Tuley's Takes on AAF Week 4

By Dave Tuley  (VSiN.com senior reporter) 

LAS VEGAS – We’re through three weeks of the 10-week Alliance of American Football season and we’re certainly learning more about what the league has to offer for bettors.

After favorites (and home teams) mostly dominated the first two weeks, they slowed down a little in Week 3 with faves/dogs and home/road teams both going 2-2 ATS. Unders continued to be the way to go at 3-1. For the season, faves are still 11-1 SU & 8-4 ATS with home teams at 9-3 SU & 8-4 ATS and Unders at 9-3.

I’ve won my ATS best bets the last two weeks with Salt Lake against Birmingham in Week 2 and Memphis against Orlando in Week 3 to get back to .500 at 2-2 ATS, though I did have a bad beat with the Under in the Birmingham-Atlanta game with Atlanta adding a late garbage TD to go Over. Fortunately, I haven’t been playing this league as much as I was planning coming into the season, but I do really like my best bet this week.

But here’s a rundown of the Week 4 card. I do believe as the offenses continue to improve and able to take advantage of the offensive-friendly rules in the AAF that we’ll start to see a shirt to value on the Overs (unfortunately, I don’t like the matchups this week to make that happen yet).

SATURDAY

San Diego (-6) at Memphis (o/u 40)

Tuley’s Take: San Diego was my preseason title pick so I’m glad to see the Fleet rebound after its opening loss to stand at 2-1 and up to the fourth choice to win the AAF title. I’ll certainly be cheering for another win, but I’m not laying the points against a Memphis team that is 0-3, so the Express have covered the last two week against Arizona and Orlando and looked much better since Zach Mettenberger replaced Christian Hackenberg at QB. The play: Pass.

Orlando (-4) at Salt Lake (o/u 41)

Tuley’s Take: Here’s another game with the far superior team favored on the road. Salt Lake has pulled the only outright upset so far in the AAF with its 23-15 win over Arizona last week, but home dogs are just 2-2 ATS overall and I’m not as sure Salt Lake can slow down the Orlando attack. The play: Pass (lean to the Over as this is the one total I’m considering playing this weekend).

SUNDAY

San Antonio (o/u 36) at Birmingham (-8.5)

Tuley’s Take (originally written for Sunday’s New York Post): With March Madness looming, you’re going to hear a lot about power ratings and rankings, but don’t believe everything you see and read. The same goes for the Alliance of American Football. Most “experts” have the 3-0 Birmingham Iron at the top of their rankings (or right behind the 3-0 Orlando Apollos) with the 1-2 San Antonio Commanders in the bottom half of the eight-team developmental league. But I’m convinced Birmingham is a fraud while San Antonio is its equal and a great bet at 7.5 on Sunday.

Birmingham has the No. 1 defense in the AAF, but has benefitted from facing Memphis and Atlanta – the two worst AAF teams by any measure – and Salt Lake, a decent but unimpressive team. Those three teams are a combined 1-5 in their other games. Meanwhile, San Antonio has split two games with San Diego, which is 2-1 and moving up most rankings, with the Commanders’ other game being a Week 2 loss to Orlando in which they dominated most of the game before losing 37-29. That loss was more impressive in my book than anything Birmingham has accomplished. Besides, San Diego and Orlando are a perfect 3-0 when not facing San Antonio, so I see the Commanders as actually stepping down in class against the untested Iron.

I’m thisclose to calling for the outright upset as I definitely see value in San Antonio 270 on the money line, but the best bet is the Commanders plus the points in case Birmingham squeaks out a win at home. The pick: San Antonio Commanders 8.5

Atlanta (o/u 41) at Arizona (-14)

Tuley’s Take: Double-digit underdogs are 2-0 ATS – including Memphis covering against this Arizona team in Week 2 – but it was also Memphis covering against Orlando last week. This Atlanta team is the worst in the AAF and as much as I love big dogs, I can’t trust them to even stay within two TDs of Arizona, which should bounce back from its first loss. The play: Pass.

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