It’s a massive weekend in the AUDL, despite only two playoff games on the schedule. This season, with the three Canadian franchises unable to compete in the main continental competition, the northeast and southeast quadrants combined to form a de facto Super Division, and the Atlantic has lived up to the hype in terms of competitive fervor.
Consequently, there’s a real argument to be made that the four best teams in the entire AUDL are the top four in the Atlantic, and those four teams meet in a pair of pivotal quarterfinal playoff contests this weekend: Raleigh (8-4) at DC (10-2) on Friday and Atlanta (9-3) at New York (10-2) on Saturday. Both winners will probably be favorites at Championship Weekend, while the losers will spend the winter wondering what could have been.
Without further adieu, here are my notions—aka “locks”—for the two Atlantic Division playoff games, with the friendly reminder that I’m 15-3 with my picks against the DraftKings Sportsbook spread over the past six weeks.
Note: AUDL DraftKings Sportsbook bets are available in West Virginia, Tennessee, Colorado, Michigan and Illinois.
Lock No. 1
I’m taking the Raleigh Flyers +1.5 on Friday night in DC. Just two weeks ago, the Breeze defeated the Flyers by one in double overtime. Back in early June, DC prevailed by one over Raleigh in regulation. And, by the way, the Flyers’ other two losses on the season both came by just one goal in overtime. Consequently, Raleigh has not been beaten by multiple goals all season, and I expect that streak to continue this weekend. This is not necessarily a prediction that the Flyers are going to come out on top, but they certainly could, and that possibility combined with their track record makes it a relatively easy call to take the points.
Lock No. 2
I’m also snagging the goal with the hook in the Saturday night showdown, riding with Atlanta +1.5 in New York. This is a tougher choice, since the Empire’s premier playmakers—Ben Jagt, Ryan Osgar, Jack Williams, to mention the top three—have all been playing at a crazy high level. But the quirky and fierce Hustle defense should still be able to confuse New York a bit, and Atlanta’s Austin Taylor will quarterback the Hustle into a competitive game in the fourth quarter. The Hustle feel like a bigger underdog in New York than Raleigh does in DC, but that idea also casually forgets that Atlanta scored a one-goal win over the Empire back in July. The bottom line is I’m expecting another close game, so I’m taking the points and then I can be completely indifferent about the result, as long as it’s another one-goal game.
Even if you’re unable to wager on AUDL action due to your location, everyone is eligible for this week’s AUDL Friday night Free-to-Play pool on DraftKings Sportsbook. Just answer the 10 questions about the results from the second half of our exclusive DraftKings broadcast featuring Raleigh and DC and you can win your share of $1,000.
If you’re wise, I’d suggest leaning these ways on these three categories:
Will the Breeze complete 96 percent or better on their throws as a team?
Will DC have 9 or more blocks as a team?
Will the Breeze complete 8 or more hucks?
To play the free $1K pool, head over to the DraftKings Sportsbook Pools page.
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