By Lauren Merola | Jul 31, 2021
It’s Week 7, and for the first time ever, the Waterdogs and the Whipsnakes will battle it out. Both need the W for a chance at the top seed and a first-round bye.
The Waterdogs sit in second at 4-3 and the Whipsnakes in fourth at 4-2. In the shot category, the Waterdogs surpass the Whipsnakes by a whopping 22 goals at 90-68.
Without Matt Rambo, the team will rely on Zed Williams to lead it out of its scoring deficit. The Whips need to fire – and hit – more shots if they want to secure a higher playoff seed. They currently placed 68 shots and were scored against 75 times, for a score differential of -7. For context, the first-place Redwoods have a score differential of +8 and the Waterdogs +7.
Who to Watch
In the loss to the Redwoods, Williams was quiet. He’ll need to be the Williams who scored 15 points in four games. Bringing back the Nardella-feed-Williams-rip fans love so much wouldn’t hurt either. The Whipsnakes relish the fast break opportunities. They score on 33% of fast break opportunities.
To stop Williams, the Waterdogs will rely on Liam Byrnes, who leads the league in caused turnovers with 16.
Nardella has the upper hand at the stripe. He’s won 60% of 147 contests this season, including a 73% performance (23-of-32) against the Archers on July 4. Jake Withers posts a 53% faceoff win on 174 faceoffs. Withers needs to come up big to slow down the Whipsnakes transition offense and control the pace of the game.
Zach Currier proved himself a reliable two-way midfielder and, on the O’s, near-impossible to guard. In seven games, Currier picked up 40 ground balls, scored nine goals and assisted 10.
Ryan Brown is another lethal threat that capitalizes off the ‘Dogs craftiness and ability to move the ball quickly. He’s scored 16 goals in his last six games and is second in the PLL in assisted goals. Of his 16 goals, 94% were assisted. Brown is only behind Will Manny, who scored every goal (16) off an assist (100%).
Who Ya Got?
Despite a higher scores per game average (12.9) and lower scores against average (11.9), the Waterdogs are a heavy underdog in PLL Pick ‘Em, with 23% of fans picking the Waterdogs to beat the Whipsnakes.
Whipsnakes sit at the -1.5 (+100) favorite on DraftKings Sportsbook.
With two weeks left of regular season play, both the Waterdogs and Whipsnakes are sitting pretty with four wins apiece.
At 4-3, a Waterdogs loss would put the team at .500 and open the door for other teams to secure a higher playoff seed over them.
A Whipsnakes (4-2) loss would still secure a winning record, but they need to build their scoring resume.