Premier Lacrosse League Odds, Picks: Atlas vs. Waterdogs Betting Preview (Saturday, September 3)
Atlas’ Jack Concannon (12) defends the net during a Premier Lacrosse League game against the Archers, Saturday, June 5, 2021, in Foxborough, Mass. The Archers won 18-6. (AP Photo/Steve Luciano)
The 2022 Premier Lacrosse League Quarterfinals wrap with a game between the fourth-seeded Atlas and fifth-seeded Waterdogs. The Atlas enter as 1.5-point favorites, despite losing to the Waterdogs by a goal earlier this season. The total is currently set at 25.5 on BetMGM and most other sportsbooks.
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Atlas (-1.5) vs. Waterdogs
|Time||Saturday, 5 p.m. ET|
Odds via BetMGM.
The Atlas have struggled as favorites against the spread this season, covering in only two of their seven games as favorites. Both those covers came in the first two weeks of the season. On the flipside, the Waterdogs have thrived as underdogs against the spread, covering in five of seven games this season and 10 of 15 games dating back to last season.
As enticing as Waterdogs +1.5 is, there are a few underlying issues that give me pause. To start, the Waterdogs rank second-to-last in faceoff percentage, going 41% this season, and will face MVP candidate and leading faceoff athlete Trevor Baptiste. Additionally, the Waterdogs still struggle in the substitution game and give up easy transition goals. While I don't expect Atlas to push transition too much this game, they are still the third most efficient transition offense.
When considering their last meeting with Atlas, the Waterdogs benefitted from some opportunistic plays and unforced errors from Atlas. While Baptiste's dominance at the faceoff didn't directly correlate to a win, it did allow Atlas to erase a three-goal deficit in the fourth quarter to take the lead before surrendering it on a broken transition play in the final minute. Unforced turnovers, defensive collapses and multiple unlucky goals that were nearly saved by Jack Concannon is what doomed the Atlas in the 16-15 loss.
However, the Atlas are just as undisciplined as the Waterdogs, which makes backing them on the spread just as risky. While I do think the Atlas can deploy a game plan similar to their two wins over Archers (control the tempo and press out on Waterdogs to disrupt passing), their track record makes me pass on the spread all together.
I do like a play on the total in this game though. Their first meeting was a back-and-forth scoring fest that saw plenty of transition goals and three combined two-pointers. Concannon also posted his worst save percentage, only stopping 46% of the shots he saw.
However, if you watched the game, you'd notice there were quite a few saves that Concannon nearly had. This game was an outlier for Concannon, who's stopped an average of 55% of shots this season.
On the other side, Dillon Ward kept his team in the game, recording 17 saves and stopping 57% of the shots he faced. He was doomed by a pair of two-point goals in the first meeting and I think he'll be able to prevent more goals in this matchup.
The game plan for Atlas will be to slow the tempo and not get into a track meet with Waterdogs. That will play to the under and Atlas' advantage at the faceoff should allow them to control the flow of the game. This is only the third time we've seen a total if 25.5 and in both previous times, the total fell under. Going back to last season, totals of 25.5 have gone under in nine of 10 games.
I think we see better showings from both defenses and am betting the game to fall under the total of 25.5 (-120 on BetMGM).
Pick: Under 25.5
Player Prop Bets
While I do expect this total to stay under 25.5, there are two player props I think are worth betting the over.
Connor Kelly has delivered some big performances this season, including a five-point game against the Atlas. He's lacked consistency though and failed to record a goal in four games this year and was held scoreless in two games, including against the Achers last week. Yet, I think this allowed him to draw a favorable 2.5 points prop this week.
Despite the feast-or-famine play, Kelly has gone over 2.5 points in half of his games this season and has the most two-point goals this season with four. He had a two-pointer in the Dogs' last meeting with Atlas and Concannon's inability to stop two-pointers (leads the league with nine allowed) has been his biggest weakness. I think this matchup sets Kelly up well to go over his points prop of 2.5 (-115 on BetMGM).
I also like Jack Hannah to go over his points prop of 1.5. Hannah is averaging 6.5 shots per game and has had a multi-point game four times this season, including against Atlas in their last meeting. He's going to get opportunities to score and has been burying them as of late.
While he's been a bit hit or miss this season like Kelly, going over his points prop of 1.5 (+120 on BetMGM) is very attainable against the Atlas.
Picks: Connor Kelly Over 2.5 Points, Jack Hannah Over 1.5 Points