Premier Lacrosse League Betting Odds & Prediction: PLL Bets for Waterdogs vs. Whipsnakes (July 2)
CHESTER, PA – SEPTEMBER 05: Whipsnakes LC attack Matt Rambo (9) and Waterdogs LC defense Ben Randall (44) 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 Premier Lacrosse League season continues Saturday as the Whipsnakes face the Waterdogs.
- The Waterdogs are home underdogs in this matchup as they look for revenge against the Whipsnakes after their earlier matchup this season.
- Hutton Jackson breaks down the matchup and shares his best bet below.
The first rematch of the 2022 Premier Lacrosse League season occurs when the Whipsnakes play the Waterdogs on Saturday night. The undefeated Whipsnakes enter as 1.5-point favorites again, despite failing to cover the spread when defeating the Waterdogs 12-11 in Week 2. The total is currently set at 23.5 across all sportsbooks.
Let’s take a look at the matchup and see where the betting edge lies.
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Whipsnakes (-1.5) vs. Waterdogs
|Time||Saturday, 8:45 p.m. ET|
Odds via Caesars Sportsbook.
The Whipsnakes’ recent formula for their 4-0 start is to outpossess and outshoot teams, which has been helped by Joe Nardella’s dominance at the faceoff stripe and the league’s best defense.
However, their Offensive Efficiency ranks third-worst at 25.9%, and they are shooting at the second-worst rate of 25.8%. They did shoot much better last week with Zed Williams back in the lineup, but they also faced a struggling goalie in Tim Troutner, who was benched in the Redwoods’ most recent game.
The Whips defense has been key to their success as they boast the league’s lowest Opponent Efficiency Rating, thanks in large part to Kyle Bernlohr’s league-best 60% save percentage.
However, this week they’ll face the Waterdogs’ offense that ranks second in both shooting percentage and Offensive Efficiency. The Waterdogs offense is finding its groove at the right time and has been successfully initiating from all over the field. They are led by one of the league’s best shooters in Ryan Brown, who has shot an average of 48% in their last two games.
Additionally, Jay Carlson will be a key absence for the Whipsnakes. While Carlson didn’t appear on the injury report this week, he was left off the gameday roster when the starting lineup was announced.
This is significant given that not only are the Waterdogs ranked second-to-last in defending shots around the crease, but Carlson, the crease king himself, has also recorded at least a hat trick in their last three meetings. In their most recent Week 2 matchup, Carlson contributed to six of the Whipsnakes’ 12 goals. Simply put, Carlson has been the Waterdogs’ kryptonite.
The Waterdogs, on the other hand, showed a lot of promise in the last meeting. They got off to a 6-1 run against the Whipsnakes before a series of key injuries to leading faceoff athlete Jake Withers and long-stick midfielder Chris Sabia allowed the Whipsnakes to mount a 12-11 comeback win.
A large part of the Whipsnakes’ success came due to an overwhelming possession advantage once Withers and Sabia went down. The Waterdogs lost 19 of the 21 ensuing faceoffs following Withers’ injury, having to use midfielder Zach Currier at the faceoff stripe.
Since that game, the Waterdogs have added rookie faceoff athlete Zac Tucci, who has performed admirably in Jake Withers’ absence. His 50% faceoff percentage is tied for fourth in the league and ranks behind only MVP candidate Trevor Baptiste, Joe Nardella and Connor Farrell. If Tucci can keep the faceoff battle around 50-50, the Waterdogs will have a much higher chance of securing the win.
The key for the Waterdogs will be stopping Zed Williams and Matt Rambo. The Dogs defeated the Whipsnakes 11-6 last season by holding Williams to zero points on nine shots when Rambo was out of the lineup. When Rambo, Williams and Carlson all started in last year’s semifinal matchup, the Whipsnakes won 14-10, and the trio combined for 11 points.
Carlson’s absence is critical because his primary role is finding shooting spots around the crease when Williams and Rambo draw the attention of the defense. Rookies Jackson Reid and Keegan Khan haven’t shown the ability to play that role just yet, though midfielder Bryan Cole could take some runs at attack and fill the Carlson void around the crease.
I think this Waterdogs defense, which held Chaos to nine goals last week with Sabia back in the lineup, will have a better outing and limit some of the substitution errors that plagued them in their first meeting with the Whipsnakes. If they can avoid getting their offensive middies stuck on defense, and Tucci can make the faceoff battle competitive, the Waterdogs have the offense to outrun the Whipsnakes and hand them their first loss.
You can back Waterdogs +1.5 at even money on BetMGM, but I think there’s more value taking them on the moneyline at +140 on Caesars Sportsbook.
Pick: Waterdogs ML +140
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