- Who: The selected winners from two National Lacrosse League Matchups this weekend
- What: Week 20 of the NLL regular season
- When: Saturday, April 16, 2022
- Where: Hamilton, Ontario (home of the Rock) & Duluth, Georgia (home of the Swarm)
With the NLL season hitting its final stages this month, the race for the playoffs is certainly heating up. In our first matchup breakdown from MTS, the 13-3 Buffalo Bandits square off against the 8-7 Georgia Swarm in a battle to stay at the top of the NLL Eastern Division. In the second matchup spotlight, the No. 2 overall team in the East, the 11-5 Toronto Rock, welcome Halifax to their home for a tango with the 9-6 Thunderbirds.
Below, MTS takes a deeper dive into what makes each team stand out, the keys to victory and who will ultimately prevail in each showdown.
First Matchup Spotlight
What to look for from: The Buffalo Bandits
Currently the top team in the NLL, Buffalo has been surging this season. Led by head coach John Tavares, the Bandits are seeking their 12th overall division title and their first since 2019. This season, Buffalo has maintained an impressive goal differential with an overall mark of +56 and they are first in the league in terms of total goals on offense (222). Currently led by captain Steve Priolo and top goal-scorer Dhane Smith (39), the Bandits have it all working for them this season. Although they were riding a seven-game winning streak prior to a two-game skid in April, Buffalo has the weapons to get back on track.
What to look for from: The Georgia Swarm
Currently the fourth team in the East, Georgia has its work cut out for them in this battle against the Bandits. Captain Jordan MacIntosh has his squad set for this clash and the Swarm are seeking their first championship since 2017. Currently, Georgia maintains a 4-3 record at home this season, but are coming off a 13-9 loss to the Rock earlier this month. A sort of middling squad, the Swarm is even this season on goal differential and also is near .500 as well. This matchup will be big for them in terms of playoff seeding.
Prediction: A battle with some playoff implications on the line, look for the Bandits to cruise and sweep the season series with Georgia.
Second Matchup Spotlight
What to look for from: The Halifax Thunderbirds
A sturdy squad, the Thunderbirds are trying to turn things around after a dismal March where they went 1-4. Currently the No. 3 team in the East, Halifax has shown earlier this season they do have the weapons to hang with most teams but have been slowing down as of late. Coming off a 11-7 win over the Rochester Knighthawks earlier this month, the Thunderbirds will try and keep the good times rolling against the Rock, a team they are already 2-0 against this season.
What to look for from: The Toronto Rock
Another tough squad, this will be a big-time redemption matchup for the Rock. Currently riding a three-game winning streak, including an undefeated mark in April, Toronto is perhaps one of the hottest teams in the league. The No. 2 team in the East, the Rock have a +30 goal differential on the season and also the No. 2 overall offense as well. Top scorer Tom Schreiber currently paces Toronto in total points (73) and also goals (41). It also bears mentioning that goalie Nick Rose currently maintains a 0.793 save percentage along with 11 total wins on the season.
Prediction: Though Halifax currently maintains the season advantage, this will be the game that the Rock get redemption.
How to place your National Lacrosse League Wagers
With all of this knowledge now in place, MTS has made it easy for you to get the most out of your NLL wagers. For instance, MTS has you covered with a guide on the highest-rated quality sportsbooks out there and finding the best one for you. Also, if you are a gambler that is always on the go, we have also made sure to compile a breakdown on the finest mobile betting apps available. Finally, if you are in need of some more expert betting advice, our team has you covered with picks and predictions for everything from Moto GP to the MLB.