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GAME PICKS: Week 15

It’s getting down to the wire in the National Lacrosse League regular season as playoff clinching and elimination scenarios are growing. If the ball bounces the right way the Toronto Rock, New England Black Wolves and San Diego Seals can all clinch postseason berths in Week 15.

 

NLL staff members Andy McNamara, Renee Washington, Devan Kaney, 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.

 

2018 Game Picks Standings:

 

NAME WINS LOSSES
Devan 39 19
Andy 35 23
Shanny 32 26
Renee 31 27

 

Let’s get to the predictions below!

 

Toronto Rock (8-3) at Georgia Swarm (10-4) – Friday, 7:35pm ET

 

Andy

 

This is the first of tough back-to-back road games for the Rock who can clinch a playoff berth with a victory in either. Toronto and Swarm almost always results in a close pick’em battle with the season series tied at one, this is the rubber match and the only showdown between the two in Georgia.

 

The Rock started to find their offensive groove again last week as Tom Schreiber and Rob Hellyer both broke out of their scoring slumps. They’ll be without Adam Jones again though. Georgia’s riding a three game winning streak, but I feel it is the visitors that squeak out a one goal “W”…and it might take overtime to do it.

 

Pick: ROCK

 

Shanny

 

Pick: SWARM

 

Renee

 

Pick: SWARM

 

Devan

 

Let me start by saying – the last seven game weekend, I went 7-0, so let’s see if I can do it again. I’m going with my gut on this one, and my gut tells me the Rock will win this game. I don’t want to say they are playing for more because everyone is playing for something at this point in the season, but Georgia has already clinched a postseason berth, and the Rock are hungry to nab that third spot in the East playoffs.

 

Pick: ROCK

 

Tweet @NLL using #TORvsGA

 

Colorado Mammoth (4-8) at Vancouver Warriors (4-8) – Friday, 10pm ET

 

Andy

 

These are arguably the two most important games for these clubs when it comes to playoff hopes and how fitting that it’s Mammoth vs. Warriors on consecutive nights for the final postseason spot in the West.

 

The records tell you that each club has struggled in 2019. Vancouver won the first meeting by a single goal and I expect these pair of battles to be just as close. I have a gut feeling that Colorado’s momentum in overcoming the Roughnecks in Calgary last weekend carries them past the home team…again this one really could go either way.

 

Pick: MAMMOTH

 

Shanny

 

Pick: WARRIORS

 

Renee

 

Pick: MAMMOTH

 

Devan

 

I’m super pumped to see what happens with Colorado and Vancouver’s home-and-home weekend. Especially since they’re both fighting for that fourth place spot to make it to the postseason. On paper, this is a very even matchup, but I’m basing my choice for both games this weekend on the Mammoth’s performance versus the Roughnecks in Week 14. So Colorado it is.

 

Pick: MAMMOTH

 

Tweet @NLL using #COLvsVAN

 

Saskatchewan Rush (6-5) at San Diego Seals (7-4) – Friday, 10pm ET

 

Andy

 

Ok, everyone who truly believed expansion San Diego would be in 1st place come Week 15 raise your hand…hello?…anyone?…Bueller? Don’t worry I didn’t either, and a big tip of the cap to the Seals.

 

The Seals are winners of their last three and can give themselves some breathing room atop the West with a “W” over Saskatchewan. Now we know the Rush are never an easy out; however, they are below .500 away from Sasktel Centre and San Diego is 4-1 at home.

 

SD continues to roll.

 

Pick: SEALS

 

Shanny

 

Pick: RUSH

 

Renee

 

Pick: SEALS

 

Devan

 

This is going to be such a good game, but to say this is an even matchup is a stretch for me. Even though the Seals can potentially clinch a postseason berth with a win over Saskatchewan, I just can’t see the Rush letting that happen. Taking the Rush in this West matchup.

