NLL Betting Guide

by Mick Burrows from
NLL Betting Guide

Those new to lacrosse may initially want to refer to a NLL betting guide to familiarise themselves with how to bet on lacrosse, but regular punters will quickly appreciate that there is no need to get NLL betting explained, as essentially it follows the same principles as any other sport.

Here we run through the basics: provide some information on where to carry out any lacrosse betting; offer up some tips for betting on lacrosse in the NLL; and review the prospects of the Canadian sides who compete in the competition.

1. NLL Basic Information

The NLL has undergone the most impactful change in its 36-year history leading into the 2023-24 season. They have abandoned the East/West Conference idea and replaced it with a single league structure. It is made up of 10 American and 5 Canadian based sides and the organisational shift could alter opinions on how to bet on NLL games.

The final standings will see the top eight of the 15 competing franchise teams enter the play-offs, with the side finishing top facing off against the eighth placed team, second playing seventh, and so on. Each team will play 18 matches, clashing at least once with each other, with the fixtures completed by an extra four “flex” games.

The season begins on the weekend of 1-2 December, 2023, and due to the odd number of teams in the league, there will be “bye weeks” when teams don’t play at all. The regular season will run through to April 2024, followed by the Play-offs and then the final in June.

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2. Canadian Teams in the National Lacrosse League

Of the 15 teams that make up the National Lacrosse League (NLL), five are based in Canada. These are: Calgary Roughnecks, Saskatchewan Rush, Toronto Rock, Vancouver Warriors, and Halifax Thunderbirds. In previous seasons they were split 3-2 across the west/east conference structure, with the Roughnecks, Rush, and Warriors making up three of a seven team West division, whilst the Rock and Thunderbirds completed an 8-team Eastern section. Failure to make the play-offs under the previous structure could often mean at times Canadian teams never actually faced each other.

That has all changed now with the restructuring into a single table format, so guaranteeing that there will be at least one game per year against every other side in the League. This is likely to have a major impact on National Lacrosse League betting, as punters take into consideration increased travel complications. The season will actually open with an all Canadian clash when the Thunderbirds host the Rush in Game 1. This is a fixture which would not have occurred in past regular seasons, so it is an immediate bonus for Canadian lacrosse fans.

2.1 Calgary Roughnecks

Many tipsters have acknowledged that Calgary have been handed this season's toughest playing schedule. They have more bye weeks (5) and the longest inactive stretch (21 days) of all the competing teams. Additionally, no team plays twice over a single weekend more than them, and of the four sides they have to play a second time, two are the strongly fancied San Diego and Toronto, making life very tough. That said, shrewd gamblers may see the Roughnecks as something of a value bet, as they are sure to have attractive National Lacrosse League betting odds, but are capable of surprising a few, bearing in mind half of their fixtures will be against sides who failed to make the play-offs last time around.

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2.2 Saskatchewan Rush

After a difficult couple of years, Rush are quietly fancied to feature more prominently with the new league format taken to favour them. Over the course of the season they will have five separate periods of inactivity of over 10 days, which whilst not great for momentum, will help with rest and recharging. They are scheduled to play fellow Canadian outfits the Roughnecks, Warriors and Thunderbirds twice over the course of the season, the first of which is on the opening day in Halifax. They will be somewhere around the middle when the National Lacrosse League betting odds are released and will get their fair share of support.

2.3 Toronto Rock

The Rock feature highly amongst respected tipsters National Lacrosse League betting picks and for good reason. They have boasted one of the best defensive units in the league for some time now and many see this being their year. Delays in construction mean that they will once again play their games in Hamilton, where for the past two seasons they have been almost unbeatable. Week 14 could be major for them, as they have a long-haul weekend with fixtures in Las Vegas and then 24 hours later in San Diego, who are expected to be one of their strongest challengers. Not the ideal scenario, but one which could define their season.

