2023 Week 0 College Lacrosse Predictions:
College lacrosse is back, and no one has let mother nature know yet, as it will be freezing cold throughout the East Coast this weekend, but that will not stop college lacrosse from making its long-awaited return. With rumors swirling about the transfer Portal, D-1 football players making their return to the lacrosse field and every twitter troll’s hottest take, it is about time we can actually watch a 2023 regular season game.
Check out my 3 Best Bets and The Underdog of the Weekend:
Denver/Utah Under 24.5 (-115):
The Denver Pioneers open up Bill Tierney’s final season with a familiar foe. Denver and Utah have played in the opening weekend in back-to-back seasons, where both resulted in 1 goal victories for the Pios. This matchup will be tight and feature experienced defenses, with new faces on offense for both teams. Opening weekend games are hard to handicap, but scrimmage notes have indicated Denver may have trouble replacing Jack Hannah and Alex Simmons early on this season. Look for this game to end around the 20 goal mark, with the game staying close to the final whistle.
Johns Hopkins Moneyline (-115 ) vs Jacksonville:
The Johns Hopkins Blue Jays will travel down to Florida in what should be the best game of the weekend. Even with Jacksonville making noise in the Transfer Portal, Hopkins made some waves on their own getting help on both sides of the ball. Alex Mazzone (Georgetown) and Russell Melendez (Marquette) will be guys to watch this season, if we are going to see a big turnaround compared to last year for the boys from Baltimore. Jacksonville was the feel good story of last season, going 14-3 with wins over Duke and Denver. However, no one is sleeping on the Dolphins this year as they have established themselves as a top 20 team already. Dylan Watson is a name to keep an eye out for, as he begins his Jacksonvile career after spending the past four years at Georgetown dominating the Big East.
Detroit Mercy ML (-150) vs VMI:
Detroit Mercy has brought in some legit freshmen that will make an impact right away. The young guns will be forced into contributing roles early on in their careers, but will not be out there on their own. They also return 3 of their top 4 scorers from last season including two starting attackmen. VMI has been a bottom tier D1 team for some time and I do not see that changing anytime soon. They were lucky to have two games against Hampton last year to double their win total to 4, but Detroit is much better than them. Obviously the first games of the year will come with some question marks, but VMI is a step below Detroit and this game should be a 12-7 Detroit Mercy win.
Dog of the Weekend: Utah +2.5 vs Denver:
Doubling down on this game as the opening weekend of the year leaves many question marks surrounding teams. Like I mentioned above, the last two years the Pios and Utes have gone down to the wire. This may just be the year Utah wins the game outright, as Denver will have trouble this season finding a consistent scorer alongside JJ Silstrop. Utah graduates 1 senior who had more than 5 points last year so I think these guys will pick up where they left off last year when they went 10-4. Utah has been close the last two years and that must have been in the back of their minds this whole preseason. This game should be closer to a Pick’em or -1.5 but we will take all the points they will give us and take Utah to keep this game within 2 goals.
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