AAF Week 3 Betting Preview: Odds, Picks and Power Rankings
The Alliance of American Football (AAF) heads into its third week and thanks to some extra financial backing that kept the league alive, we can still bet on it. AAF betting is now available in at least two more states: Pennsylvania and New Jersey, where DraftKings, FanDuel and PointsBet and MGM have posted odds (more on this).
Some betting trends have surfaced after the first two weeks of games, including the favorites going 8-0 SU and 6-2 ATS. For that trend to continue this weekend, a couple of favorites will need to win on the road. That hasn’t been an easy task so far in the AAF with home teams winning six of the first eight games.
The other major trend through two weeks is low-scoring games. The Under is 7-1 and to be honest, most matchups haven’t threatened going over the total. Five games have failed to reach 40 points.
Remember back in the opening weekend when all the totals opened in the 50s? To quote Clemenza in The Godfather, “Won’t be seeing those no more.” In Week 2, the totals dropped into the mid-40s, with the Atlanta-San Diego game closing at 39. It went under with the teams combining to score just 36 points. Totals range from 38.5 to 45 this week, suggesting oddsmakers expect the poor offensive play to continue.
Bettors still staying away from AAF
Bettors still aren’t running to the window to wager on the AAF yet. There was a slight increase in action for Week 2 but the overall handle is still low. The games are generating mostly small sharp action, as the public doesn’t seem interested in putting money on a league they still know little about at this point.
“It was similar betting last week, for the most part,” Derek Wilkinson, sportsbook supervisor at the Westgate LV SuperBook, told RotoGrinders. “We did have a few decent, public money bets on Memphis moneyline and the under. All were under $1K each. We did do well on the Arizona game overall, but still a small victory considering the modest handle.”
AAF betting comes to New Jersey
Despite the lack of betting interest so far, more states are taking wagers on the AAF for Week 3. After sitting on the sidelines for the first two weekends of action while waiting for approval by the Division of Gaming Enforcement, sportsbooks in New Jersey are now able to offer lines on AAF games.
DraftKings Sportsbook announced Wednesday it will be offering AAF future odds and game lines for the first time this week. MGM Resorts International, the league’s official gaming partner, posted AAF betting lines for the first time at its New Jersey sportsbook on Wednesday as well. FanDuel Sportsbook had futures odds up on Wednesday and are also expected to offer game lines for Week 3. Other online operators in New Jersey like 888 Sports and BetStars are also expected to follow suit.
It will be interesting to see if more people start betting on the AAF. There are opportunities to make money betting the league, so let’s move forward with our power rankings, future odds and Week 3 picks. You can also play daily fantasy AAF for Week 3 at Fanball. RotoGrinders has player projections for each position.
To read a complete breakdown of or Week 3 power rankings, click here. All lines/odds referenced herein are from the Westgate.
Editor’s Note: Get in one the action and play fantasy AAF on PrizePicks this weekend.
Week 3 Power Rankings and Future Odds
Orlando Apollos (+150)
Arizona Hotshots (+200)
San Antonio Commanders (+1200)
Birmingham Iron (+500)
San Diego Fleet (+800)
Memphis Express (+6000)
Salt Lake Stallions (+2000)
Atlanta Legends (+3000)
Overview: I disagree with some of the future odds posted at the Westgate. One of them isn’t Orlando being the favorite to win the title. The Apollos have the best coach in Steve Spurrier and probably the most overall talent in the league. They’re the clear favorite in my book and that’s why they Orlando went from +200 last week to +150 after its impressive win over the Commanders in San Antonio.
The Hotshots remain +200 after barely getting by Memphis 20-18 as 16-point favorites. Arizona should be the second favorite, despite the close game on the road with the Express. I think Memphis is better than most outside of Christian Hackenberg, so I’m not going to get down on the Hotshots because of the close win.
I have San Antonio at No. 3 over Birmingham. The Iron have played against Hackenberg and backup Austin Allen. I rate those two as the worst quarterbacks in the AAF, so I feel Birmingham is overvalued at +500 to win the league.
The Commanders lost at home to Orlando after a blowing a 29-17 lead but that was by far the best game in the AAF to date. You could argue we watched the two top teams in the AAF last Sunday. We still need to see the Commanders play on the road and quarterback Logan Woodside is too erratic for my liking but at +1200, San Antonio is currently the best value on the board.
Oddsmakers love San Diego for some reason. They have the Fleet at +800 to win the AAF title. I just don’t see it and that’s coming from someone with a preseason future bet on San Diego at +1000. The defense has played well and Ja’Quan Gardner is one of the league’s best backs but the offensive line, receivers and quarterback are still an issue. Philip Nelson struggled versus Atlanta last week after replacing Mike Bercovici, completing just 14 of 30 passes for 142 yards and an interception. He’ll need to play better for San Diego to be a serious title contender.
The next three teams look like the bottom feeders of the AAF. I may be the only person on earth who has Memphis ranked No. 6. My reasoning? I think the Express have arguably the top offensive and defensive lines in the league. If not, they’re in the top-three. Unfortunately, Hackenberg is hijacking the offense, Memphis blew a 12-0 lead last week at home versus Arizona and now travels to Orlando. An 0-3 start is almost a certainty but for Memphis to be 60/1 and Atlanta 30/1 makes no sense to me.
