.5 Points