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Thread: AAF Week 5 preview

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    Default AAF Week 5 preview

    AAF Week 5 preview, odds, picks and a best bet
    Brandon DuBreuil

    Arizona Hotshots wide receiver Josh Huff is tackled by Atlanta Legends defensive back Doran Grant in the Legends' Week 4 win over the Hotshots.

    It's Week 5 from the Alliance of American Football (AAF) and we dive into the betting odds and totals (how low can they go?) while taking a look at some trends, leans, and a best bet.

    Week 4 Betting Recap

    Finally! Iím on the board with my best bets as the Under 44.5 in the Orlando-Salt Lake game on Saturday night cashed easily in the snow. This game was bet down heavily before game time with a number closer to 40, but that was still an easy winner as players dealt with footing issues on the slick field.

    My leans didnít have the same luck, however, going just 1-3. I was able to cash in on the Under 39.5 in the San Antonio-Birmingham game (again, weather was an issue), while missing on the Under in the San Diego-Memphis game, Salt Lake +4.5, and the Over 41.5 in the Atlanta-Arizona match.

    Season totals: Leans 5-7, Best Bets 1-2


    AAF Betting Trends

    The Under went 3-1 last week and is now 12-4 on the season.
    The road team went 3-1 against the spread in Week 4.
    Home teams are now 9-7 ATS on the season and 10-6 straight up.
    Underdogs went 3-1 straight up and ATS last week.
    Favorites are now 12-4 straight up and 9-7 ATS on the season.
    No double-digit favorite has covered the spread yet this season (three occurrences).


    AAF Week 5 Odds and Totals

    ORLANDO APOLLOS (4-0) at BIRMINGHAM IRON (3-1)


    Opening line: Orlando -3.5, O/U 34

    TV: 2 p.m. ET, TNT

    Week 5 kicks off with a battle between the top-two teams in the league, but hereís a hot take: Orlando is the only good team in the AAF; everyone else is mediocre. And yes, that includes the Iron.

    Birminghamís lack of offense finally caught up to it last week in scoring just 11 points in a home loss to San Antonio. The Iron average just 19 points a game. Quarterback Luis Perez hasnít thrown a touchdown yet on the season and hasnít eclipsed 5.2 yards per attempt since Week 1. The defense remains elite and is giving up just 8.3 points per game (!) but the Iron need to develop some sort of offensive rhythm.

    Orlando continues to impress week after week. The explosive offense they showed in Weeks 1 and 2 (38.5 points per game) has slowed down (20.5 points per game in Weeks 3 and 4) but the defense has stepped up and is allowing 14 points per game over the last two weeks. Garrett Gilbert is the unquestioned best quarterback in the league right now and his 1,071 passing yards give him 274 more than the next closest QB.

    Note that weather could again be an issue in Birmingham as Saturday currently calls for severe thunderstorms, a 90 percent chance of rain, and 10-20 mph winds.

    Lean: Under 34 ó but don't bet this one just yet. Watch the weather forecast closely and if it holds the Under should be the play. If the forecast improves, I'd prefer Orlando -3.5.

    SALT LAKE STALLIONS (1-3) at SAN DIEGO FLEET (2-2)

    Opening line: San Diego -6, O/U 36

    TV: 8 p.m. ET, NFL Network

    The biggest storyline here is that San Diego will be without quarterback Philip Nelson for at least a month with a fractured clavicle. The Fleet will go back to Mike Bercovici, who went 15-of-25 for 176 yards and two interceptions in Week 1 before getting benched. It was interesting that coach Mike Martz decided to play Alex Ross under center last week after Nelson got hurt, but he was bad, going 8 of 18 for 80 yards, one touchdown, one interception, and two lost fumbles. Obviously, Martz doesnít think much of Bercovici or Ross.

