Justin and Friends Playoff Picks – Round 1 5/3/19

Photo Credit: Di Miller

A few of us at Lacrosse is Awesome are here to deliver our predictions for the first round of the NLL playoffs.  In this first round, it is win or go home!

West Division

Colorado Mammoth (4) at Saskatchewan Rush (1)
Friday, May 3 at 9:30 PM EST

Justin Ivey
These two teams are meeting for the second week in a row.  In the last week of the regular season, Saskatchewan clinched the #1 seed with their victory over the visiting Mammoth.  This will be their fourth meeting this season, and Saskatchewan has won all three previous.  Last week they ran away with the win, but in the first two games the margin of victory was only two goals (9-7 both games).  The defending champions are not shaken, and Colorado will put up a fight, but the Rush move on.

Pick:  Saskatchewan
Score:  Colorado-11, Saskatchewan-13

Di Miller
Pick:  Saskatchewan
Score: Colorado-7, Saskatchewan-15

Shawn Palmer
Pick:  Saskatchewan
Score:  Colorado-9, Saskatchewan-14

Stephonya Hunter-Penner
Pick:  Saskatchewan
Score:  Colorado-8, Saskatchewan-16

Calgary Roughnecks (3) at San Diego Seals (2)
Monday, May 6 at 10:30 PM EST

Justin Ivey
This might be the most interesting game of Round 1.  San Diego won 2 of the three meetings against Calgary this season and the only loss came in Calgary.  The expansion Seals had an excellent season.  But can they cap it with a playoff win?  They lost rookie phenom Austin Staats – a huge energy player that can put up points in a flash.  Without him, the team will rely heavily on veterans who have been in this position before.  Calgary has played tough all year and ride a three-game win streak into this matchup.  The last loss?  San Diego.  I think this game is close, but Calgary pulls the upset.

Pick:  Calgary
Score:  Calgary-14, San Diego-12

Di Miller
Pick:  San Diego
Score: Calgary-7, San Diego-9

Shawn Palmer
Pick:  Calgary
Score: Calgary-11, San Diego-10

Stephonya Hunter-Penner
Pick:  San Diego
Score: Calgary-9, San Diego-10

 

East Division

New England Black Wolves (4) at Buffalo Bandits (1)
Saturday, May 4 at 7:30 PM EST

Justin Ivey
Buffalo is 2-0 against New England this year and in those two games the Black Wolves have only scored a combined 11 goals to the Bandit’s 27.  New England is also 2-7 on the road this year while Buffalo holds the league’s best record.  I have a conflict on interest in this pick.  Buffalo should win this game easily.  All the statistics show that outcome.  But I live in Connecticut and have been supporting the Black Wolves since their first day.  They won last week on the road – a tough game against a Rochester team that is leaving for Halifax.  As a fan, I hope that momentum carries through to this game.  Expect it to be physical.

Pick:  New England
Score:  New England-11, Buffalo-10

Di Miller
Pick:  Buffalo
Score: New England-9, Buffalo-13

Shawn Palmer
Pick:  Buffalo
Score: New England-12, Buffalo-14

Stephonya Hunter-Penner
Pick:  Buffalo
Score: New England-6, Buffalo-14

Toronto Rock (3) at Georgia Swarm (2)
Monday, May 6 at 7:30 PM EST

Justin Ivey
Georgia holds the series lead this season 2-1 against Toronto.  The third meeting was the only easy win; a nine-point victory for the Swarm in Georgia.  Both teams have championship potential with a slew of wily veterans.  The difference maker is how great the Rock have been in close games.  In games decided by one goal this season, Toronto is 7-1.  The Swarm have not been consistently blowing out teams like in previous years.  If Toronto can keep it close on the road, they have the experience to come out on top and I like those odds.

Pick:  Toronto
Score:  Toronto-11, Georgia-10

Di Miller
Pick:  Toronto
Score: Toronto-13, Georgia-11

Shawn Palmer
Pick:  Toronto
Score: Toronto-13, Georgia-12

Stephonya Hunter-Penner
Pick:  Toronto
Score: Toronto-12, Georgia-9

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