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Game Picks – Week Four

https://youtube.com/watch?v=BHdNErZoGYc%3Fendslate%3Dtrue%26playthrough%3Dtrue%26autoplay%3Dtrue%26volume%3D100

Who would’ve thought that the two teams in last year’s Champion’s Cup Final would be a combined 0-4, while the pair of clubs that were last in their respective divisions sit at a total of 4-1? That’s where we’re at heading into Week 4 of the National Lacrosse League schedule.

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 

1. Andy                 2               2

2. Mia                   2               2

3. Tyson               2               2

4. Shanny            1               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 (0-2) at Georgia Swarm (2-0) – Friday 7:35pm ET 

Andy:

As one of the preseason favorites to challenge for the East Division, New England is feeling the pressure as they hunt for that first win. The Black Wolves are getting better each time out, being edged in OT by Colorado last Saturday, and I smell an upset in Georgia. The Swarm’s attack is near unstoppable, totaling 36-goals in two games, but this is where the pack comes together for a huge road victory.

Pick: Black Wolves

Mia:

Until a team proves that they can stop the offensive powerhouses of Randy Staats and Lyle Thompson, it’s hard to bet against Georgia. They seem to be the hottest team in the league right now.

Pick: Swarm

Tyson:

Georgia is the hottest team in the NLL, and after scoring 18 goals in back-to-back games against 2016’s top two teams, it’s pretty hard to bet against them. The Black Wolves are going to have their hands full containing the likes of Lyle Thompson, Randy Staats, Miles Thompson, and Shayne Jackson – they’re all clicking, and are on fire. Mike Poulin has looked good for the Swarm so far, and solid goaltending helps to solidify my decision here.

Pick: Swarm

Shanny:

Pick: Swarm

Tweet @NLL your prediction using #NEvsGA

 

Calgary Roughnecks (1-1) at Colorado Mammoth (2-1) – Friday 9:30pm ET 

Andy:

No doubt this will be decided by one goal or overtime as both squads are coming off of impressive victories. The Roughnecks have proven they can score big and win away from Calgary, while Colorado demonstrated again last weekend how tough it is to pull out a ”W” at the Pepsi Center. When matchups are this close I go with the home team.

Pick: Mammoth

Mia:

This was the hardest game to decide. Both teams have started off the year strong and they both have similar style games. After a backlash on twitter for my pick last week, I have to go with the Roughnecks because 1) they proved me wrong and 2) with Frank Scigliano back between the pipes the defense has looked solid, while Curtis Dickson was on fire upfront. Colorado is going to have to work hard to contain Superman.

Pick: Roughnecks

Tyson:

This is a tough one… probably the toughest pick of the week. Both teams are strong defensively, have goaltenders that are on their game, and have a couple of offensive superstars in the likes of Dickson (6G, 1A last week), and Crawford (4G, 4A last week) coming off of really big weeks. Over three games, Colorado has been one of the most disciplined teams in the league, while Calgary is the most penalized team in the league. That could really be the deciding factor in this game.

Pick: Mammoth

Shanny:

Pick: Roughnecks

Tweet @NLL your prediction using #CGYvsCOL

Vancouver Stealth (2-1) at Buffalo Bandits (0-2) – Saturday 7:30pm ET 

Andy:

The Bandits will have to wait another week for that first win of 2017. Dhane Smith suffered a lower body injury early in the loss to Georgia and will miss Saturday’s action versus Vancouver. Buffalo can count on other offensive threats like Ryan Benesch and Mark Steenhuis, but to lose the firepower of Smith against the Stealth will be too much to overcome even with the game at home. The visitors have the two top scorers in the NLL as well as the advantage in net with Tyler Richards.

Pick: Stealth

Mia:

While playing in Banditland is no easy task, I still need Buffalo to prove to me they can get some momentum going. They will be without Dhane Smith this week again due to injury and Anthony Cosmo has looked shaky in net. He will have to stop the likes of Rhys Duch and Corey Small in this matchup.

Pick: Stealth

Tyson:

Here’s the thing, I think Buffalo may be experiencing that “second place slump.” In 2014, the Roughnecks were the runners up and went on to start the 2015 season 0-6. In 2015, the Rock were the runners up, and went on to start the 2016 season 0-6. You could say history’s not on Buffalo’s side. Cold starts have really hurt the Bandits in their first two games of the season, and their man down unit hasn’t been too impressive. Plus they’re going to be without Dhane Smith in this game, and will be facing off against the leagues top two scorers in Rhys Duch and Corey Small.

Pick: Stealth

Shanny:

Pick: Bandits

Tweet @NLL your prediction using #VANvsBUF

Rochester Knighthawks (1-1) at Saskatchewan Rush (0-2) – Saturday 8:30pm ET 

Andy:

Every NLL staff member picked the Rush to win this past Saturday and we were all wrong. Rochester showed tremendous bounce back ability for a young group by blasting New England after putting up a dud in their season opener. Emotions will be high for Saskatchewan in their first home game since winning the championship at a SaskTel Centre bursting at the seams. I just can’t wrap my head around this veteran Rush squad losing three straight even though the Knighthawks have the talent to do it.

Pick: Rush

Mia:

The Rush have been close in all of their games so far and I think the homecoming and banner raising night will give them the extra push they need to get their first win of the season. The Knighthawks looked solid in their last outing, but is this young team ready to face the defending Champion’s Cup winners?

Pick: Rush

Tyson:

Here’s a team that just needs a little home cooked meal. The Rush are a veteran club who knows how to win, and the time is now for the team to turn things around. They’ve got a young team in the Knighthawks coming to town, and so long as they play a disciplined game, and play from start to finish, they’ll come out on top of the Knighthawks.

Pick: Rush

Shanny:

Pick: Rush

Tweet @NLL your prediction using #ROCvsSAS

 

 

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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