Plenty has gone right for the Alliance of American Football in its first year of existence. The play on the field is fun to watch, the new rules are engaging, attendance and viewership have exceeded expectations, and Johnny Football made his AAF debut a success leading Memphis to its second win of the season last week.
All that was overshadowed by news earlier in the week that said the league may not finish its inaugural season unless the NFLPA steps up and agrees to allow its players to compete. It could be posturing by the AAF brass to get the NFL to make a move. There are already signs that the NFL is interested. Heck, a couple games each week are televised on their network.
Now, let’s get back to the field. We are guaranteed another week that will take us closer to the end of the season, and the Orlando Apollos are clearly the class of the league. They bounced back from their first loss to hammer Atlanta, 36-6, last week, securing a playoff spot as one of the top two teams in the Eastern Conference. Here’s a look at the AAF live betting slate for Week 8.
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Orlando Apollos at Memphis Express, Saturday, March 30, 2 p.m. ET (TNT)
Opening Line: Orlando Apollos -10, O/U 41
In the standings and on the stat sheet the Apollos are the better team. And they already have a win over the Express earlier this season, 21-17. There is plenty at stake for both teams, should we get to the end of the season. Orlando can clinch the East with a win, guaranteeing a home playoff game. Memphis showed a little spark last week with Johnny Football getting a few snaps. The Express have an outside chance at the postseason and with another week of prep, look Manziel to make a bigger impact. Take the home team and 10 points for the victory.
ATS Pick: Memphis Express +10
San Diego Fleet at Salt Lake Stallions, Saturday, March 30, 8 p.m. ET (NFLN)
Opening Line: Salt Lake Stallions -3, O/U 40.5
Last week’s game in Arizona was the biggest of the year for San Diego. With ‘was’ being the operative word. The biggest game now is Saturday’s Week 8 showdown with the Stallions in Salt Lake City, which will be televised live on NFL Network. In a battle for second place in the West the Fleet were subdued by Arizona with their postseason hopes taking a hit. The offense also took a hit with the loss leading rusher Ja’Quan Gardner and with leading receiver Dontez Ford done for the year. The Stallions defense has been up to the task, collecting six sacks last week. But they couldn’t get anything going offensively. Don’t expect a lot of points in this one and San Diego is a banged up group, though Mike Bercovici has been impressive of late.
ATS Pick: San Diego Fleet +3
Atlanta Legends at Birmingham Iron, Sunday, March 31, 4 p.m. ET (CBSSN)
Opening Line: Birmingham Iron -6, O/U 38
Their 3-0 start to the season has Birmingham in a good spot to make the playoffs as the second-place team in the East. The Iron look to solidify their spot in Sunday’s home game against Atlanta on CBS Sports Network while snapping out of a funk that’s seen them lose three of the last four games. The good news for the Iron is that Atlanta might be the worst team in the Alliance of American Football. Losers of two straight, the Legends have been outscored 73-12 in those games. They have the league’s worst defense and the lowest scoring offense, not a good combination for winning ball games. Birmingham won the Week 3 meeting 28-12 in a game that wasn’t as close as the final score.
ATS Pick: Birmingham Iron -6
Arizona Hotshots at San Antonio Commanders, Sunday, March 31, 8 p.m. ET (NFLN)
Opening Line: San Antonio Commanders -1.5, O/U 43.5
The Commanders have something no other team in the AAF has – the support of a rabid fan base. In front of over 30,000 at the Alamodome last week, San Antonio sketched out a narrow victory over Salt Lake with backup quarterback Marquise Williams leading the game-winning touchdown drive after Logan Woodside was injured. Williams broke a fourth quarter tie with his first TD toss of the season and converted the 2-point try to give the Commanders a lead. Good teams find ways to win and San Antonio did last week. The Stallions scored with two minutes left and their attempt to tie the game turned into a defensive PAT thanks to De’Vante Bausby. Arizona has won two straight and can forge a tie at the top of the Western Conference with a win. It’s not going to be easy, though, with another energized crowd cheering on the home team.
ATS Pick: San Antonio Commanders -1.5
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