The weekend that everyone has been waiting for has finally come! And no, I am not talking about NFL week one. Championship Weekend for the AUDL starts on Friday with the San Diego Growlers facing off against the New York Empire at 4 pm Eastern, and then the Raleigh Flyers take on the Chicago Union at 7 pm. The winners of the AUDL Semifinals get to play for a chance to hoist the championship trophy Saturday night.
The last two weekends of playoff action have been nothing short of electric! First, Chicago dug themselves out of a late deficit to beat Minnesota. Then Raleigh went to DC and pulled off the upset against the Breeze. Finally, New York countered Atlanta’s hot start by pulling even in regulation and then capping it off with an overtime, buzzer-beating win in what may have been the game of the year. But now it’s time to look forward to Championship weekend and pick the best bets for the semifinals.
Before we get into the picks, note this: the AUDL seasonal structure only allows teams to play within their division. Therefore, these semifinal matchups do not contain any rematches or even familiarity with similar opponents.
San Diego Growlers vs New York Empire (-2)
DraftKings opened up this game with New York favored at -1.5 goals, but it was quickly adjusted to two goals in favor of the Empire. And rightfully so. New York’s offense is led by the three-headed monster of Jagt, Osgar, and Chartock. This offense ranks 3rd in efficiency, meaning that if New York can take a lead by a few goals at any point, San Diego will struggle to claw back into the game. The Growlers are also taking the coast-to-coast flight to get to Washington DC, a long trip that could take a toll on their performance. The Empire are coming into this weekend hot, and they will stay that way as they cover the two-goal spread.
Pick: New York Empire (-2)
Raleigh Flyers vs Chicago Union (-1.5)
What happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object? The answer will be revealed to us Friday night when the Raleigh Flyers take on the Chicago Union. The Chicago Union defense, led by Nate Goff and Drew Swanson, is one of the most efficient in the league, giving up the second least amount of goals per game. On the flip side, Raleigh leads the league in scoring and offensive efficiency with a stellar season-long performance behind Sol Yanuck and Anders Juengst. Raleigh has been battle-tested in the toughest division and I think Chicago is just a half step down from Raleigh’s previous Atlantic opponents. The Flyers won’t let this game get away from them. They cover here and this might even be a good time to sprinkle some on the money line to close out the AUDL Semifinals.
Pick: Raleigh Flyers (+1.5)
AUDL Semifinals Picks