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Game Picks: Nll Week 10

By: Andy McNamara – Staff Writer

We are officially into the second half of the 2017 National Lacrosse League campaign! There are a few pivotal divisional battles this weekend that could decide playoff berths down the line.

This season NLL staff members Andy McNamara, Mia Gordon, Tyson Geick, and Brian Shanahan deliver their game predictions every week. The standings are closer than ever:

Team         Wins          Losses           GB
1. Mia         18               14                  —
2. Shanny  18                14                  —
3. Tyson     18                14                 —
4. Andy      17                15                  1

Send us your picks @NLL on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook using the specific game hashtags for each match-up below.

Rochester Knighthawks (3-6) at Buffalo Bandits (3-5) – Friday, 7pm ET

Andy

As nice of a pickup as Pat Saunders is, you just don’t replace a specimen like Ryan Benesch. That being said, Buffalo did pull off an upset win over the Rock last week without him.

This is the first of a home and home with big stakes in the East Division on the line. I like how Rochester dug out a big road “W” in Vancouver last time out and feel that their young corps is clicking.

Pick – Knighthawks

Mia

The Buffalo Bandits have made some changes in the absence of Ryan Benesch, and I really like the addition of Pat Saunders to the line up. We saw how strong Cosmo came out against Toronto, and Banditland is a tough place to play.

Pick – Bandits

Tyson

They’re coming off of a huge win against Toronto last weekend, and I think they looked a lot different to any Bandit team that too the floor in weeks prior. They’re dealing with a couple of key injuries, but I think new acquisition Saunders will serve that left side well. Two straight now (looking for three) for this Bandits team who’s going to be hungry, looking to turn things around.

Pick – Bandits

Shanny

Pick – Knighthawks

Tweet @NLL your prediction using #ROCvsBUF

New England Black Wolves (3-6) at Toronto Rock (5-3) – Friday, 7:30pm ET

Andy

No Shawn Evans for the Black Wolves means that Toronto’s rock steady defense and goaltending will prevail. The Rock win by three or more here.

Pick – Rock

Mia

The New England Black Wolves are in a bit of a pickle with this one. They will be without Shawn Evans and with Toronto’s strong defense I feel they would need that star power to make a dent here.

Pick – Rock

Tyson

They’ll be looking for a bounce back performance, and will be able to capitalize on a Black Wolves team who’s going into this game without their leading scorer.

Pick – Rock

Shanny

Pick – Rock

Tweet @NLL your prediction using #NEvsTOR

Calgary Roughnecks (3-5) at Colorado Mammoth (5-4) – Friday, 9:30pm ET

Andy

Arguably the most underrated club in the NLL, I’ve remained a believer in this Colorado crew all season. Calgary should be better and continues to under perform and went winless in the month of February. Pepsi Center is a tough place to play and I see the Mammoth putting more space between them and the 3rd place Roughnecks.

Pick – Mammoth

Mia

Calgary has had Colorado’s number in the past, but I have really liked the performance of the Mammoth as of late. They have been strong on the back end, and with Zack Greer back in the lineup I think they can break the curse.

Pick – Mammoth

Tyson

I think the Mammoth are due for a win against the Roughnecks. This pick is always the toughest one… I think that the Mammoth need this win over Calgary, to cut the season series to 2-1. That will be voiced in the dressing room.

Pick – Mammoth

Shanny

Pick – Mammoth

Tweet @NLL your prediction using #CALvsCOL

Buffalo Bandits (???) at Rochester Knighthawks (???) – Saturday, 1pm ET

Andy

Second games of back-to-back’s are always tricky to predict especially when it’s between fierce rivals like Buffalo and Rochester. I’m bullish on the Knighthawks young guns and advantage in net. Weekend sweep goes to the K-Hawks.

Pick – Knighthawks

Mia

The Rochester Knigthawks have been a bit of a streaky team this season, but when they step up they step up big, and I don’t think they will give up two against the Bandits this week.

Pick – Knighthawks

Tyson

The Bandits have a golden opportunity here to completely turn their season around. Should they come out with a win in Friday’s game, a win Saturday on the road would make it 4 straight, and then, all of a sudden, their slow start to their season will almost be forgotten about. Two wins over a Rochester Knighthawks team won’t be easy. Especially since the ‘Hawks have the goaltending edge with Matt Vinc.

Pick – Bandits

Shanny

Pick – Bandits

Tweet @NLL your prediction using #BUFvsROC

Georgia Swarm (7-1) at Calgary Roughnecks (???) – Saturday, 9:30pm ET

Andy

Geez this is a tough weekend for the Roughnecks. First a game in Colorado then the next night back home to the fresh 7-1 Georgia Swarm. Coming off a bye week and with all their firepower, I just don’t see how the Swarm lose here.

Pick – Swarm

Mia

The Georgia Swarm have been on fire as of late and now they are going for their 4th straight win. I think Mike Poulin really has something to prove here playing against his old team, and I think that could be the key in this match up.

Pick – Swarm

Tyson

Poulin’s going to be fired up in this game, and I think he’ll be solid between the pipes. Plus, Georgia’s offense is a powerhouse, and I’ll leave it at that.

Pick – Swarm

Shanny

Pick – Swarm

Tweet @NLL your prediction using #GAvsCAL

Saskatchewan Rush (6-2) at Vancouver Stealth (3-6)  – Saturday, 11pm ET

Andy

The Rush are playing like a team possessed having rattled off six straight wins. Vancouver still has not won at home this season and I see that trend continuing Saturday night.

Pick – Rush

Mia

Saskatchewan is the hottest team in the league right now and I can’t find any holes in their game as of late. Defense, offense, special teams you name it has been solid. I think they may just make it 7 in a row.

Pick – Rush

Tyson

I pick the Rush, because they’re so hard to bet against right now, but something gives me the feeling that Vancouver will give them a serious run, almost putting an end to their winning streak.

Pick – Rush

Shanny

Pick – Rush

Tweet @NLL your prediction using #SASvsVAN

Andy McNamara has been a play-by-play commentator for the NLL on TSN, NLLTV.com, and world lacrosse tournaments since 2011. He’s also a sport talk host and anchor on TSN 1050 sports radio. Follow Andy on twitter @AndyMc81.

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