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GAME PICKS: NLL Week 16

Only three weeks remain in the National Lacrosse League’s regular season as five games are on the menu this Easter weekend. There could be some further clarity to the playoff picture as fans wait for the Champion’s Cup hunt to begin!

Teams on bye – None

This season NLL staff members Andy McNamara, Mia Gordon, Tyson Geick, and Brian Shanahan deliver their game predictions every week. Here are the standings so far:

 

TEAM WINS LOSSES GB
1. Andy 35 25
2. Mia 34 26 1
3. Tyson 32 28 3
4. Shanny 29 31 6

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

Buffalo Bandits (5-9) at Toronto Rock (8-7) – Friday, 7:30pm ET

Andy

As cliché as it sounds, honestly anything is possible when these two rivals square off. Toronto can help their cause to clinch a playoff berth and have fresh legs off the bye. The Bandits haven’t won since St. Patrick’s Day and with their defensive struggles I don’t see them topping the Rock.

Pick: Rock

Mia

If I have learned anything from my co-host Tyson it has been the bounce back. The Bandits need to figure something out and they need to figure it out soon because time is running out. I feel the team is going to leave it all on the line this week and may have a bounce back of their own.

Pick: Bandits

Tyson

I’m not sure what’s up with the Bandits…but the Rock will be fresh and off a bye week. They’ll take this one on home floor.

Pick: Rock

Shanny

Pick: Rock

Tweet @NLL your prediction using #BUFvsTOR
Buffalo Bandits (???) at Georgia Swarm (10-4) – Saturday, 7:05pm ET

Andy

I’d really love to give Buffalo a chance here, but I don’t see the success in the second game of a back-to-back for NLL teams this season occurring Saturday. Travel to Georgia the day after a sure to be emotional battle against Toronto? Add to all that the fact that Georgia has scored a combined 42-goals over the past two weeks.

Pick: Swarm

Mia

The Swarm’s offense has been lethal as of late, I mean 21 goals in their last two games, and now that they have clinched a playoff spot, they can relax a little, which means having more fun, which means they could be even stronger. As for Buffalo, a lot of their issues have come on defense, and I don’t see them stopping Georgia this week.

Pick: Swarm

Tyson

Tough weekend for the Bandits. How can I bet against a team that put up 21 goals in back to back weekends?

Pick: Swarm

Shanny

Pick: Swarm

Tweet @NLL your prediction using #BUFvsGA
Rochester Knighthawks (5-9) at Colorado Mammoth (8-7) – Saturday, 9pm ET

Andy

Rochester and Colorado both come off of a bye week and have each had a long time to think about their respective losses in Week 14. The Mammoth are trying to keep within striking distance of first place Saskatchewan, while the Knighthawks are close to a must win to stay within the East’s playoff picture.

Colorado will be looking for redemption after their usually stout defense was embarrassed by allowing 21-goals their last time out. I believe this low scoring matchup goes in favor of the home team.

Pick: Mammoth

Mia

Both of these teams are looking for a bounce back, but this one is on home turf for the experienced Mammoth squad up against a young Rochester team and I think experience will prevail.

Pick: Mammoth

Tyson

Another team off a bye week, that came at the right time. This team will be hungry after a blowout loss to the Swarm a couple of weeks ago.

Pick: Mammoth

Shanny

Pick: Mammoth

Tweet @NLL your prediction using #ROCvsCOL
New England Black Wolves (7-8) at Saskatchewan Rush (10-4) – Saturday, 9:30pm ET

Andy

The great pro-wrestling legend Ric Flair said “to be the man, you’ve got to beat the man.” The Rush remains the only undefeated home club in the league at 7-0 so I won’t bet against them in Saskatchewan until they are actually taken down. Plus, New England is really struggling on the road at 2-5.

Pick: Rush

Mia

The Rush have been unstoppable at home, and while the Black Wolves defense struggled in their last outing, the Rush seemed to have no real holes in their game.

Pick: Rush

Tyson

Undefeated on home floor… and I bet it stays that way.

Pick: Rush

Shanny

Pick: Rush

Tweet @NLL your prediction using #NEvsSAS
Calgary Roughnecks (7-9) at Vancouver Stealth (6-9) – Saturday, 10pm ET

Andy

This game is vital for both clubs as they fight for the final playoff spot in the West. Calgary’s been red hot, winners of three in-a-row. The Stealth are 1-3 in their last four and remain a riddle for anyone trying to figure out which team will show up. I’m envisioning a war here with the Roughnecks squeaking by from a late goal.

Pick: Roughnecks

Mia

I feel that this will be the closest game all weekend, so much on the line for both of these teams. While the bounce back has been huge in the league, the Roughnecks have really been stepping up under pressure and I think their experience and leadership will continue to prevail.

Pick: Roughnecks

Tyson

They’re red hot right now, looking to make it four straight. Now that they’ve got a little confidence, they’ll be tough to beat.

Pick: Roughnecks

Shanny

Pick: Roughnecks

Tweet @NLL your prediction using #CALvsVAN

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.