The gentlemen head down to Charlotte, NC this weekend for week 2 of the PLL season. There are 4 games on tap for the weekend and it all gets going tonight at 6pm on ESPN+. So to get you ready for the weekend, we have a new show for you "Slip The Picks" with all the picks and previews you need. Every week it'll be myself, Doogs, Billy Football, and then we'll be joined by a rotating 4th guest. This week we had former PLL player, current men's league legend Nick Ossello. The guy played for the Redwoods so he might know a thing or two about how that team operates. Certainly worth your listen before taking any action on the first game of the weekend tonight.
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PLL Week 2 Schedule
Friday, 6pm // Chrome (1-0) vs Redwoods (1-0) // ESPN+
The Redwoods left Albany with their tails tucked between their legs after getting spanked by the Atlas in week 1. I don't think the Redwoods are necessarily set up to be a championship contender this season, but I also think their offense is significantly better than they showed last week. Meanwhile, I think the Chrome are going to surprise a lot of people this summer. Not in a "holy shit this team is actually good" type of way, but more so in a "they have the ability to keep it close with anybody" way. They can win faceoffs, they have good finishers inside, and Dylan Molloy looks like he could be in the MVP conversation this year. So this game will mostly come down to goaltending, which the Redwoods got none of last week. I don't think that'll be the case again this week which is why I'm rolling with Redwoods -1.5 but I'm thinking it's going to be tight all game.
Friday, 8:45pm // Chaos (0-1) vs Archers (0-1) // ESPN+
The Chaos are still without a ton of their starting offensive players with guys like Josh Byrne, Dhane Smith and Tehoka Nanticoke still playing for an NLL championship with the Buffalo Bandits. But to make life a little easier for them this week, they added Austin Staats back to the roster. In case you forgot, Staats missed most of last season after getting suspended for an…off field altercation, to put it lightly. Adding Staats to the mix is definitely going to help, and the Chaos still have the best goalie on the planet in Blaze Riorden playing in front of a very solid defense led by Jack Rowlett and Jarrod Neumann.
But this is the type of game that the Archers live for. A regular season game against the defending champs where they can put together a dominant performance and trick you into believing in them being a legitimate championship contender. This is the type of game where the Archers go out and get 4-5 points out of all their top guys like Holman, Manny and Schreiber. A breakout performance from rookie Matt Moore. Even without Grant Ament in the lineup, I think this offense gets themselves rolling tonight. Will it matter in September once the playoffs roll around? That's yet to be determined. But the regular season Archers live for this shit. So I like Archers -1.5 here and I like the Over.
Saturday, 6pm // Atlas (1-0) vs Cannons (1-0) // ESPN2
I know it's only been one week but the Atlas are clearly the best team in the league right now. There's not a single weak spot on their roster. The attack is dominant, the midfielders are dominant, the D mids are dominant, the defense is dominant, they have the best faceoff specialist on the planet, and both of their goalies are great.
The Cannons are a lot better than I think most people would have given them credit for at the beginning of the season. Lyle Thompson is a top 3 lacrosse player in the world. Ryan Drenner and Shayne Jackson are great complimentary attackmen for him to work with. They have quality scoring threats running out of the box. The 6v6 defense is solid. So I think this is a great game to get the ESPN2 slot for the weekend. Whether you're at home on the couch or out at the bar or wherever, make sure you get this game on the nearest TV.
With all that being said…this Atlas team is too loaded for the Cannons to keep up with unless Nick Marrocco has another miraculous game in the cage. So I'll ride with Atlas -2.5 and the Over 24.5.
Saturday, 8:45pm // Whipsnakes (1-0) vs Waterdogs (0-1) // ESPN+
Did the Whipsnakes look dominant against a depleted Chaos roster to start the season last week? No they did not. Do the Whipsnakes care about a week 1 game when they've played in all 3 championship games in league history? No they do not. This team knows that they're going to make the playoffs no matter what, and they don't need to be playing great lacrosse until September rolls around. Especially when Zed Williams is still out of the lineup playing for an NLL championship with the Colorado Mammoth (sidenote: I'd say Waterdogs missing Dillon Ward with the Mammoth is still the bigger deal in this game than Whipsnakes missing Zed). What I'm getting at here is you shouldn't expect the Whipsnakes to look like the best team in the league anytime soon, but you also won't be surprised when they're playing for another championship at the end of the season.
So this game is definitely there for the taking for the Waterdogs. It would be a great chance for them to break the curse and get their first win with Michael Sowers in the lineup. Is it a must-win for the Waterdogs? Not quite. But I'd go ahead and say it's a can't-lose. A loss here will start to make a lot of people start to question whether or not it was a fluke they ended up with the 1-seed in last year's playoffs. And I'm pretty sure we'll get the answer to those questions when the Waterdogs end up getting spanked around by the Whipsnakes in Charlotte on Saturday night to close out the weekend. I love the Whipsnakes here and I love them big. Whips -1.5.
The Waterdogs might not come out on top of this one but you can still come out on top looking like a million bucks by grabbing yourself the Waterdogs collection available in the store right now.
Rope hat and Schlosser tee are both a couple of must haves for the summer.