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Game Picks: Nll Week 8

By: Andy McNamara – Staff Writer

An incredibly busy weekend across the National Lacrosse League as Week 8 delivers seven games. As we approach the midway point of the season this is where teams can start to separate themselves for better or worse.

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. Mia                  14              7            —
2. Shanny           14              7            —
3. Tyson             13              8             1
4. Andy              12              9             2
Send us your picks @NLL on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook using the specific game hashtags for each match-up below.

Georgia Swarm (5-1) at Toronto Rock (4-1) – Friday, 7:30pm ET

Andy

Top spot in the East and best record in the NLL is on the line as the Swarm and Rock meet for the first time this season. Georgia’s goalie Mike Poulin was pulled early last week and lost his previous start, while Toronto’s Nick Rose is number one in the league for GAA and save percentage. Both teams can score, but I’ll take the Rock’s superior defense here.

Pick – Rock

Mia

This is probably the toughest game to pick all weekend. Both teams have been on fire as of late but Toronto’s defense has been getting better and better each week. Yes the Swarm have a slew of offensive powerhouses, but something tells me Nick Rose will be able tough to get past, especially on home turf and during his bobblehead night.

Pick – Rock

Tyson

Pick – Rock

Shanny

Pick – Rock

Tweet @NLL your prediction using #GEOvsTOR

New England Black Wolves (2-4) at Buffalo Bandits (1-4) – Friday, 7:30pm ET

Andy

This is a season defining weekend for these clubs as a sweep either way could wipe the other out of the playoff race. The Bandits lone victory came at home while New England is winless on the road. Buffalo also has the benefit of being rested up off the bye week.

Pick – Bandits

Mia

I have a feeling the Bandits are going to come out fired up in this one. With fresh legs post bye week, and playing against a team that has struggled on the road I have to go with Buffalo taking this one.

Pick – Bandits

Tyson

Pick – Black Wolves

Shanny

Pick – Bandits

Tweet @NLL your prediction using #NEvsBUF

Toronto Rock (???) at Rochester Knighthawks (2-4) – Saturday, 7:30pm ET

Andy

Second game of a back-to-back are never easy, nevermind when it’s on the road in a building that has historically not been friendly to the Rock. For the Knighthawks, former NLL Transition Player of the Year is looking much more comfortable with his new teammates and the trio of rookies keep getting better. I’m going to count Rochester’s usually strong defense giving up an insightly 21-goals to the Rush last weekend as a hiccup.

This division rivalry is always intense. The score will be low with the Rock running out of gas late, allowing Rochester to sneak by.

Pick – Knighthawks

Mia

The Rochester Knighthawks are such a tricky team right now. They have moments of brilliance and then slumps, and it is because of their inconsistency I have to go with the Rock. Sure the Knighthawks proved me wrong last time, let’s see if they can make it 2-for-2.

Pick – Rock

Tyson

Pick – Rock

Shanny

Pick – Rock

Tweet @NLL your prediction using #ROCvsTOR

Colorado Mammoth (4-3) at Saskatchewan Rush (4-2) – Saturday, 8:30pm ET

Andy

Colorado’s netminder Dillon Ward shut up to third spot in my ”NLL Goaltender Power Rankings” so I don’t think we’ll be seeing another 20-plus goal outburst by the Rush like we saw this past weekend. Mammoth are battlers, but the roll Saskatchewan is on and the fact they’re at home on a Saturday night…no way I’m betting against the Rush.

Pick – Rush

Mia

I have a feeling this will be another close one. Colorado has quietly sneaked up in the standings, but the Rush are playing like a team that has won back to back championships and I can’t really see anyone stopping them with how they are performing right now.

Pick – Rush

Tyson

Pick – Rush

Shanny

Pick – Rush

Tweet @NLL your prediction using #COLvsSAS

Vancouver Stealth (2-5) at Calgary Roughnecks (3-3) – Saturday, 9pm ET

Andy

The Stealth is in full free-fall mode, losing five straight after a hot 2-0 start. Calgary has something to prove coming off of a defeat at the hands of the visiting Rock and I have no confidence in Vancouver right now.

Pick – Roughnecks

Mia

This is a must win game for both teams, but despite how strong Vancouver has been upfront, their defense has been lacking. Calgary has more of an all around game right now, and I expect their vets to step up big after falling in the division.

Pick – Roughnecks

Tyson

Pick – Roughnecks

Shanny

Pick – Roughnecks

Tweet @NLL your prediction using #VANvsCAL

Buffalo Bandits (???) at New England Black Wolves (???) – Sunday, 1pm ET

Andy

Black Wolves are a totally different team on their home turf and Buffalo has been unable to convert a ”W” on the road. The second of two meetings this weekend ends in a split as each club continues to try and keep pace in the East.

Pick – Black Wolves

Mia

I gave the first game of this home and home to the Bandits, but this one I have to give to the Black Wolves. They have been perfect so far at home, and I feel the 7th man has been a big part of their wins so far this season. Something about playing at the Mohegan Sun.

Pick – Black Wolves

Tyson

Pick – Black Wolves

Shanny

Pick – Black Wolves

Tweet @NLL your prediction using #BUFvsNE

Rochester Knighthawks (???) at Georgia Swarm (???) – Sunday, 6:05pm ET

Andy

The Swarm are always dangerous, but take it to another level when in Georgia where they are a perfect 3-0. Rochester will be coming off a hard fought battle with Toronto the night before and then have to jump on a plane down south for this matchup. Everything points to a big Swarm win here.

Pick – Swarm

Mia

Georgia return home and I feel their veteran presence will be too much for the young Knighthawks squad. Unless Rochester figures out how to play a full 60 minutes this season, it is going to be tough for them to beat a team like the Swarm.

Pick – Swarm

Tyson

Pick – Swarm

Shanny

Pick – Swarm

Tweet @NLL your prediction using #ROCvsGEO

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.