    Salt Lake was unable to build on its Week 3 win as the Stallions just couldn't get much offense going on the snow-covered field last Saturday night against Orlando, managing just 265 yards on 53 offensive plays. The Stallions now have three losses but it should be noted that two of those have come against Orlando and Birmingham, arguably the two best teams in the league. This is a huge week for Salt Lake as it takes on a Fleet squad without its starting quarterback as it will pull into a three-way tie for second place in the West with a win.

    Lean: Under 36. The Fleet will have starting DE Demontre Moore back (he missed last week) and I expect them to bounce back defensively while also running the ball a lot to take the pressure off of Bercovici.

    MEMPHIS EXPRESS (1-3) at ATLANTA LEGENDS (1-3)

    Opening line: Atlanta -1.5, O/U 38.5

    TV: 4 p.m. ET, CBS Sports Network

    Here we have two teams with new quarterbacks who led their squads to their first wins last weekend. For Memphis, thatís Zach Mettenberger who was 18 of 25 for 174 yards and a touchdown last week and is now 27 of 37 for 294 yards and three passing touchdowns through six quarters of football. An important note for Express backers, however: They likely donít win last week if Nelson doesnít get hurt as the Fleet had jumped out to a 20-3 lead but then Ross basically gave the game to Memphis with turnovers.

    Atlanta fans finally got what they were waiting for as Aaron Murray took over from Matt Simms for the second series after Simms cut his hand open taking a sack. Murray looked good, throwing for 254 yards on 20-of-33 passing and adding 54 rushing yards on seven attempts. The Legends still have serious red-zone issues, however, and their 11 points per game needs to take a serious spike upwards if they want to win a couple more games this season. Murray provides hope, though, as does the defenseís performance in Week 4 where it allowed 11 points on the road after giving up 30.6 points per game through the first three weeks.

    Lean: Over 38.5. I'm expecting the Legends' offense to continue to improve under Murray and as the team moves past the departure of offensive coordinator Rich Bartel just prior to Week 3. Ditto with the Express as Mettenberger continues to get more comfortable as the starter.

    SAN ANTONIO COMMANDERS (2-2) at ARIZONA HOTSHOTS (2-2)

    Opening line: Arizona -2.5, O/U 40

    TV: 8 p.m. ET, NFL Network

    What has happened to the Hotshots? After looking like Orlandoís only competitor through the first two weeks, Arizona now finds itself in a battle to make the playoffs in the extremely tight West Division after losing each of the last two weeks to teams that hadnít posted a win yet. Week 4 was particularly shocking as the Hotshots managed just 11 points at home to a Atlanta defense that had been torched in Weeks 1-3.

    Arizona QB John Wolford threw for just 185 yards on 17-of-31 passing against last week and was perhaps still feeling the effects of the back injury he suffered in Week 3. One bright spot for the Hotshots was running back Jhurell Pressley, who galloped for 110 yards on just 14 carries. Expect him to be a big part of Arizonaís offense this week.

    San Antonio evened its record at 2-2 after suffering back-to-back losses in Weeks 2 and 3. The big question is which Commanders defense will show up this week: The one from Weeks 1 and 4 that allowed six and 11 points, or the one in Weeks 2 and 3 that allowed 37 and 31 points. San Antonio seems more predictable on the other side of the ball ó the Commanders are brutal on offense right now with just 23 points in their last two games.

    Lean: Under 40. Arizona has gone Under in two of its three home games, while San Antonio has gone Under in both of its road games. Expect the Hotshots to rely more on the running game as Wolford regresses and the Commanders to continue their offensive woes.

    WEEK 5 BEST BET

    My best bet for Week 5 is the Salt Lake Stallions +6 for a few of reasons. First, San Diego's QB situation is now amongst the worst in the league without Nelson. Second, we're giving the Stallions offense a pass last week in the snow and hoping they return back to the form they were in when they put up 23 points in Week 3. Third, if there was ever a must-win in Week 5 of the AAF, this is it for the Stallions as they try to stay in the top-half of the jammed West Division standings.

