Opening Weekend Electricity: PLL Week 1 Predictions Part 2
Just like that, the 2021 Premier Lacrosse League Season is underway. If Friday night’s contest between the Cannons and the Redwoods is a preview of what is to come, then we are in for a real treat of a season.
Photo by @PremierLacrosse on Twitter
I decided to wait until the Friday games were played to write this blog since those teams also had games scheduled for today. With that being said, let's get into these PLL picks.
** The PLL games will be broadcast on the NBC group of networks including Peacock TV which involves a subscription. So I will include next to each game where it can be viewed.**
6/6 1:00 PM ET Waterdogs (-121 ML) (-1.5) vs Cannons (-106) (+1.5) (O/U 22.5) **NBCSN**
Lacrosse is a game of runs. Friday’s games really proved that. The game went back and forth all night, both teams getting out to multi goal leads at different points. They say that goals are like bananas because they come in bunches; that was certainly true when the Cannons and the Redwoods met, each team putting up 3 to 4 goals at a time. Unfortunately, our Cannons ML play fell just short as they lost 12-11. The Cannons ended up covering the 1.5 goal spread, but we only deal in the picks we make here at Pickin’ Winners. The Cannons certainly showed plenty of upside. It seems that Lyle Thompson picked up right where he left off in MLL, as he scored the first goal of the game on his first touch. It makes lax fans everywhere happy to see one of the greats back on the big stage. I know lacrosse fans remember league co-founder Paul Rabil having a sub par bubble season, but Friday night was proof that the Cannons know how to get the most of him under normal circumstances, as he racked up three goals and an assist. This showed as all why he was once considered the best player in the world. Their defense also looked rock solid, snagging turnovers and turning defense into offense. Sunday will be the Waterdogs first outing of the 2021 season. This season will also be their first true season in team history, as last year the club made their debut in the two week bubble. The Pups drafted Michael Sowers with the second overall pick in the collegiate draft, and I’m sure he is looking to make an impact in the pro’s. They also acquired the arguably best shooter in the world, Ryan Brown, and Team Canada goalie, Dillon Ward. They didn’t have the best showing in the bubble and we’re all anxious to see the improvements they’ve made. In this game, I’m rocking with the Cannons to cover the spread (+1.5). They seriously impressed me Friday night, and were a Tim Troutner save away from taking their game to OT. They showed they can produce on offense, and snuff teams out with their stout defense. I think they win outright, but the spread is a safe play since the PLL is notorious for 1 goal thrillers.
The pick: Cannons (+1.5)
6/6 3:45 PM ET Chrome (+112) (+1.5) vs Redwoods (-143) (-1.5) (O/U 24.5) **Peacock TV**
Since we already recapped the Cannons side of Friday night’s game, let's break down what the Woods showed us. Rob Pannell still does Rob Pannell things. He had three goals and two assists while shaking up defenders with his well known moves. He showed how dominant he still is, getting to the goal from behind as he hit his patented question mark dodge to kick off the season. It was great to see Jules Heningburg out there, scoring as he had to miss the bubble due to COVID complications last year. Like I said in the previous blog, the Woods drafted TD Ierlan to fill in their faceoff spot and he did just that. He ended up dominating the X, winning 21 of 27 faceoffs. The Redwoods also proved that they may have the best defense in the league by taking the ball away and commanding their half of the field. They were also running a lot of guys as midfielders out of the box that are usually attackmen. This will be a trend in the league as teams continue to gain more offensive talent. As for the Chrome, this will be their first showing of the season. They were the most improved team last year, by a landslide, and they’re planning to continue that upward trajectory. They've offensive production all over the place. Their two quarterbacks are Jordan Wolf and Justin Guterding, both putting up huge numbers last year. The self-proclaimed beauties also managed to acquire another offensive stud in Colin Heacock from the MLL in the expansion draft. The bottom line for the Chrome’s offense is that they can put it in the back of the net from just about any spot on the field. They also have the milk-drinking Thor look alike Connor Farrell at the face off X, and a great defense and goalie. This is a tough game to pick though, after seeing only one of these teams play. I’m rolling with the Chrome in this one. Their offense is incredibly multi-faceted, and with the Redwoods coming off only two days of rest, the Chrome should be able to capitalize.
The pick: Chrome (+112)
Those are my picks for the Sunday, June 6th games. Stay tuned for another blog dropping soon with my predictions for next weekend's games. If you like my picks, or disagree with me, let me know on Twitter @t_hohenshelt. Let’s have ourselves a summer and make ourselves some money, responsibly.