Download the App Image

Premier Lacrosse League MVP Future Odds: 7 Candidates to Consider

Premier Lacrosse League MVP Future Odds: 7 Candidates to Consider article feature image
Credit:

CHESTER, PA – SEPTEMBER 05: Atlas LC faceoff Trevor Baptiste (9) in action during the Premier Lacrosse League semi-final game between Atlas and Chaos on September 5, 2021, at Subaru Park in Chester, PA. (Photo by M. Anthony Nesmith/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

There are just two weeks left in the Premier Lacrosse League regular season and the PLL MVP race continues to heat up. Following the regular season, players and coaches will vote to determine the finalists for the end-of-season awards. Once the finalists are determined, members of the media, the PLL front office and PLL advisory board will vote to determine the winners of the awards, which will be announced prior to the 2022 PLL Championship on September 18.

For full disclosure, I have bet Trevor Baptiste, Lyle Thompson, Will Manny, Jeff Teat and Kyle Bernlohr at various points this season. My breakdown of each player’s odds is not necessarily a recommendation on who to bet, but rather an examination of each of the top seven candidates’ odds and what will need to happen in the final two weeks for them to become a finalist for the award. Let’s take a look at each MVP contender’s candidacy so far.

If you’re an avid bettor who’s new to lacrosse or a lacrosse fan who’s new to betting, check out my guide on how to bet on lacrosse for some tips to use when placing a lacrosse bet.

The must-have app for bettors

The best betting scoreboard

Free picks from proven pros

Live win probabilities for your bets

Trevor Baptiste

Odds: +135 (BetMGM), +150 (DraftKings)

There is no doubt Trevor Baptiste is having an MVP-caliber season. Baptiste currently leads the league in faceoff percentage at 70% and has helped Atlas to a 5-3 record through his ability to both gain a possession advantage and generate offense in transition. He opened at a whopping +10000 prior to the start of the season and his odds are now no longer than +150.

Reasons to Bet

Baptiste is the favorite to win MVP for a reason. He is having the best season of his career statistically and his win percentage is rivaled by only Joe Nardella during the shortened 2020 PLL season (72% through six games) and Greg Gurenlian during the 2015 Major League Lacrosse season (73% through 13 games). Gurenlian’s 2015 season also earned him the honor of being the only faceoff specialist to win MVP. At his current trajectory, Baptiste is poised to become the second. 

Although Atlas has many stars, none have been more valuable than Baptiste. In the only game he missed, the Atlas suffered a 16-15 loss to the 3-5 Redwoods and his replacement won only 37.9% of his faceoffs. Baptiste has also recorded 64 groundballs and nine points, which ranks first among faceoff athletes.

Reasons to Wait or Pass

Baptiste’s MVP odds have taken a lot of steam since his return to the lineup two weeks ago after missing one game with a hamstring injury. His odds on DraftKings were +500 during the All-Star break before dropping down to +400 following week eight. Once his odds posted, he was quickly bet down to +275 and is now +135 on BetMGM and +150 on DraftKings.

While Baptiste still has the strongest case, his current odds are too short when you consider he’ll have two tough matchups against Whipsnakes faceoff athlete Joe Nardella and Chaos faceoff athlete Max Adler. If Baptiste doesn’t dominate and Atlas drop one or both of those games, it could leave the door open for an offensive player to move into contention. While it is almost certain Baptiste will be named a finalist for MVP, you could wait to get slightly better odds if he struggles against Nardella and his odds may not get too much shorter if he ends up delivering another big game at the stripe.

Lyle Thompson

Odds: +300 (BetMGM), +250 (DraftKings)

Few players mean more to their team than Lyle Thompson. He won MVP as a member of the Bayhawks in 2019 and was also a finalist for MVP last season. Thompson is regarded by many as the best player in the world and when you have that pedigree, you deserve MVP consideration.