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2.4 Vancouver Warriors

The Warriors have not had the best of times of late and many struggle to see them troubling the play-offs again this time, somewhere they have only managed to reach once in the past decade. That is likely to be reflected in the lacrosse betting with the Vancouver outfit expected to be one of the league's outsiders. They only play one of their fellow Canadian sides (Saskatchewan Rush) twice over the season, which will be a disappointment for those who take their intense rivalry with Calgary seriously.

2.5 Halifax Thunderbirds

The Thunderbirds have the chance to get off to a flyer when they take on Saskatchewan Rush in the NLL opening fixture. They remain a very capable side and have an opportunity to gain some early consistency, as they do not meet a 2023 play-off team until week 7. The bookmakers will not have missed that fact and it will be a reason why they feature amongst the positive tips for betting on the NLL for 2024. For lacrosse fans across Canada the great news from the schedule is that they play Toronto Rush twice. These clashes have been extremely heated over the years and this time around the results could have a significant bearing on final standings.

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3. Where to Bet on NLL in Canada

National Lacrosse League betting has been growing over the past few years and this season it is expected to be more popular than ever. It may be considered something of a niche game, but it is one of Canada's national sports and many bookmakers are appreciating that fact and making several markets available for pro lacrosse bets.

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Canadians looking to gamble should look to take advantage of the options on offer at leading brands such as: bet365, Bet99, IXBET, and Pinnacle Sports. They each have their own welcome bonus promotions, offering percentage pay matches to opening deposits, and thus effectively providing risk free bets. At several there is also access to a comprehensive NLL betting guide for those needing additional direction with their selections. You can find the reviews and bonuscodes for bookmakers and casinos, including the above brands on our website.

4. Pro Lacrosse Betting Tips

With the revised schedule coming into effect, it is likely to impact in some way the National Lacrosse League betting picks and the thought-processes behind them. The increased travel, weekend double-headers, and additional inactivity spells, will all have to be taken into account.

Indeed any previous NLL betting strategies that existed will most likely need to be revised somewhat, to take the changes into consideration. One of the most popular strategies employed by some of the best sports tipsters is to analyse the odds or prices set by bookmakers with statistical data over a long period of time. However, this is an advanced strategy which most likely will not appeal to casual bettors.

There could be more profit in the alternative markets and that could feature as a strategic shift in the betting patterns of gamblers this season. Some will see extended inactivity periods as a good chance to return refreshed, but others will see it as a break in momentum, so it will come down to individual reading of the situation. That said, much might depend upon how the teams were playing prior to the break; it does however make sense to be wary of any team having to play twice within 24 hours.

There are several bets that make good secondary gambles. Eventual winners, final standings, player awards and in-play betting, all have appeal; as do correct scores, out-rights, spreads and totals. There will also be several unique and obscure opportunities for those that like to bet outside of the box.

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5. NLL Favourites

When the season gets under way any NLL betting guide for Canadian fans will probably point to Toronto Rock as being the most likely to challenge the likes of Buffalo Bandits and San Diego Seals for the eventual crown. Of the remaining teams representing Canada, Halifax Thunderbirds will be the next best fancied in the National Lacrosse League betting odds, with Saskatchewan Rush a little further back. There will be long odds given for Vancouver Warriors, but there could be some smart money placed on Calgary Roughnecks, at a good price.

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6. NLL Betting FAQ

6.1 🥍 Can you bet on NLL in Canada?

Canada based gamblers need not worry about how to bet on Canadian NLL teams as several bookmakers now permit wagers to be placed in provinces and territories of accepted jurisdictions.

6.2 🥍 Which Canadian team in NLL should I bet on?

Of the five competing Canadian teams, Toronto Rock are likely to receive the most tips for betting on the NLL.

6.3 🥍 What's the best bookmaker to bet on National Lacrosse League in Canada?

Several online bookmakers show punters how to bet on National Lacrosse League matches, with Bet99, bet365, Pinnacle Sports and 1XBET being the leaders as we point out in our NLL betting guide.

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