National Lacrosse League 2018-19 Futures - Bandits On The Loose

Congratulations to the 2019 NLL Champion Calgary Roughnecks!

An unexpectedly dominant regualr season run from Buffalo earned the Bandits home floor advantge for the NLL Finals, which opened on May 18th, 7:30 PM at the KeyBank Center. The Bandits entered the NLL Championship as clear National Lacrosse League futures favorites at top online bookmakers.

However, following a 10-7 defensive gem win in Game 1Dane Dobbie and the surprisingly resilient Calgary Roughnecks lead the NLL best-two-of three Championship series 1-0. Will Calgary upset the Bandits for the National Lacrosse League Cup? Here are the latest betting lines for Game 2 on Saturday, May 25, 2019, at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary:

Away Team  ODDS vs ODDS
Home Team
Buffalo Bandits 1.80 @ 1.84 Calgary Roughnecks
OVER 23.5 1.90 @ 1.80 UNDER 23.5
Buffalo Bandits (+1.5) 1.50 @ 2.39 Calgary Roughnecks (-1.5)

 

NLL finals preview: Calgary Roughnecks vs Buffalo Bandits

The Buffalo Bandits were the cream of the crop during the regular season, resulting in a dominant 14-4 record to clinch top spot in NLL odds. They followed through as NLL odds favorites, crushing the New England Black Wolves and the Toronto Rock en route to the championship finals. This turnaround followed a horrendous 2018 season where the Bandits were tied for second last in the standings.

NLL Predictions

Comparatively, the Calgary Roughnecks were only modestly successful during the regular season with a 10-8 mark. The Roughnecks were barely able to squeak past the San Diego Seals, but Calgary pummeled the Colorado Mammoth to punch their ticket to the finals. Calgary has been slowly improving over the past couple of years, creating a highly resilient club and a worthy bet for lacrosse odds.

Roughnecks vs Bandits betting preview

On paper, the Buffalo Bandits are far and away the superior club for NLL betting, driving through competition without mercy all season long.

Buffalo allowed only 186 goals during the season, one of two squads to allow fewer than 200 over 18 games.

The Bandits also filled the net at a great pace, notching 244 goals to outscore the nearest competition by 14.  The Bandits huge goal differential of +58 was more than double the Rush and the Swarm, who finished the season at +20.

In terms of analytics, goal differential tends to provide an excellent window into the overall quality of a team.

Buffalo appears undervalued at 1.75 NLL Champion Cup betting odds.

Buffalo Bandits to win the NLL Champions Cup Odds
1.75

Calgary’s rise to prominence over the past couple of years revolves mostly around determination. Superstar Dane Dobbie finished atop the scoring leaders with a whopping 47 goals and 115 points, serving as the primary driving force of the Roughnecks attack. His on-floor genius lifts Calgary into contention on a game-to-game basis.

Lacrosse Odds

The gap between Dobbie and the next leading scorer, Curtis Dickson, was a whopping 34 points, partly due to injury. Crucially, Dickson has been clutch during the post season with six goals, the second best tally in the playoffs. If Curtis continues performing at an elite level, he’ll form a deadly one-two punch with Dobbie.

This is part of the reason why Calgary is a relatively mild underdog for lacrosse Champions Cup odds at -1.95.

Defense wins championships, and the Bandits have the best goalie in the league.

Matt Vinc played the second most minutes among all netminders in 2019, finishing with a league-best 10.02 GAA and .803 SPCT. Vinc continued his superb play during the playoffs, stonewalling New England and stopping Toronto’s high-powered attack. Dobbie and Dickson won’t be kept off the scorecard, but Vinc will limit the damage.

Calgary’s Christian Del Bianco was the leading minutes player in the NLL, but he didn’t experience the same level of success as Vinc. Del Bianco finished with a 11.17 GAA and .782 SPCT, but he limited Colorado to only four goals in the semis. If the Roughnecks expect to stand a chance, Christian will need to play one of the best games of his career.

2019 NLL finals prediction

NLL Odds

 

Buffalo’s sudden rise in 2019 was the result of complete team cohesion and outstanding goaltending. The Roughnecks have put together an impressive run, but the Bandits will steal Calgary’s thunder with decisive victories.

Game Two NLL Championship Pick - Buffalo Bandits +1.5 (1.50)

Buffalo Bandits (+1.5) To Win Game 2 NLL Playoff Odds
1.50

See below the top sportsbooks where you can wager online and choose the best one for you:

NLL 2019 regular season standings

East Division Pct
Buffalo Bandits .778
Georgia Swarm .667
Toronto Rock .667
New England Black Wolves .500
Rochester Knighthawks .333
Philadelphia Wings .222

 

West Division Pct
Saskatchewan Rush .611
San Diego Seals .556
Calgary Roughnecks .556
Colorado Mammoth .333
Vancouver Warriors .278

2019/20 NLL Lacrosse season predictions

Halifax Thunderbirds and New York Riptide will debut in the 2019/20 NLL Lacrosse season.

The league will enter into new markets and it will be composed of thirteen franchises. There are already some candidate cities looking to have a team by the 2020/21 season.