Reasons to Bet

Lyle is the heartbeat of a team that features a lot of young talent. Despite their playoff chances dwindling, Thompson is the main reason the Cannons have been competitive this season. He has been averaging more than five points per game and leads the league in points (36) and goals (22) despite missing one game. Despite the Cannons’ 1-7 record, Thompson has one of the best cases for being his team’s MVP when you compare him to other offensive players. If the Cannons can win back-to-back games in the final two weeks and secure a playoff berth, Thompson could become the favorite.

Reasons to Wait or Pass 

As good as Thompson has been and as valuable as he is to his team, it is tough to justify giving the award to a player whose team could finish with one win and miss the playoffs. Thompson was a candidate last season and put up similar stats, but the Cannons dismal regular season record hurt his MVP chances.

While we have seen players on teams with losing records named as finalists and even win the award, history has shown the regular season is heavily weighted and it takes a full season of consistent excellence and potentially a playoff run to get voters on board. Thompson will be a finalist for MVP, but in order to have a realistic chance at winning MVP, the Cannons will need to win out and qualify for the playoffs. Unless you are certain the Cannons can rattle off wins against the Chrome and Whipsnakes, it’s best to just wait.

Will Manny

Odds: +900 (BetMGM), +600 (DraftKings)

Will Manny was an early favorite to win MVP after leading an Archers offense that ranks first in offensive efficiency (33.3%) and shooting percentage (34%). However, back-to-back subpar games have led him to be less involved in the MVP discussion.

Reasons to Bet

When Manny has been on his game, he’s been lights out. The attackman is just two weeks removed from leading the league in points and assists. He currently sits second in points with 32 and second in assists with 16 through eight games. While he’s been quiet by his standards in the past two games, the Archers’ remaining games against Chaos and Waterdogs are actually favorable matchups for the lefty goal scorer.

Reasons to Wait or Pass

Manny’s case for MVP looked much better a few weeks ago, but unfortunately a string of Archers losses and quiet games from Manny have created doubt around his MVP campaign. Part of the dip in production can be attributed to 2021 MVP finalist Grant Ament’s return to a lineup that is loaded with impact players, including two-time MVP and perennial finalist Tom Schreiber.

With so much talent surrounding Manny, it’s tough to quantify which players benefit more from playing with each other — a good problem to have for head coach Chris Bates, but not for MVP bettors. Manny has the potential to have some big games down the stretch, but it likely won’t be enough to derail the campaigns of Baptiste and Lyle and might not even earn him a chance to be a finalist.

Kieran McArdle

Odds: +900 (BetMGM), +600 (DraftKings)

Kieran McArdle’s emergence as an MVP candidate is a fascinating one. The veteran attackman went from splitting time on attack to start the season, to being a centerpiece in the lineup thanks to a seven-point performance against Chrome in week three. Since then, he’s been a force on offense and has yet to record less than three points through five games.

Reasons to Bet

McArdle can be considered a dark horse who hasn’t been in the MVP conversation until recently. When compared to the other attackmen with +900 odds on BetMGM (Manny and Teat), McArdle has arguably made the biggest impact on his team down the stretch. Atlas and Archers both started hot, but have faltered recently with Manny and Teat both delivering a couple of subpar performances.

Since becoming a mainstay on the Waterdogs attack line, McArdle has done nothing but consistently put up points as a goal-scorer and feeder. He ranks third in points and first in assists this season — an impressive accomplishment for a player not named to the All-Star game. McArdle has arguably the most favorable matchup this week against an underwhelming Redwoods defense, when compared to Baptiste (vs. Joe Nardella), Thompson (vs. Chrome defense), Bernlohr (vs. Atlas offense.)

Reasons to Wait or Pass

While McArdle deserves a ton of recognition, there currently isn’t a strong enough narrative for the lefty attackman when compared to Baptiste. Unlike Thompson, McArdle is on a Waterdogs team filled with guys arguably just as valuable as him (Dillon Ward, Zach Currier, etc.). McArdle has been extremely underrated for a while and deserves all the recent praise he has garnered, but barring two massive games to close out the season, his chances of winning will remain slim behind Baptiste, Thompson and Bernlohr. 

