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Game Picks: Nll Week 7

By: Andy McNamara – Staff Writer

Four matchups on the National Lacrosse League schedule this weekend starting on Saturday night. Buffalo is on the bye, but will be keeping a close eye on how the two teams directly above them in the East, the Black Wolves and Knighthawks, make out. The West Division is tighter than ever with three of the four franchises having an opportunity to grab a share of first place.

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. Shanny            12              5            —

2. Mia                  11              6            1

3. Andy                9               8            3

4. Tyson              9               8            3

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

New England Black Wolves (2-3) at Georgia Swarm (4-1) – Saturday, 7:05pm ET

Andy

All good things must come to an end and that’s what happened to the Swarm last Saturday lost their first game of the season versus Colorado. Kudos to the Black Wolves for ending their slump in a hard fought overtime win against Rochester. However, Georgia is back at home and have too many weapons for New England to handle.

Pick – Swarm

Mia

Another tough week indeed. While the New England Black Wolves have been hot as of late, they now hit the road again against a team that will be hungry to get back to the winning side. I think the Swarm will come back regrouped and refocused after their first loss of the season and take this one.

Pick – Swarm

Tyson

Teams are starting to close the gap against the Georgia Swarm… and for that reason, I think the team will be hungry for a big in-division win, trying to make it known that they’re still the team to beat in the East. The Swarm need to rely on their speed in this game, and if they do so effectively, they’ll come out on top of the Black Wolves.

Pick – Swarm

Shanny

Pick – Swarm

Tweet @NLL your prediction using #NEvsGEO

Saskatchewan Rush (3-2) at Rochester Knighthawks (2-3) – Saturday, 7:30pm ET

Andy

The Rush won their third straight, and first away from home, this past weekend in Calgary. Saskatchewan is playing like defending champions and have hit full stride now. The Knighthawks are inconsistent, making them a tad unpredictable, but I can’t jump off this Rush bandwagon right now.

Pick – Rush

Mia

The Saskatchewan Rush are the hottest team in the NLL right now and seem to have found their feet after a big division win against the Calgary Roughnecks last week. Aaron Bold has been solid on the back end while their special team’s unit has made all the difference. It is hard to count the Rochester Knighthawks out of any game, but I just think the vet team of the Rush will come out with a win here.

Pick – Rush

Tyson

The Rush are rolling now, and they’re once again hard to bet against. The team is coming off of a big 15-11 win over the Calgary Roughnecks, a team I thought would’ve taken them down last week. Now that this team has regained their confidence, they’re going to be tough to beat.

Pick – Rush

Shanny

Pick – Rush

Tweet @NLL your prediction using #SASvsROC

Toronto Rock (3-1) at Calgary Roughnecks (3-2) – Sunday, 4pm ET

Andy

This is the game of the weekend for me between these two rivals. Get ready for a low scoring battle as two of the best goaltenders in the NLL square off. The Roughnecks lost for the first time since opening weekend when they ran into a red hot Rush crew, but interestingly enough both of their defeats have come at home.

I’m feeling a possible OT finish here as Calgary’s firepower of Curtis Dickson and Dane Dobbie push them over the top.

Pick – Roughnecks

Mia

I am having a lot of trouble with this one in the sense that I feel both teams are playing similar to start the season. They both have solid goaltending, a good transition game, and a slew of men upfront who can put one in the back of the net. So I am honestly going with the hometown fav in this one. Calgary will be hungry to stay on top of the West and I think that drive may be enough for a win here

Pick – Roughnecks

Tyson

This was a tough pick. I went back and forth between the two clubs before having to come up with an answer. Toronto plays a disciplined game, their transition game is strong, they’ve got the top face-off man in the league in Bradley Kri, who has won 71% of his draws so far this season, and the top goaltender in the league in Nick Rose. For these reasons, I think the Rock will be able to come out on top of the Roughnecks in their 5th game of the season.

Pick – Rock

Shanny

Pick – Roughnecks

Tweet @NLL your prediction using #TORvsCAL

Colorado Mammoth (3-3) at Vancouver Stealth (2-4) – Sunday, 10pm ET

Andy

Desptie having the top two scorers in the NLL with Corey Small (44-points) and Rhys Duch (39-points), the Stealth have lost four straight. They are winless at home and welcome in a Colorado club that is full of confidence after handing the previously unbeaten Swarm their first defeat last week. Both teams can bury the ball, but the goaltending advantage goes to the Mammoth and they take this West Division battle.

Pick – Mammoth

Mia

This is the most important game this weekend for standings, a division matchup in a very close West Division. The Vancouver Stealth are well rested after a bye week, but Colorado is looking the best they have all season long. They played their first complete game against the Georgia Swarm last week handing them their first loss of the season. Dillon Ward has found his rhythm and with Jeremy Noble back in the lineup, I have a feeling this one is going in favour of Colorado.

Pick – Mammoth

Tyson

The Mammoth had a huge win over the only undefeated team left in the NLL last week in the Georgia Swarm, and I think that will be big for the teams psyche in Week 7. The Mammoth will have learned a lot from their first game against the Stealth, and will come out with the win in this game.

Pick – Mammoth

Shanny

Pick – Stealth

Tweet @NLL your prediction using #COLvsVAN

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.