The National Lacrosse League returns on December 3. Find out who the best team and underdog bets on the winner of the 2022 NLL Cup here.
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After 600 days, the National Lacrosse League returns. With the new season, comes changes, expansion and relocation – but most of all great Lacrosse games. Get ready for the season with our betting predictions on the 2021-22 NLL Season, which starts on December 3, 2021.
Canadian Trio Top Favourites for 2021-22 NLL Season
|NLL Cup 2021/22|
The best NLL lacrosse betting odds for the 2021-22 season have three Canadian teams opening the season as the favourites. The Halifax Thunderbirds and Saskatchewan Rush open with the same odds of winning the National League Cup in 2022. The Toronto Rush (who are playing in Hamilton) is third (just a hair better than San Diego). So, of those three Canadian teams, who is the best bet?
For the best Canadian team bet, we are going with the Halifax Thunderbirds. No team in the NLL has the depth of Halifax. The Thunderbirds ranked fifth in goals with only two players in top-39 in scoring last season. On any given night, the Thunderbirds could rely on someone to step up – which is why they finished third in the league in the shortened season.
The Thunderbirds have the best defender in the league. Graeme Hossack is the three-time reigning NLL Defensive Player of the Year and coming off a career-high nine goals. Jake Withers join him on the defence to form arguably the best defensive pairing in the league.
Halifax’s goaltending is good with a high upside. Warren Hill had his best season in the NLL – posting a .809 save percentage and a 9.65 GAA. He showed the promise of a lead goaltender in 2019-20 – after playing sparingly in his first two seasons. The Thunderbirds added depth behind him if he cannot handle a full season’s workload.
Overall, Halifax is an excellent team. They have the depth to make a trade if needed this season, which gives them another advantage over Saskatchewan and Toronto. Bet Halifax to win the 2022 NLL Cup.
Best American Team Bet – Buffalo’s Goaltending make them a Threat in 2022
Of the nine American clubs in the National Lacrosse League – the one we think has the best chance at capturing the championship in 2022 is the Buffalo Bandits. The Bandits were the best team in the NLL during the 2018-2019 season and were in the running for tops again in 2019-2020 before the season was cut short.
The Bandits are helmed by veteran goaltender Matt Vinc. Vinc is 39 this season but looked as good, if not better than ever in during the shortened 2019-20 campaign. Vinc posted the second-best save percentage of his career that season (.807) and kept Buffalo in games despite their defence regressing from 2018-19.
The defence for Buffalo is reworked going into the season. While they lost a couple of players, they should get similar production from the remaining group and the offseason additions. While that does not translate to a better record, the upgrades on offence will.
The Bandits added Connor Fields in the offseason to improve their offence. Fields was excellent in what was essentially his rookie season (who played only two games in 2018-19). Fields netted 18 goals and assisted on 26 more for San Diego. He joins Chris Cloutier – who had a breakout campaign with Buffalo last year – scoring 20 goals and 41 points in ten games.
Overall, this Buffalo is closer to 2018-19 than to last season’s group. If the defence makes a slight improvement, this roster is as good as any in the NLL. It is worth betting on the Buffalo Bandits winning the 2022 NLL Cup.
Best Underdog – In a New City, Albany FireWolves look for Successful 2022
If you are unfamiliar with the Albany FireWolves, it is because they were the New England Black Wolves before they relocated during the cancelled 2020-21 season. Heading to Albany is the team that finished the shortened 2019-2020 NLL season with the best record at 8-3. New England also led the NLL last season with a +34-goal differential.
Despite losing their top scorer – Callum Crawford – the FireWolves return much of the roster that ranked second in goals scored and first in goals against in 2020. The offence for the FireWolves is deep – and replacing Crawford, while difficult is not impossible. The addition of Jacob Ruest is a start, while some of their key rookies in 2019-20 should only improve in 2021-22.
The defence that allowed the fewest goals in 2019-20 is just about all back this season. While a handful of the guys are in their mid-30s now, the 600 days off from everyday lacrosse should have them in good shape for the season.
Even if the defence takes a bit of a hit, the goaltending for the FireWolves is excellent. Doug Jamieson led all goalies in 2019-20 with a .826 save percentage – and won NLL Goalie of the Year honours. Jamieson is 25 heading into the season – with prime years ahead of him. Assuming last season was not an anomaly (his save percentage was .784 the previous season), the FireWolves are set at goaltender for a long time.
Outside of the move and the loss of Crawford, it is difficult to understand why the FireWolves are undervalued. Maybe once the season starts they will join the favourites. However, for now, the best sportsbook betting odds have Albany as the best underdog bet to win the 2022 NLL Cup.
Best Online Sportsbooks to bet on the National Lacrosse League
Find the best online sportsbooks to bet on the NLL below. Check our reviews of the best Canadian online sportsbooks to learn more.