 

Pick: RUSH

 

Tweet @NLL using #SASvsSD

 

New England Black Wolves (7-5) at Philadelphia Wings (2-10) – Saturday, 7pm ET

 

Andy

 

Well New England is back to being the enigma wrapped in a riddle when it comes to knowing what to expect. Even after a disappointing loss to Vancouver, the Black Wolves are quietly still in the hunt for first in the East at only three games back…but they need to beat Philly.

 

That’s easier said than done as the Wings have beaten NE, and did it back at home in the middle of February. The Black Wolves got revenge in their next meeting, but can Philadelphia play spoiler once again? I think the pack keeps the division race interesting with a victory.

 

Pick: BLACK WOLVES

 

Shanny

 

Pick: WINGS

 

Renee

 

Pick: WINGS

 

Devan

 

Ok so hear me out – I know the Wings have gained the reputation of not being able to finish out a game, but I have a feeling that heartbreaking loss to San Diego will push these guys to play harder than they have all season. This is the Wings second-to-last home game, and it’s their fan appreciation night. I’m taking the Wings because I think they’ll do it for the fans.

 

Pick: WINGS

 

Tweet @NLL using #NEvsPHI

 

Toronto Rock (? – ?) at Buffalo Bandits (11-3) – Saturday, 7:30pm ET

 

Andy

 

The travel from Georgia to just about anywhere on a back-to-back can be gruelling, not to mention when you have to play the NLL team with the best record. That’s what’s facing Toronto Saturday night in Banditland.

 

Winners of their last eight, the Bandits look nearly unstoppable. However, the Rock did beat them in Buffalo back in December and looked good beating an aggressive Rochester crew last weekend. Injuries and fatigue from the night before I feel will be a little bit too much to overcome, and the Bandits take it.

 

Pick: BANDITS

 

Shanny

 

Pick: BANDITS

 

Renee

 

Pick: BANDITS

 

Devan

 

Ohhhh I am SO excited for this game! These two teams have been so much fun to watch this season, and I have been looking forward to this rematch for a while. If this game had happened in week 8 or 9, I would have picked the Rock to win, 100%. I feel like Toronto lost a bit of their swagger when their winning streak was snapped, and I haven’t seen it fully come back just yet. Taking the Bandits to win this one.

 

Pick: BANDITS

 

Tweet @NLL using #TORvsBUF

 

Calgary Roughnecks (6-7) at Rochester Knighthawks (2-10) – Saturday, 7:30pm ET

 

Andy

 

Who are the Roughnecks? Just when you think they are about to go on a run they suffer a setback. If they’re not careful the Mammoth and/or Warriors could catch them in the three seed.

 

Full credit to the Knighthawks who played with a ton of heart and aggression in their loss to Toronto last time out. Now back at home I think they follow up that effort with another strong showing, and come away on the right side of it this time.

 

Pick: KNIGHTHAWKS

 

Shanny

 

Pick: KNIGHTHAWKS

 

Renee

 

Pick: ROUGHNECKS

 

Devan

 

This game was surprisingly hard to pick because: a) I’ve come to realize I literally never know what to expect from the Roughnecks and b) the Knighthawks are basically a brand new team at this point.

 

I’m taking Calgary in this matchup because I don’t think Rochester can play at a level that will match game changers like Dane Dobbie and Rhys Duch.

 

Pick: ROUGHNECKS

 

Tweet @NLL using #CGYvsROC

 

Vancouver Warriors (? – ?) at Colorado Mammoth (? – ?) – Saturday, 9pm ET

 

Andy

 

This back-to-back has split written all over it. Both teams play each other so evenly that a sweep either way seems unlikely to me. I picked Colorado to win Friday, so I’m rolling with the traveling Warriors to keep the battle for the final playoff spot in the West alive.

 

Pick: WARRIORS

 

Shanny

 

Pick: MAMMOTH

 

Renee

 

Pick: WARRIORS

 

Devan

 

It’s a rematch – I’m going with the same team I chose for the first game. Mammoth take the series.

 

Pick: MAMMOTH

 

Tweet @NLL using #VANvsCOL

 

 

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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