I may be too hard on Salt Lake because I bet them +400 to win the league before the season and now I can’t give that ticket away. To be fair, the Stallions were playing without starting quarterback Josh Woodrum last week against Birmingham. I say this with my hand on a Bible, I’ve never seen a quarterback miss more wide-open receivers in my life than Austin Allen did last week. Woodrum wasn’t great in the opener but he’s a big upgrade over Allen.
On the bright side, the Stallions have one of the AAF’s best running games and their defense played well last week. We’ll find out if the Stallions are contenders or pretends when they host Arizona in a rematch of Week 1. Either way, I’m not running to bet Salt Lake at 20/1.
How bad is Atlanta? The Legends have been outscored in their three games (preseason and regular season) 101-29. Atlanta has my bottom-ranked offensive line, receivers and coaching staff. Somehow the Legends are 30/1 to win it all. They should be 300/1. Hey, at least Bug Howard is playing well.
Week 3 Matchups, Lines and Picks
Arizona at Salt Lake
Line: Arizona -4.5, 44
These two teams met back in Week 1 with Arizona winning 38-22 at home. Salt Lake trailed just 19-16 until the Hotshots pulled away in the fourth quarter.
Woodrum is returning at quarterback Saturday for the Stallions but he didn’t play well in the first meeting, completing just 10 of 23 passes for 103 yards, one touchdown and an interception. Salt Lake’s defense looked good last week but that may have more to do with Birmingham’s offenses. Arizona racked up 416 total yards on the Stallions in the opener.
This looks like a good spot to take Salt Lake in its first home game of the season. However, I’m going the other way and laying 4.5 with Arizona. The Hotshots defensive front really dominated that first meeting and I expect more of the same this time. Until Salt Lake gets better play at quarterback, I can’t back them as a short dog versus one of the league’s top teams.
Pick: Arizona -4.5
Editor’s Note: Get in one the action and play fantasy AAF on PrizePicks this weekend.
Memphis at Orlando
Line: Orlando -15.5, 45
This is a tough game for me to handicap because Orlando is the best team in the league but as I stated above, Memphis isn’t awful outside of the quarterback position. Of course, the quarterback position is a big problem.
It’s easier to get information out of the CIA than it is the AAF but as of Thursday, it looks like Hackenberg will get another start. Apparently, Mike Singletary isn’t worried about job security. Memphis has arguably the best offensive line in the AAF and Orlando allowed 175 yards rushing and 5.1 yards per carry to San Antonio last week. I can see Memphis grinding it out with Zac Stacy and staying close for awhile until Hackenberg implodes.
My concern is Memphis’ defense wearing down like it did in Week 1 versus Birmingham but 15.5 points is a lot to lay in the AAF. I had this number around 13 points, so I’ll live on the edge this week and take Memphis to cover.
Pick: Memphis +15.5
Birmingham at Atlanta
Line: Birmingham -6.5, 38.5
Earlier in this article I stated how Atlanta is by far the worst team in the AAF. In the movie My Cousin Vinny, Joe Pesci declares in the courtroom, “Everything that guy just said is bulls**t.” Well, that’s me this week because I love the Legends at home. Birmingham is playing its first road game of the season after defeating Memphis and Salt Lake at home. Those two teams are a combined 0-4.
Birmingham is the most overvalued team in the AAF right now. The Iron have faced Hackenberg and Allen – my two lowest rated quarterbacks in the league. Matt Simms isn’t that much better but he is coming off a solid game versus San Diego completing 17 of 25 passes for 160 yards, one touchdown and an interception.
I see this being a low-scoring game and if Atlanta can avoid costly turnovers, I like the Legends’ chances to cover 6.5. I’m waiting to see if the line moves to -7 before I hit Atlanta but if there’s a week to back the Legends, this is it.
Pick: Atlanta +6.5 (Wait on +7)
San Antonio at San Diego
Line: San Diego -3, 43.5
As stated above, the Fleet have better future odds than San Antonio to win the AAF title and are also favored by a field goal this week. I don’t see it. The Commanders’ defense dominated San Diego’s offensive line in the opener, registering six sacks. I expect more of the same Sunday.
One concern I have is San Antonio quarterback Logan Woodside has been inconsistent through two games. In the first meeting, Woodside completed just 50 percent of this passes and got picked off twice. Don’t be surprised if you see more of backup Marquise Williams this week.
Another situation to monitor is Commanders starting running back Kenneth Farrow was held out of practice Wednesday with a back injury. San Antonio is deep in the backfield with Aaron Green and David Cobb but Farrow has been the best back in the AAF through two games.
San Antonio won the first meeting 15-6 and I see this being another low-scoring game, so I like the under 43.5 here. The Commanders are playing their first road game but I lean to San Antonio as a small dog. The biggest mismatch in the game is San Antonio’s defensive front vs. San Diego’s offensive line. That will be the difference.
Pick: San Antonio +3 and Under 43.5