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    AAF - Week 5 Best Bets
    YouWager

    Week 5

    It was two outright wins for both of the underdog best bet selections last week, as San Antonio was able to end Birmingham's undefeated season, while Atlanta found a way to get their first win of the year as a two touchdown underdog. Thankfully taking the points brought no nerves with them in those plays, and it's on to Week 5 with a perfect 4-0 ATS record in AAF intact.

    This week it's all about division matchups in the Alliance as it's still way to early in the league's life to call them rivalries yet. The week opens up with a huge 1st place showdown in the East between Orlando and Birmingham, while the week closes with Arizona Ė the overwhelming favorite to win it all before the season started Ė searching for answers to stop this two-game losing streak they find themselves on.

    It's those two games that make the betting card this week, so let's get right to the plays:

    YTD Record: 4-0 ATS

    Best Bet #1: Birmingham Iron +4.5


    Birmingham may have come up short in last week's loss to San Antonio but through a month's worth of games now, they've shown that they are more than comfortable in their defensive-minded skin. The Iron will need their defense to be at or near their best against Orlando in this matchup as the Apollos have shown to be the most consistent offense in the league.

    And while it is awful early to be thinking about teams looking ahead/past an opponent in this league, it's tough not to figure that wasn't the case for Birmingham a week ago. They saw both them and Orlando undefeated and atop the East standings last week and knew they had this home game on deck with the Apollos. The flat effort the Iron gave in that game was evident, and while their great defense (allowed just 33 total points through four weeks) kept them in the game for it's entirety it just didn't land their way. Yet, when those look ahead opponents finally arrive across the field from this Birmingham team on Saturday, I don't expect any sort of flat effort at all.

    The Iron can't afford to drop this game if they've got any hope fo winning the East's top spot, as four of their final five games after this one are on the road, including a trip to Orlando in the final week. Being two games behind in the loss column and down 1-0 in the head-to-head matchup would have Birmingham really behind the 8-ball should they lose this week. That may end up being the case in the end, but the Iron's play on defense will make sure it's not a defeat by more than a FG.

    Best Bet #2: San Antonio/Arizona Over 40

    Highest total on the board this week, and in a league that's been starved for offense through the first four weeks, bettors and AAF fans in general may have to wait until the finale this week to see plenty of points. The ďhighĒ number is warranted for sure given the matchup, but these totals are still too heavily influenced by the run of 'unders' we've seen in this league, and 40 points is still rather low.

    Arizona is back at home after arguably three sub-par performances the past three weeks. Last week's home loss to winless Atlanta was the capper on that poor play, as to come away with a 1-2 SU record against three teams that enter this week a combined 3-9 SU this year is not what the preseason title favorites expected from themselves. After the embarrassment at home a week ago, this does set up as a spot where we should expect to see Arizona at least near their best, and with that we should expect some offense from them.

    Defensively, the fact that Arizona gave up an average of 18.33 points per game to those three teams with a combined 3-9 SU record suggests that the Hotshots defense is still not great by any means, and San Antonio's offense has shown to be much more consistent this year than the likes of Memphis, Salt Lake, and Atlanta, as in fact, the Commanders have more points scored on the year (67) than any one of those teams. Against this Hotshots team that the Commanders have to figure will move the ball, San Antonio will be ready to match score for score if need be.

    So after weeks of minimal scoring in this league, I do believe we will start to see a shift very soon in terms of a few more 'overs' getting to the cashier window, and that could be lead by this game. At least one of these teams have been involved in the highest scoring game of the week in three of the four weeks of the season so far, and pairing them up against one another should bring some offensive fireworks.

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    AAF Week 5 betting recap, takeaways, and a Week 6 odds preview: Points!
    Brandon DuBreuil

    What a weekend from the Alliance of American Football (AAF)! The offenses were humming (by AAF standards), leading to a lot of betting Overs and some very fun football games. But the big question moving forward is who can stop Orlando?

