Frothing Hyenas (+240)
Hungry Hippos (-320)
Over 8.0 (-130)
Under 8.0 (-110)
Notes: Red has a chance tonight to author the greatest cinderella story in league history. It would even surpass the great Purple People Eaters comeback of 2019 which James was kind enough to post on the Facebook page this morning.
So, what do the people actually think will happen?
Yikes. Out of 19 votes only two people picked the Hyenas to win: Jack and Annie. They will no doubt be following the live stream closely during their date night. The Hyenas will be missing Kev Vanessa Hilary Thorpe Courtney Cory and Lorredonna while Lerner will probably respond to the team email around 11 PM tonight. The Hippos won’t have LJ, Rob, Tony or Dewey but still have way more players than the Hyenas as Metz just texted me that red currently only has 6 guys and 1 girl. I will need to scramble to get them reasonable playoff subs but with this patchwork lineup it’s tough to see them pulling an upset short of a yellow bench implosion. This puts Dave GDR’s streak of never losing in the first round in serious jeopardy. Maybe Dan Burns will inspire them and also cause Russo to hate this preview even more than he already does.
Orange Royals (-140)
My Cup Size Is Stanley (EVEN)
Over 7.0 (-120)
Under 7.0 (-120)
Notes: The 3/6/7 side of the bracket has all sorts of absences on both sides. Orange will not have Cherie Mia or Malik while black rolls without Neil Joe Goose Ryann and Nico. Tough absences for both sides; it seems likely that the Zisser/Max matchup will determine the winner of this one. What do the people think?
Royals are getting a lot of action from the public and with good reason – they overcame an early rough start to become a solid sleeper team. These two teams have run about even all year but I think Cup Size’s personnel losses are a bit more severe than orange’s. Black is faster but they have to find a way to set up plays because I’m not sure speed and grit will be enough. In what should be a pretty even game I’m betting on Tash and Otis to make their presence felt from the blueline and get orange through to the next round. Under also looks solid but who’s brave enough to bet it this season?
Green Street Hooligans (-150)
Over 7.5 (-130)
Under 7.5 (-110)
Notes: The Hooligans come into this game with a mostly full lineup and a good deal of momentum after winning 5 of their last 7 games going into the playoffs. Probert has described tonight’s lineup situation as “surprisingly solid” which I took to mean he will not be needing any subs. The opponent is TBD in the earlier games but most of the league projects it to be yellow, just as they project green to take this game.
If the opponent is the Hyenas green will no doubt try to impose their will with a speed game to take advantage of red having a super short bench. The Hippos will have a deeper bench but still don’t have many players who can keep the Hooligans’ speed in check. This is the game they will be badly missing LJ and of course heartbreaker Richard Dewey who came into town late in the season, scored a few highlight reel goals and then disappeared right back to burning man.
Real shame that Richard Dewey and Jeff Green never met as it seems they’d be fast friends although since they’ve never been seen in the same place, rumors abound about that they are in fact the same person. In any case, while Hogg has led yellow to a resurgent last few games, I don’t think yellow will be able to keep up with the potent Probie/AK combo up front with Jess doing field hockey things and demanding a mention in this preview. Jason Campbell (aka J Exotic) has come on strong at the end of the season both as a player and as the league’s new alpha gambler, but I have to think this is a surprisingly high scoring game that ends with green coming out on top.
Royals/Cup Size (-110)
The Goaldiggers (-130)
Over 7.0 (-110)
Under 7.0 (-130)
Notes: Ah yes, the good old fashioned McQuade special. How we’ve missed you. The Royals and Cup Size absences have been well-noted but the Goaldiggers will also roll into this game missing 4 guys including captain Mike Tarnow. They also only have Andrea, Patty and a league sub playing in this game girl-wise. Le sad. And yet, the public doesn’t seem fazed by this at all and is just hammering the Goaldiggers nonstop.
I personally think this game will be closer than people think. Guido Casca and Andrea will still be at the game but losing Tarnow along with Jon, Evan, Scotty, Izzy, Sam and Dr Dangles will be no easy feat to overcome. The good news for them is the other teams are missing players too but I don’t think their absences are quite as severe as white’s. Against black I would favor them somewhere around -145. Against orange, I would actually lean towards the Royals. Considering I picked the Royals in the last game, I’m sticking with it here and predicting them overcome the losses of Cherie & Malik to pick up a hard fought win in this one and propel Russo towards an improbable run to the final four.
Grand Salami (Playoff Night One)
Over 29.5 Goals (-130)
Under 29.5 Goals (-110)
Most Points (Playoff Night One)
Sean Gavin (+170)
Will Anyone Notch A Shutout (Playoff Night One)?
Will Any Game Go To OT (Playoff Night One)?