Conference Tournament Predictions
Well everyone, it is officially postseason lacrosse time. Conference tournaments are underway and teams are battling for their conference automatic qualifiers. The objective is simple, win and you are in. Time to break it down.
**Odds provided by Draft Kings Sportsbook**
Army -1.5 vs Loyola Maryland O/U 24.5
This is one of the two patriot league semi final games. This conference is one of few that lets the top six teams in the tournament as opposed to four. When these teams met in the regular season the Black Knights emerged victorious 14-12. As we break down the season the Troops seem to have the edge in this one. Army has 201 goals for and 152 against while Loyola has only put up 174 and allowed 172. Army also has the X factor of Senior Attackman Brendan Nichtern (35G, 51A). Army also has 4 other players with 20 plus goals. I think they overwhelm the Loyola defense and get it done. I will be playing it safe with Troops straight up.
The Pick: Army ML -140
Penn -1.5 vs Brown O/U 24.5
The Brown Bears might just be the hottest team in all of college lacrosse right now. They beat Penn in the regular season so I am a big fan of them in the +1.5 spot. Four of Penn’s eight wins have been by one goal this year. What I think is super interesting is that Penn has turned the ball over 214 times this year while their opponents have only turned it over 192. What that means to me is that the Quakers have the tendency to waste possessions and gift opportunities to other teams which is probably why so many of their games have been close. I believe that a team like Brown will definitely take advantage of these opportunities. The Bears also clear the ball at a higher rate than Penn which also just means more chances to score. GIven all these factors and the upward trajectory of this Brown team, I think it is fair to say Bruno is the play.
The Pick: Brown +1.5
St Bonaventure -1.5 vs Manhattan O/U 20.5
Oh baby, we have some MAACtion on the blog this week. The Bonnies have made a name for themselves and only their third year as a varsity program. In 2019 they did not win a single game but now they are 11-3 and 5-1 in the conference. A large part of their success is due to goalkeeper Brett Dobson. He currently is saving the ball at a 66% clip and posting multiple 20+ save games. He boasts 216 saves and 110 goals allowed on the season. He also made history by being the first person to forgo extra eligibility in favor of pursuing a professional lacrosse career in the PLL. The Bonnies are a shining example of where the sport can go in terms of expansion into new schools. In the regular season they beat Manhattan 15-9 and I am expecting more of the same. In that game, St. Bonaventure led in two major categories, face off wins and saves. If a goalie and faceoff man are hot then that gains extra possessions and therefore more opportunities. I have to ride with the Bonnies.
The Pick: St. Bonaventure -1.5
Those are my predictions for this weekend's games. Stay tuned for another blog dropping soon with my predictions for next time. If you like my picks, or disagree with me, let me know on Twitter @t_hohenshelt. As always lets have ourselves a weekend and make some money, responsibly.