    AAF Week 5 Scores

    Orlando Apollos 31 at Birmingham Iron 14


    Orlando cover as a road favorite and the game goes Over.

    Salt Lake Stallions 25 at San Diego Fleet 27

    Salt Lake covers as a road underdog and the game goes Over.

    Memphis Express 20 at Atlanta Legends 23

    Atlanta covers as a home favorite and the game goes Over.

    San Antonio Commanders 29 at Arizona Hotshots 25

    San Antonio covers as a road underdog and the game goes Over.

    Week 5 Betting Takeaways

    Points!


    Is the Under trend in the AAF officially over? Oddsmakers put all four totals in Week 5 at 40 or below but Overs bettors were rewarded as each game went north of the number ó and did so with ease. The only game that was somewhat close was the Memphis-Atlanta game but even that went Over 37.5 just a couple minutes into the fourth quarter. This was great to see from an entertainment value as the league desperately needed some offense.

    The points led to some truly entertaining football games. Atlanta won on a field goal with seven seconds remaining, Arizona rallied from a 26-0 halftime deficit but came up just short in the 29-25 loss, and the Salt Lake-San Antonio game was possibly the best game so far in the AAF (see below).

    Unstoppable Orlando

    The Orlando Apollos simply look unstoppable. They looked to be in a tough spot on Saturday, heading to Birmingham to play the team with the second-best record in the AAF and the top-ranked defense. But the Iron proved no challenge as Steve Spurrierís squad racked up 468 yards of offense in an easy 31-14 win.

    Perez out?

    Birminghamís struggles against Orlando led to a quarterback change as starter Luis Perez got the hook in favor of Keith Price. The former Washington Huskies quarterback went 18 of 29 for 234 yards and threw the Ironís first passing touchdown of the year. Birmingham coach Tim Lewis hasnít named a starter yet for Week 6.

    Bad beat(s) of the week

    There were a couple of bad betting breaks in the AAF this weekend. The worst goes to San Diego spread backers (-5.5 or -6) who watched helplessly as the Fleet blew a 24-11 lead with under five minutes left in regulation. Two quick scores from Salt Lake gave the Stallions a 25-24 lead, but the Fleet wound up winning 27-24 on a last-second field goal.

    Those who had Memphis with the 1.5 points probably werenít all that thrilled with how their game ended on Sunday either as the Express were driving late in the fourth and were in scoring position when Zach Mettenberger had a pass tipped and intercepted with 3:22 remaining. Atlanta then drove down the field and Younghoe Koo nailed a 35-yard field goal with seven seconds left for the win (and the cover).

    Week 6 Betting Preview

    The AAF lines for Week 6 likely wonít be released until Wednesday or Thursday, but Iíll take my weekly shot at predicting the Week 6 odds and totals.
    Memphis at Salt Lake (Saturday, 4 p.m. ET)

    Projected line: Salt Lake -3, O/U 40
    Arizona at Orlando (Saturday, 8 p.m. ET)

    Projected line: Orlando -9.5, O/U 43
    San Antonio at Atlanta (Sunday, 4 p.m. ET)

    Projected line: Atlanta -1.5, 42.5
    Birmingham at San Diego (Sunday, 8 p.m. ET)

    Projected line: San Diego -1.5, 38.5

    AAF Standings
    East Division


    Orlando Apollos 5-0
    Birmingham Iron 3-2
    Atlanta Legends 2-3
    Memphis Express 1-4

    West Division

    San Antonio Commanders 3-2
    San Diego Fleet 3-2
    Arizona Hotshots 2-3
    Salt Lake Stallions 1-4

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    AAF Betting Stats through Week 5:

    Favorites: 15-5 Straight Up & 11-9 Against The Spread
    Home Teams: 12-8 Straight Up & 10-10 Against The Spread

    Over/Under: 8-12

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