Tuley's Takes on AAF Week 3

By Dave Tuley  (VSiN.com senior reporter) 

This piece was originally intended for Point Spread Weekly, but we decided to hold it for Friday to continue our discussion of NHL 1st Period Over/Unders.

Week 2 brought a little bit of the parity that we expected to see in the new Alliance of American Football (AAF) as all four games could have gone either way. The game that was expected to be a rout, the title-favored Arizona Hotshots laying 16 points at Memphis (which was shut out in its opener) nearly had the Express winning as a whopping 500 home underdog before Arizona rallied to win 20-18 to win but not cover.

Salt Lake 7 was my best bet of the week at Birmingham (after I made it pick ‘em in last week’s PSW before the market moved). I lost my other posted best bet of San Antonio 4.5 against Orlando, which was disappointing after leading most of the game. In retrospect, I would have made Memphis a best bet if I had known it was going to balloon to 16 – and I thought we saw overreactions after Week 1s in the NFL!!! When PSW went to press last week, Arizona was only -7.5 but I hope readers saw value when I posted that I made the line -6.5.

Favorites have still won every game so far and are also 6-2 ATS with Salt Lake and Memphis being the only underdogs to cover. Home teams are 6-2 SU & ATS as Memphis and San Antonio both lost SU as home dogs but split 1-1 ATS. Unders are 6-2 after going 3-1 for the second straight week. Offenses appeared to improve in Week 2, but scoring was just up by 8 points (153 to 161) for just 2 points per game, 38.25 points per game in Week 1 to 40.25 in Week 2.

Here’s my initial thoughts on AAF Week 3 (lines are from William Hill as of late Thursday night):

Arizona (-4.5) at Salt Lake (o/u 44)

Tuley’s Take: Oddly, this is the first of two rematches of Week 1 openers. Arizona won that meeting 38-22 and was mostly in control. Even though I cashed on the games involving these two teams last week, I was far less impressed with Salt Lake and don’t have the confidence its offense can keep up with Arizona just like in the first meeting. While Arizona also obviously underachieved against Memphis, they showed the makings of a championship caliber team in being able to win despite not bringing its A-game.  I made the Hot Shots -6 so I actually think the value is on them (available at -4 at MGM as of Thursday night). Best Bet: Pass.

Memphis (o/u 45) at Orlando (-15)

Tuley’s Take: I thought we had seen the end of these overinflated lines when this same Express team was a 16-point underdog to the Arizona Hotshots last Saturday night and nearly pulled the upset. That showed me that there is indeed parity in this league – that any team can beat (or at least cover against) any other team on any given Saturday or Sunday – and there’s no reason the Express can’t cover again, especially if it plays the same it against Arizona, considered the best team in the league.

Former Jets QB Christian Hackenberg played much better than he did in Memphis’ opening loss to Birmingham as he didn’t turn the ball over (no interceptions; he did fumble twice but didn’t lose either) and relied on the running game of former Ram Zac Stacy (19 carries, 101 yards). Memphis is coached by Mike Singletary, one of the few defensive-minded head coaches in the AAF, and his D held the high-powered Arizona offense to 20 points and just 3-of-12 on third-down conversions. Best Bet: Memphis 14.

Birmingham (-7) at Atlanta (o/u 39)

Tuley’s Take: Now, this is the line I was expecting to be double digits as I made it Birmingham -10 as Atlanta is my lowest-rated team in the league. This is the lowest over/under of the week, however, I actually don’t think it’s set low enough. As much as I expect Birmingham to roll, I don’t see Atlanta adding enough points to even get over this low total. Best Bet: Under 39.

San Antonio (o/u 43.5) at San Diego (-2.5)

Tuley’s Take: Here’s the second rematch – with San Antonio winning 15-6 two weeks ago – and the default marquee game of Week 3 with the only 1-1 teams squaring off (the other three matchups are 2-0 teams vs. 0-2). San Diego bounced back to win last week at home against the week Atlanta team, but San Antonio didn’t embarrass itself in its loss to Orlando. I made it San Diego -2, but this is pretty much a coin-flip. Best Bet: Pass.

Good luck with whatever you’re playing this week!



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