Premier Lacrosse League Betting Odds & Picks: PLL Bets for Whipsnakes vs. Waterdogs (Sunday, September 11)
CHESTER, PA – SEPTEMBER 05: Waterdogs LC midfield Christian Mazzone (6) and Whipsnakes LC defensive midfield Jake Bernhardt (83) in action during the Premier Lacrosse League semi-final game between Whipsnakes and Waterdogs on September 5, 2021, at Subaru Park in Chester, PA. (Photo by M. Anthony Nesmith/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
The first Premier Lacrosse League semifinal of the weekend is a rematch from last year with the Whipsnakes coming off a bye to face the Waterdogs. This will be the third meeting between these two teams this season and the Whipsnakes enter as 1.5-point favorites, despite splitting — and failing to cover — the first two matchups. The total is 23.5 at FanDuel and is as high as 24.5 at some other sportsbooks.
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Whipsnakes (-1.5) vs. Waterdogs
|Time||Sunday, 1 p.m. ET|
Odds via FanDuel.
The last time these teams played, the Waterdogs handed the Whipsnakes their only loss of the season. Since that game, both teams have had impressive win streaks, with the Whips going undefeated for the remaining stretch thanks to an improved offense and stellar play from a defense headlined by 2022 Goaltender of the Year Kyle Bernlohr.
While both teams have had different routes to the semifinals, they share some similarities. Both teams take the highest number of shots in the league. The Waterdogs were first with 440 during the regular season and Whips trailed with 419. However, a large volume of shots hasn’t equated to success on offense. The Whipsnakes are shooting a league-worst 26% and the Waterdogs are the third worst at 28%.
The Whipsnakes’ formula for success has been to outshoot teams, which has been aided by Joe Nardella’s dominance at the faceoff stripe and the league’s most-efficient defense. Unfortunately, the Whipsnakes take on a Waterdogs offense that is not only the second-most efficient offense based on scores per possession, but has also had past success neutralizing Nardella at the stripe.
When these two teams met in Week 2, the Waterdogs got off to a 6-1 run against the Whipsnakes before a series of key injuries to leading faceoff athlete Jake Withers allowed Nardella to win 19-of-21 ensuing faceoffs en route to a Whipsnakes 12-11 victory. Waterdogs got off a 5-2 lead in their second meeting and fared far better thanks to rookie Zac Tucci’s play.
And yet, the Waterdogs still managed to hand the Whipsnakes their only loss of the season.
Now, Jake Withers appears to be fully healthy and is coming off a performance where he and his wingmen, Zach Currier and Ryland Rees, neutralized 2022 MVP Trevor Baptiste and won 52% off faceoffs in a 19-14 victory over Atlas.
Withers has had a lot of success in limiting Nardella, delivering a 74% faceoff performance in 2021 and going 44% and 40% in his most recent games against him. Anything around 40-50% would be great for the Waterdogs chances and anything higher would give them a major advantage.
Additionally, this Waterdogs offense has had success against the Whipsnakes defense and has proven time and time again that they can beat their one-on-one matchups. They also are able to deploy various offensive schemes, whether it’s using two-man games on the high wings to generate sweeps, or using the Whipsnakes signature slam picks to get attackmen Michael Sowers and Kieran McArdle’s hands free on the low posts.
The Waterdogs have the ability to win this game outright if Withers and the Waterdogs wings can deliver another great performance at the stripe. It’d be foolish to downplay the Whipsnakes’ ability to counter with their own wingplay, as well as diminish the impact of the Whipsnakes’ defense. However, the Waterdogs have the team to compete with the two-time PLL Champions. I like betting the Waterdogs +1.5, which you can get at -110 on FanDuel.
Picks: Waterdogs +1.5
Player Prop Bets
Although I like the Waterdogs to win, I still think the Whipsnakes will be able to generate a lot of shots on cage. Waterdogs netminder Dillon Ward has delivered down the stretch and registered at least 14 saves in the past five games. He also had a 19-save performance against the Whips in 2021 and a 12-save performance in Week 5 of this season. I think he’ll be on top of his game Sunday and like the Waterdogs to record the most saves at +105.
Another prop bet I like is Mikie Schlosser to go over a 0.5 point. Schlosser dropped three points on the Whipsnakes before getting banged up the following week and missing for a few games. Since returning to the lineup, he’s recorded at least a point in three of his past four games. It may be juiced heavily at -160, but Schlosser has looked healthy lately and is too important to the Waterdogs’ offense to stay off the score sheet.
Finally, a player I’m fading is Justin Guterding. The Whipsnakes have a lot of mouths to feed and strategically use their offensive personnel in different ways each week. This has led Guterding to become more of a role player during his tenure with the Whipsnakes and his playing time is often volatile. Despite this, the price to go under his points prop of 2.5 is just -115. Guterding has only gone over twice in the past 18 games and has never gone over this mark against the Waterdogs. Don’t think twice and bet Guterding to go under 2.5 points all the way to -130.
Picks: Waterdogs To Have the Most Saves, Mikie Schlosser Over 0.5 Point, Justin Guterding Under 2.5 Points