With only three weeks left in the regular season, the intensity is increasing and pressure is mounting for teams trying to make the playoffs. Currently, Orlando and San Antonio lead their respective conferences. The Apollos look like they’re set to make it into the postseason, but the Western Conference is still up for grabs.
With all of the on-field excitement cranking up for the playoffs, the off field drama is also heating up. This week, AAF Chairman Tom Dundon talked about how the league might fold if the NFL and the NFLPA don’t cooperate with making the AAF it’s official developmental league. That’s disappointing news considering how well received this league has been. In fact, ratings shot up this past weekend with the appearance of Johnny Manziel for the Memphis Express.
Unfortunately for the Express, they face the league’s best team this week and AAF betting sites have the Orlando Apollos a 10 point favorite. It’s the largest spread of the weekend. Let’s take a look at these AAF betting odds to see if there’s any betting value and make our Week 8 predictions.
Updated AAF Standings After Week 7
In the East, the Apollos have clinched a playoff spot already. The Iron are still fighting for the 2nd playoff spot and have a 2-game cushion over the Express and Legends. In the West, things have heated up with the Arizona Hotshots who have won 2 straight games and are back in 2nd place. They battle the conference leading Commanders this weekend for the top spot. The Fleet and Stallions are still alive as well.
Orlando Apollos vs Memphis Express
In the first game of Week 8, the best team in the league Orlando will head out on the road to take on the desperate Memphis Express. Orlando has clinched a playoff spot while the Express are still mathematically alive. Can Memphis pull off a huge upset? Will we see Johnny Football? Kickoff inside Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium is at 2 PM ET and the game will be televised on TNT.
|Orlando Apollos||-10 (-110)||Over 42 (-110)|
|Memphis Express||+10 (-110)||Under 42 (-110)|
The Orlando Apollos (6-1) bounced back after their first loss two weeks ago to pummel the Legends by the score of 36 to 6. The Apollos did everything they wanted on offense and defense. It was a complete destruction. This weekend, they will have a tougher test against a rejuvenated Express team. The first time these two teams played, the Apollos won at home 21 to 17.
The Memphis Express (2-5) kept their season alive last weekend as they won at home over the Birmingham Iron 31 to 25. All eyes were on Manziel, but he only played one drive. It was Silvers that led the way with a great performance. This weekend, the entire Express team will need to step up their game if they want to upset the Apollos and move one step closer to a playoff birth. With no room for error, it’s do or die for the Express this weekend.
Apollos vs Express Betting Preview: Memphis Express +10 (-110)
Orlando comes in as the top offense in the league along with having one of the best defenses. The Apollos average 28.9 ppg and their QB Gilbert has 11 passing TDs to just 1 INT. He’s the top rated QB in the AAF and he’s looking poised to lead this team to a potential championship.
However, the Express played this Apollos team tough earlier this season by holding Orlando to just 21 points at home. Memphis scored their season high with 31 points and they won in the league’s first ever overtime game by beating the talented Birmingham Iron who won 26-0 in their first encounter.
QB Silvers had a huge game going 24 of 35 for 266 yards and 2 TDs. He completed 68.6% of his passes and kept the team’s season alive for one more weekend. Silvers will have to play at least as good as he did against the Iron in order for Memphis to have a chance this weekend. We could also see more of Johnny Manziel who looked really good in his drive on the field. Johnny went 3 of 5 for 60 yards. He also rushed for 20 yards on 2 carries, which made him the leading rusher for the Express in Week 7.
For this bet, I’m going with the Memphis Express getting 10 points. I believe they’re a desperate team with some renewed life and steady QB play. Plus, they have a wildcard in Manziel that could really help the offense with trick plays just for Johnny. I believe Orlando will win the game, but the Express will make it a battle and keep it to within a TD.
San Diego Fleet vs Salt Lake Stallions
In Saturday’s primetime game, the San Diego Fleet travel to Utah to take on the Salt Lake Stallions. Both teams are still alive in the playoff hunt; although they have very little margin for error with just three games left. The Fleet come into this matchup less than 100% healthy. Will they be able to overcome the injuries? Kickoff inside Rice-Eccles Stadium is at 8 PM ET and the game can be seen on the NFL Network.
|San Diego Fleet||+3 (-110)||Over 40.5 (-110)|
|Salt Lake Stallions||-3 (-110)||Under 40.5 (-110)|
The San Diego Fleet (3-4) come into this matchup down two weapons for the rest of the year. The Fleet lost leading receiver Dontez Ford and leading running back Ja’Quan Gardner to injuries. Both were placed on injured reserve and their seasons are done. It was a big blow to a Fleet team that’s still in the hunt for the playoffs. Now, they will go on the road to Utah and play a Stallions team that’s really tough at home.
Salt Lake (2-5) is holding on to their playoff hopes by a string. They’re two games back of the Hotshots for the 2nd playoff spot. They return home where Salt Lake is a much tougher team than on the road. The Stallions are a very physical team that punishes their opponents. Last weekend, the Commanders had to claw their way to a 19-15 victory. Salt Lake gets a banged up Fleet team this weekend, which could bode well for their chances to win.
Fleet vs Stallions Betting Preview: Under 40.5 points (-110)
Coming into this game, the Fleet were averaging 22.1 ppg. However, with their injuries, I doubt we will see the team hit that point total in Week 8. Last weekend, the Fleet could only muster up 15 points on the road against Arizona.
