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GAME PICKS: Week 17

More playoff clinching and elimination scenarios present themselves in Week 17 of the National Lacrosse League. New England and Colorado could lock down post-season berths, while the Wings, Knighthawks and Warriors could all officially be eliminated.

 

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.

 

2018-19 Game Picks Standings:

 

NAME WINS LOSSES
Devan 48 21
Andy 40 29
Renee 39 30
Shanny 38 31

 

Renee is closing in and Devan is pulling away in the standings…I’m feeling the heat on my picks this week! Let’s get to the predictions below!

 

Buffalo Bandits (12-3) at Toronto Rock (9-5) – Friday, 7:30pm ET

 

Andy

 

Both Buffalo and Toronto may have clinched a trip to the playoffs, but there is still plenty to play for. The Bandits can lock up an opening round home postseason date by coming out on top, whereas the Rock can keep climbing the standings with a victory.

 

I love when these two clubs play because it is almost always a classic no matter what the record. Give me Toronto in a slugfest back-and-forth in the expected return of Adam Jones.

 

Pick: ROCK

 

Shanny

 

Pick: ROCK

 

Renee

 

The Bandits! Why? Toronto has been struggling offensively without Jones and although we saw them squeak out a win over Philly behind a tremendous offensive game by Johnny Powless, the Bandits are a different beast playing with some serious swag. I’m going to have to go with the Bandits on this one.

 

Pick: BANDITS

 

Devan

 

Both teams have officially reserved their spots in the postseason, but I see a fire in the Bandits that doesn’t go out when the stakes aren’t high. Taking Bandits because they definitely have the most swag in the NLL right now.

 

Pick: BANDITS

 

Tweet @NLL using #BUFvsTOR

 

San Diego Seals (9-4) at Georgia Swarm (11-4) – Friday, 7:35pm ET

 

Andy

 

I keep thinking the Seals shouldn’t be this good as an expansion team…but they are. However, the Swarm are 6-1 at home. First game of double-header for San Diego and I feel the away team sends another message to the league that they are legit.

 

Pick: SEALS

 

Shanny

 

Pick: SWARM

 

Renee

 

I’m looking forward to seeing the Staats brothers faceoff for the first time in the NLL. At home, big brother Randy and the Swarm are looking at this game for playoff standings, but also as a chance to knock off the top team in the West. This is a toss-up, but I’m going to say the Seals make this 6 in a row.

 

Pick: SEALS

 

Devan

 

Ohhh this is going to be a GAME! I won’t go as far to say that this will be a Finals preview, but I’m definitely excited to see the Staats brothers face each other for the first time in their NLL careers. That being said, I think Georgia’s experience will outweigh the Seals’ young tenacity. Taking the Swarm.

 

Pick: SWARM

 

Tweet @NLL using #SDvsGA

 

Calgary Roughnecks (7-8) at Philadelphia Wings (3-11) – Saturday, 12pm ET

 

Andy

 

This might be the hardest game of the weekend to predict. The Wings always come oh so close, while Calgary is as inconsistent as they come. Seeing Philly first hand versus Toronto last Saturday gives me the feeling that this noon start time at home gives the Wings a feel good “W”.

 

Pick: WINGS

 

Shanny

 

Pick: ROUGHNECKS

 

Renee

 

I’m looking forward to this game. I think both teams coming off a loss will make for a fun matchup of two aggressive crews as the Wings hope to keep their playoff chances alive. I gotta go with Calgary on this one though.

 

Pick: ROUGHNECKS

 

Devan

 

I think the Wings might hold the record for most heart-breaking losses in one season. They lost by 1 point YET AGAIN in Week 16, but they haven’t been edged out of playoff consideration just yet. They’re playing at home and I think they will be fired up enough to get a win over Calgary.

 

Pick: WINGS

 

Tweet @NLL using #CGYvsPHI

 

San Diego Seals (?-?) at New England Black Wolves (7-7) – Saturday, 7pm ET

 

Andy

 

Second of a back-to-back for the Seals paired with New England owning a scintillating 6-2 home record. Black Wolves win and punch their ticket to the dance (aka playoffs)

 

Pick: BLACK WOLVES

 

Shanny

 

Pick: SEALS

 

Renee

 

Hard to pick against the Seals right now. New England has been on a slump. A win over the Seals would be huge for a playoff berth and to get them on the right track, but I go back to my first line…it’s hard to pick against the Seals.

 

Pick: SEALS

 

Devan

 

Based on my pick for San Diego’s first game of the weekend (Georgia), I’m taking the Seals in this matchup.

 

Pick: SEALS

 

Tweet @NLL using #SDvsNE

 

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

 

Andy

 

Even though this is the second game of a back-to-back for Toronto, it is one of the shortest road trips in the NLL. Rochester did shock the Black Wolves on the road last week, but the Rock simply have more to play for. A weekend Toronto sweep would make the East standings that much more interesting.

 

Pick: ROCK

 

Shanny

 

Pick: ROCK

 

Renee

 

The Knighthawks have been impressive since their trades the week of the deadline. I have Toronto losing Game 1 of their double header and coming back to win this one to split the weekend.

 

Pick: ROCK

 

Devan

 

Just don’t see the Knighthawks winning this one – taking the Rock

 

Pick: ROCK

 

Tweet @NLL using #TORvsROC

 

Saskatchewan Rush (7-6) at Colorado Mammoth (6-8) – Saturday, 9pm ET

 

Andy

 

The Rush are below .500 on the road as is Colorado at home – so destination of play is a wash. Even though Saskatchewan has clinched a playoff spot they are fighting for seeding, while Colorado wants another “W” to put away Vancouver and punch their ticket.

 

Amazingly the Rush have not won a game away from SaskTel versus a team not named the Warriors since the middle of January. This will be a dog fight single digit battle that I give the upset victory to…the Mammoth.

 

Pick: MAMMOTH

 

Shanny

 

Pick: RUSH

 

Renee

 

I think the hot streak continues for the Mammoth. I hate to pick against the Rush, but Colorado’s playing with a lot of swag right now as they fight for that final playoff spot.

 

Pick: MAMMOTH

 

Devan

 

So, let me tell a little story – this week on Inside the NLL, I asked our guest Kyle Bennett to give his Finals predictions. He immediately said the Mammoth without even having to think about it, and that’s made me reconsider Colorado’s potential. While I’m not saying they will go all the way, the Mammoth have become a really fun team to watch so I’m taking them over the Rush.

 

Pick: MAMMOTH

 

Tweet @NLL using #SASvsCOL

 

 

Andy McNamara has been a play-by-play commentator for the NLL on TSN, B/R Live, 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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