Jeff Teat

Odds: +900 (BetMGM), +800 (DraftKings)

The PLL’s Joe Keegan predicted Teat would be in the running for this year’s MVP and for the first two weeks of the season, it looked like Teat could run away with it. Since his 12-point showing through two games, Teat has cooled down (by his standards) and only recorded more than three points one more time.

Reasons to Bet 

Teat is now a longshot relative to his start to the season. His odds to win MVP opened at +400 (DraftKings) before moving to +225 after two weeks. You can get him at +900 (BetMGM), which is the longest odds he’s had all season. However, as of right now, that is the only reason (and not necessarily a good one) to bet Jeff Teat.

Reasons to Wait or Pass

Please refer to Trevor Baptiste above …

Seriously, the biggest threat to Teat’s MVP case is his teammate. It’s hard for a player to win MVP when it’s easier to make the case for another member of the team. Furthermore, Teat sits behind Thompson, McArdle and Manny in the stat column, which makes it tough to bet him. Unless Baptiste faces off at below 50% and Teat drops a pair of seven-point performances in the next two games, Teat will remain in the shadow of Atlas’ other MVP candidate.

Brendan Nichtern

Odds: +1600 (BetMGM), +1400 (DraftKings)

Following four key retirements, Chrome had several gaps to fill this offseason, including replacing Jordan Wolf on attack. Head coach Tim Soudan found Wolf’s replacement in the form of former Army standout Brendan Nichtern, who has been an effective leader of the Chrome offense and has done so at an elite level.

Reasons to Bet

The 9th overall pick in the 2022 PLL College Draft is having an incredible rookie season, recording 31 points (tied for third) and 16 assists (tied for second). He’s led a Chrome team that went 2-7 last season to its first ever playoff berth and has done so against some of the top defenders in the league.

Reasons to Wait or Pass

Nichtern’s MVP case suffers from the same problem as McArdle and Manny in that he is surrounded by other equally talented players. Fellow 2022 draft pick Logan Wisnauskas has also been a key addition to the Chrome offense and he’s put up similar numbers as Nichtern.

The presence of another star player weakens Nichtern’s case for MVP. Nichtern will likely finish this season with Rookie of the Year honors, but when it comes to MVP, his resume isn’t strong enough to throw a bet his way.

Kyle Bernlohr

Odds: +2000 (BetMGM), +1500 (DraftKings)

No other player’s MVP odds have moved more drastically than those of Whipsnakes goaltender Kyle Bernlohr. The two-time PLL champion opened with the longest possible odds in the league at +15000 and stayed there despite the Whips’ hot start. The Whipsnakes are now one win away from a first round bye and the top seed in the playoffs.

Reasons to Bet

While the Whipsnakes have plenty of stars, including former MVPs Matt Rambo (2019) and Zed Williams (2020), no other player has meant more to the Whips during their 7-1 run. Bernlohr helped the Whips squeak out several one-goal games and made some spectacular saves at critical times. Excluding the shortened six-game 2020 season, Bernlohr’s save percentage (57%) this year is currently tied for his best as a pro. He also has the highest save percentage in the league, despite facing the third most shots (100) through eight games.

Reasons to Wait or Pass

Bernlohr probably has the third best case behind only Baptiste and Thompson, despite currently having odds as long as +2000. Yet, for whatever reason, Bernlohr just isn’t getting the same amount of love as the other finalists on this list. Part of the lack of buzz could be due to a defense that is playing really well in front of him. 

Another reason could be that goalies are often overlooked for the award as only two goalies have won MVP (Greg Cattrano and Blaze Riorden) in pro field lacrosse’s 21-year history. While Riorden’s MVP campaign was just last year, he posted a 61% save percentage on a whopping 149 shots during the regular season. Along with Riorden, Adam Ghitelman and Tim Troutner both posted regular season save percentages higher than Bernlohr’s current mark.

As good as Bernlohr has been this season, we as bettors are ultimately trying to predict a winner. Bernlohr deserves to be in the conversation, but he’ll need to have two big games against the Atlas and Cannons to cement himself.

How would you rate this article?