Also, I don’t see these two teams putting up the same amount of points they did in their Week 5 battle when they combined for 52 total points. The 25 points Salt Lake put up in that game was their highest total of the week. The Stallions average 18.1 ppg.
Combined, these two teams average 40.2 ppg, which is just below the 40.5 point total. I’m taking the Under in this one. Salt Lake is only allowing 14.8 ppg at home and they held the best offenses (Orlando and Arizona) to a combined 35 points. The Apollos scored 20 and the Hotshots scored 15. Both teams scored well below their season averages.
With a banged up Fleet team coming to town, I expect this to be a lower scoring game. Look for “Sack Lake” to get after San Diego and hold this Fleet offense to 15 points or less. Take the Under 40.5 points.
Atlanta Legends vs Birmingham Iron
The Birmingham Iron return home and hope to return to their winning ways after losing last weekend. They will host the struggling Atlanta Legends who are desperately trying to stay alive in the playoff race. Can the Legends pull off the big upset or will the Iron squash all hope in Atlanta? Kickoff inside Legion Field is at 4 PM ET and can be seen on CBS Sports Network.
|Atlanta Legends||+6 (-110)||Over 38 (-110)|
|Birmingham Iron||-6 (-110)||Under 38 (-110)|
San Diego (3-3) is coming off a tough home loss to the Iron Atlanta (2-5) is hoping to pull off the upset and keep their postseason chances on life support. Unfortunately, they reverted to their poor play last weekend and lost by 30 points to the Apollos. Now, they head out on the road where they have played poorly this season. Can the Legends pull off a late season miracle?
Birmingham (4-3) has dropped three of their last four games, but return home to take on the conference’s worst team in the Legends. The Iron gave up 31 points last weekend and seemed to forget how to play defense. This weekend, they will go up against an anemic offense that’s averaging a league low 11.3 ppg. Will the Iron offense be able to score 25 points again this weekend?
Legends vs Iron Betting Preview: Birmingham Iron -6 (-110)
There’s really nothing that I like about the Atlanta Legends team. In addition to their poor scoring, they also average just 95 yards rushing per game and a little under 220 yards passing per game. However, they’ve thrown 12 picks on the year, which is the most in the league. Their leading rusher only has 206 yards in 7 games. It’s just an ugly offense that has no hopes of winning this weekend.
The Iron will turn things around at home this Sunday and blow out the Legends. Birmingham doesn’t have a great offense either, but their defense tends to set up the offense with good field position and turnovers. I expect that to happen in abundance this weekend.
The game might start off slow, but Birmingham will eventually pull away. I believe the Iron will win by double digits in this game. Take the Iron to cover the 6 point spread and improve to 5-3 on the season.
Arizona Hotshots vs San Antonio Commanders
In the most anticipated game of the weekend, the red hot Arizona Hotshots will travel to Texas to take on the San Antonio Commanders in a battle for the top spot in the West. If the Hotshots win then they will get 1st place, but a loss could open the doors for San Diego and Salt Lake. A win for the Commanders could also put them one step closer to clinching a playoff spot. Kickoff inside the Alamodome is at 8 PM ET.
|Arizona Hotshots||+1 (-110)||Over 43.5 (-110)|
|San Antonio Commanders||-1 (-110)||Under 43.5 (-110)|
Arizona (4-3) has won two straight games and looks like they correct their issues that led to a 3 game skid during the middle of the season. The Hotshots are once again scoring points and beating good teams. In Week 6, they handed Orland their first lost and then pounded the Fleet last weekend. Arizona will look to get revenge on San Antonio for their Week 5 loss to the Commanders by a score of 29 to 25 at home.
San Antonio (5-2) has won 4 straight games and is the hottest team in the West. They’ve put the pieces together on offense to be a juggernaut in their conference, which has resulted in winning on the road and at home. The Commanders could take a commanding lead in the West if they win this weekend. It would put them up by 2 games on the Hotshots with the tiebreaker due to sweeping the season series. This is a huge game for San Antonio. Can they perform under pressure?
Hotshots vs Commanders Betting Preview: Over 43.5 points (-110)
In their first matchup of the season, San Antonio and Arizona combined to score 54 total points. For the year, they average a combined 45 points per game. Over the last 3 weeks, the Commanders have averaged 25 ppg and the Hotshots have averaged 26.3 ppg. That’s a combined total of 51.3 ppg during that span. I expect both teams to come out and push the ball up and down the field this Sunday as they try to outscore the other.
The Commanders average 118 rushing yards per game and under 200 passing yards per game. However, Logan Woodside has come on strong over this winning streak and looks like a stud QB leading his team to the playoffs. They have a running back committee that gets the job done when needed.
For the Hotshots, Wolford has struggled at times. However, he has turned things around over this two-game winning streak. Additionally, they average 148 rushing yards per game with a few running backs leading the way.
I believe this game will hit the Over as both teams are scoring more points late in the season than they did early on. This means that they are finally playing cohesively and executing well. It starts with the QB play for both teams and will then need strong rushing attacks to move the chains.
It’s going to be an exciting game. I think San Antonio has played better and will probably get the win. However, it’s best to take the safe play here – Over 43.5 points.
AAF Week 8 Betting Predictions
- Orlando Apollos 23 – Memphis Express 20 (Memphis +10)
- Salt Lake Stallions 18 – San Diego Fleet 15 (Under 40.5)
- Birmingham 24 – Atlanta 12 (Birmingham -6)
- San Antonio Commanders 25 – Arizona Hotshots 24 (Over 43.5)