Premier Lacrosse League Week 1 Picks: PLL Best Bets for Archers vs Waterdogs, Atlas vs Cannons

Premier Lacrosse League Week 1 Picks: PLL Best Bets for Archers vs Waterdogs, Atlas vs Cannons article feature image

FOXBOROUGH, MA – SEPTEMBER 04: Cannons attack Asher Nolting (32) and Atlas defense Michael Rexrode (22) in action during the Premier Lacrosse League quarterfinal match between Cannons and Atlas on September 4, 2023, at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, MA. (Photo by M. Anthony Nesmith/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The 2024 Premier Lacrosse League season gets underway Saturday with a rematch of the 2023 PLL Championship featuring the Utah Archers and Philadelphia Waterdogs, followed by a Boston vs. New York matchup between the Cannons and Atlas. I have five best bets for opening day and a future bet to place before PLL Week 1 gets underway.

Let’s take a look at the betting angles for Saturday.

Utah Archers vs. Philadelphia Waterdogs

Utah (+1.5)Moneyline (-115)
Philadelphia (-1.5)Moneyline (-115)
TimeSaturday · 1 p.m. ET

Odds via bet365

The Utah Archers and Philadelphia Waterdogs will meet for the fourth time in the last 10 months. These teams split the regular season series in 2023 and the Archers came out on top in last year’s finale. Each of the three games were decided by a goal and that’s reflected in this year’s matchup with the game a pick ‘em on most sportsbooks. The total is at 25.5 at most sportsbooks, but bet365 and ESPN BET currently have it at 24.5.

Last season, all three meetings between these teams went well over 24.5. In fact, the average total between the Archers and Waterdogs was 31 goals. While that doesn’t guarantee this matchup will also be high-scoring, I expect these lethal offenses to play fast and efficient on Saturday.

Both teams have typically been well-balanced, but Utah in particular is dealing with some turnover on the defensive end. Matt McMahon retired this offseason and their top defender, Graeme Hossack, is on the holdout list. Utah will likely start Cam Wyers and either Mason Woodward or Jack DiBenedetto at close defense. Additionally, short-stick defensive midfielder Latrell Harris is still injured and long-stick midfielder Jared Conners was traded in the offseason.

This unit has a ton of upside and is anchored by standout goaltender Brett Dobson, but they could have their hands full in their first game together against this high-powered Waterdogs offense that added Matt Brandau to an already strong squad. While Philadelphia returns all its starters on defense, the Archers finished last season with the most efficient offense in the league and should be able to do their part to push this total over 24.5. Bet this game to surpass 24.5 at -125 on bet365.

I’m also betting Philadelphia attackman Michael Sowers to go over his points prop of 3.5 points. Sowers had four or more points in seven of 13 games last season, including two of three games against the Archers. With this Utah defense featuring two new starters down low, I anticipate Sowers will be able to exploit his matchups and get plenty of opportunities as a goal scorer and passer. Bet Sowers to go over 3.5 points at +102 on FanDuel.

Picks: Over 24.5 | Michael Sowers Over 3.5 Points

New York Atlas vs. Boston Cannons

New York (+1.5) Odds+110
Boston (-1.5) Odds-130
TimeSaturday · 3:30 p.m. ET

Odds via BetMGM

In the second Saturday game, the New York Atlas hosts the Boston Cannons, with Boston a 1.5-point favorite and the total as high as 25.5.

I already wrote about how much I like the Boston Cannons to make a run at a championship this season and still like them to do so even with starting defender and captain Jack Kielty suffering a season-ending injury. While Kielty is a big loss, Boston added reigning defender of the year Garrett Epple and two-time PLL champion Bryce Young to its defense and has the depth to overcome Kielty's absence. While I also expect Atlas to improve this season, I like the early matchup for Boston.

The Cannons added Pat Kavanagh, who won lacrosse’s award for best college player this week, to one of the best offenses in the league last season. While New York added some notable additions of its own — one of which I’ll discuss later — I think Boston matches up well with an Atlas team it swept in three games last year. Bet Cannons -1.5 at +105.

The Cannons offense is led by 2023 MVP candidate Asher Nolting and I expect him to have another big game against Atlas. His points prop is 3.5, which is a mark he went over in nine of 12 games last season, including all three against the Atlas. Not only is this line too low, the price to bet Nolting to go over is +100 on BetMGM. Bet Nolting to record four points or more Saturday.

In addition to his points prop, I also recommend betting Nolting to win 2024 PLL MVP at his current odds of +2500. While Nolting was a finalist last season, his case was somewhat diluted by the excellent season that fellow attackman Marcus Holman had. While Holman could still affect Nolting’s MVP narrative this season, I think we’ll see Nolting gain even more recognition as the Cannons’ quarterback on offense, and the odds are good enough to bet him to be a finalist again.

Another prop I like is for New York rookie Connor Shellenberger to record more than 2.5 points at +120 on BetMGM. Shellenberger finds himself in a great situation, joining an attack line with his former Virginia teammate Xander Dickson and perennial MVP candidate Jeff Teat. Shellenberger is already my early pick for 2024 rookie of the year and I think this is a great price to bet this rookie to record three points in his PLL debut.

Picks: Boston Cannons -1.5 | Asher Nolting Over 3.5 Points & Nolting to Win MVP | Connor Shellenberger Over 2.5 Points

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