Premier Lacrosse League Odds, Picks, Predictions: Our Best Bets for Chaos vs. Whipsnakes & Atlas vs. Redwoods
HEMPSTEAD, NY – JULY 04: Whipsnakes midfielder Brad Smith (27) controls the ball during the Professional Lacrosse League game between the Whipsnakes and the Archers on July 4,2021 at James M. Shuart Stadium in Hempstead, NY. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
- The Premier Lacrosse League’s 2022 season gets underway this weekend with two matchups on Saturday.
- The first game features a rematch of the 2021 PLL Championship as Whipsnakes LC and Chaos LC go head-to-head. The second matchup features Atlas LC and Redwoods LC.
- Hutton Jackson breaks down the matchups below.
The Premier Lacrosse League’s 2022 season gets underway this weekend in Albany, N.Y., with two matchups on Saturday. The first game of the day features a rematch of the 2021 PLL Championship as the two-time champion Whipsnakes LC and defending champion Chaos LC go head-to-head. The second matchup, which will air on ESPN, features two of the most lauded teams entering this season in Atlas LC and Redwoods LC. Let’s take a look at each matchup and discuss how to bet them.
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.
Whipsnakes (-1.5) vs. Chaos
|Time||Saturday, 2:15 p.m. ET|
Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook.
The first game of the 2021 PLL season has seen the most line movement so far. When the line opened on DraftKings three weeks ago, Whipsnakes were 1.5-point underdogs and -110 on the moneyline. However, following the news that Chaos would be missing six players due to the PLL season’s overlap with the National Lacrosse League Finals (professional indoor lacrosse), the line quickly flipped. The Chaos will be without four of their top five scorers in Chase Fraser, Chris Cloutier, Dhane Smith and Josh Byrne, as well as starting faceoff athlete Max Adler and midfielder Ian MacKay for the next two or three weeks.
On the flip side, the Whips will only be missing attackman Zed Williams and they strengthened their already deep roster via the 2022 PLL College Draft. According to PLL analyst Joe Keegan, Brad Smith will likely be featured in the Whipsnakes attack in place of Williams. Smith is already a lethal scorer from the midfield and has averaged 2.5 points through the first 18 games of his career.
The Whipsnakes have also been one of the top teams in the league for the past three years, making it to the championship each season and winning it twice. Despite losing to the Chaos in last year’s championship, the Whipsnakes traditionally matchup well against them and have won by an average of 5.2 goals per game in their five wins over the Chaos since 2019.
While the Chaos offense will be missing a lot of key starters, they were able to add some top offensive talent from the waiver wire prior to training camp. The offense may struggle a bit to find chemistry in its first full game as a group, but ultimately it’s the absence of Adler that could have the biggest impact on this game.
Whipsnakes faceoff specialist Joe Nardella has been one of the best at the stripe since the PLL began in 2019. In the past three seasons, he’s won more than 61% of his faceoffs. In last year’s championship game, Adler went head-to-head with Nardella and managed to keep him under 52%. With Adler absent, the Chaos will roll out a combination of Tommy Kelly and Jerry Ragonese. Kelly only won 38% of his faceoffs in 2020 and just 27% in two games last season before being cut. Ragonese won 30% in just one game in 2019 for the Redwoods and hasn’t played since. Both were capable faceoff athletes in their prime, but it will be a tough ask for either to neutralize Nardella this weekend.
I think the Whipsnakes, who are operating at mostly full strength, will have a possession advantage in this game thanks to the presence of Nardella and the absence of Adler. Due to this — and the various newcomers on the Chaos roster — I think the Whips win and cover the 1.5-point spread. I also like Brad Smith to go over his points prop of 2.5 points on DraftKings
Pick: Whipsnakes -1.5, Brad Smith Over 2.5 Points
Atlas (-1.5) vs. Redwoods
|Time||Saturday, 5 p.m. ET|
Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook.
Saturday’s second matchup has the makings of an all-out slugfest. Both teams enter the 2022 season with championship aspirations and boast arguably the deepest rosters in the PLL.
The Atlas followed up an impressive 2021 campaign — which saw Rookie of the Year Jeff Teat finish third in points despite playing two fewer games — by selecting the NCAA’s all-time points leader, Chris Gray, with their second-overall pick. While the presence of Gray and Teat may spell doom for many PLL teams, the Redwoods drafted a counter to Gray in third-overall pick Arden Cohen, a former Notre Dame defenseman who held Gray to just three points (his lowest total of the season) in their 2021 matchup. The addition of Cohen allows the Redwoods to move Garrett Epple off of the opposing team’s top attackman and roam around the field wreaking havoc more freely — which is what he does best.
The Atlas defense also improved, having added long-pole Koby Smith with the fifth-overall pick in the 2022 PLL College Draft. Their three starting defenders Tucker Durkin, Cade Van Raaphorst and Michael Rexrode return to form a defense that got better as the 2021 season progressed. The Atlas also feature two of the top short-stick defenders in Jake Richard and Danny Logan, the 2021 Short-Stick Defensive Midfielder of the Year. Overall, this defense should be able to give the Redwoods offense some trouble on Saturday.
According to the Bet On Lacrosse Report, six of the Atlas’ 11 games last season fell below 24.5, while four of the Redwoods’ 10 games fell below that number. Despite the wealth of offensive talent on both sides, the Redwoods in particular play at one of the slowest paces in the PLL and were last in transition opportunities last season. The Redwoods like to settle into their six-on-six offense, which leads to more drawn out possessions and plays into a lower-scoring game.
Overall, despite offensive talent on both teams, I expect this game to be a grind and am betting the total to fall under 24.5.
Pick: Under 24.5
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