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GAME PICKS: NLL – Week 4

Happy Holidays lacrosse fans! Friday and Saturday marks the final quartet of games in 2017 for the National Lacrosse League and wow are there some good ones on tap.

 

Three division rivalry contests highlight the Week 4 schedule so let’s get to it!

 

NLL staff members Andy McNamara, Ashley Docking, Tyson Geick, and Brian Shanahan deliver their game predictions every week.

 

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

 

Vancouver Stealth (0-2) at New England Black Wolves (1-1) – Friday, 7:30pm ET

 

Andy

A roller coaster start to the year for New England. They upset the Champion’s Cup winners in their building then lay an egg when visiting Saskatchewan. Perhaps in Week 4 we’ll get a feel for what this team really is.

Vancouver actually had a better away record last season (5-4), yet that doesn’t give me confidence this Friday. The Stealth need to tighten up all three aspects of their play, and I don’t see that coming together versus these rebounding Black Wolves.

Pick: Black Wolves

 

Ashley

This one is probably the easiest. No way that NE aren’t pissed about being schooled last week by the Rush. Back at home with something to prove, against a team that has struggled out of the gate and can’t seem to make needed adjustments at half…Black Wolves win.

Pick: Black Wolves

 

Tyson

This team got picked apart last week which will leave them hungry heading into Week 4. Funny thing is they still managed to put up 11 goals against the Rush. If they tighten up that defense, they’ll be able to dominate the Stealth.

Pick: Black Wolves

 

Shanny

 

Pick: Black Wolves

 

Tweet @NLL your prediction using #VANvsNE

 

Colorado Mammoth (2-0) at Calgary Roughnecks (1-1) – Friday, 9pm ET

 

Andy

I’m looking forward to what should be a wild west slobberknocker! The Mammoth are proving to be early overcomers, while Calgary tries to re-establish themselves as division powerhouses. The Roughnecks have the firepower to score in bunches, but it’s tough bet against Dillon Ward inbetween the pipes for Colorado.

Pick: Mammoth

 

Ashley

Somehow the Mammoth have really shown that the slow and steady mantra is a recipe for success. Well, that and the fact that they have arguably the best goalie in the league. Even on the road against Calgary I️ think Colorado finish 2017 at 3-0 and assert themselves as West contenders.

Pick: Mammoth

 

Tyson

I like that this team is playing like a unit. Greer was the x-factor last week and I expect another big performance out of him and the Mammoth. This will be a close one though.

Pick: Mammoth

 

Shanny

 

Pick: Roughnecks

 

Tweet @NLL your prediction using #COLvsCAL

 

Buffalo Bandits (1-1) at Toronto Rock (0-2) – Saturday, 7pm ET

 

Andy

This is a pivotal matchup between these two rivals as playoff tie break implications are at stake. On opening weekend the Bandits thumped Toronto. Add to that the Rock are going to be fighting desperately to not go down to 0-3.  As is typically the case between Buffalo and Toronto, this should be a hard fought, close one.

The Bandits are a bit too inconsistent for my liking right now. Win by four one week then get beat by 10-goals the next. I’ll take the home club.

Pick: Rock

 

Ashley

Buffalo is the favourite here. They’re coming off a nice performance against Rochester that was overshadowed by the fact that a) Alex Buque couldn’t stop a thing and it crippled the Bandits and b) that Matt Vinc played out of his mind leading to a deficit that no one could conquer. Toronto is in a huge rut and I️ don’t think they’re going to be able to pull themselves out of it by Saturday.  Bandits with the dub.

Pick: Bandits

 

Tyson

What can I say? I don’t see this club dropping to 0-3. They NEED this win against the Bandits.

Pick: Rock

 

Shanny

 

Pick: Rock

 

Tweet @NLL your prediction using #BUFvsTOR

 

Rochester Knighthawks (2-0) at Georgia Swarm (0-2) – Saturday, 7:05pm ET

 

Andy

Alright, last week I said it was highly unlikely that the defending champions could drop to straight to open the season and was proven wrong. They can’t lose three straight…can they? I love everything about how this Rochester crew is built with a combination of youth, veterans in their prime, and next level goaltending. My pick for the Swarm comes solely from my thought that Georgia has too much talent to be foiled three times in-a-row.

Pick: Swarm

 

Ashley

Well looky here… it’s like the upside down (“Stranger Things” reference), nothing makes sense. The champs are winless? A team that missed the post-season is perfect?! I️ think both offenses are capable of running up the score, but the difference is Matt Vinc, who has been stellar! Playing out of his mind really, he keeps that up and Rochester reign.

Pick: Knighthawks

 

Tyson

Huge test for the Knighthawks, but the Swarm can’t drop to 0-3. They’ll come out flying in this one.

Pick: Swarm

 

Shanny


Pick: Swarm

 

Tweet @NLL your prediction using #ROCvsGA

 

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 @Andy

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