By Dave Tuley, VSiN
LAS VEGAS – Believe it or not, we’ll be at the halfway point of the 10-week Alliance of American Football season after the Week 5 games this weekend.
Time flies when you’re having fun, and we’ve been having more fun as our best bets have won each of the last three weeks. Underdogs actually had their best week last weekend at 3-1 SU & ATS as Memphis, San Antonio and Atlanta pulled outright upsets. Favorites still lead 9-7 ATS but it’s as lopsided as the season started. Home teams also still have a slight edge at 9-7 ATS after going 1-3 ATS in Week 4. However, Unders continue to dominate totals wagering at 12-4 after a fourth straight week going 3-1. This could be the week we start to see a reversal of that trend as all totals seem a little low, but I’m not going to go nuts until I see a little more from the offenses.
Instead, I’ve felt more comfortable mostly loading up on my best bet as that’s been working the last three weeks. Here’s my rundown of Week 5:
Orlando (-4) at Birmingham (o/u 34)
Tuley’s Take: I went out on a limb last week when I called the undefeated Birmingham Iron a “fraud” (I didn’t see anyone else with me out on that limb!) and certainly felt justified when San Antonio pulled the outright upset 12-11. Now, Birmingham faces the clear No. 1 AAF team, Orlando, and I’m sticking with my assessment of the Iron. In fact, I think this line is short on the Apollos and if I were to play a degenerate AAF parlay this weekend, I’d kick it off with Orlando -4. Best Bet: Pass.
Salt Lake (o/u 35.5) at San Diego (-5.5)
Tuley’s Take: San Diego was my preseason value bet to win the AAF title and were on the way to their third straight victory, leading winless Memphis 20-3, when QB Philip Nelson exited the game with a broken collarbone and replacement Alex Ross didn’t the job done and Memphis rallied for the 26-23 victory. Now, San Diego coach Mike Martz is going back to opening-day starter Mike Bercovici. I don’t see how this line should be more than a field goal even though Salt Lake is 1-3. Best Bet: Pass (lean to Salt Lake 5.5, which will be part of my personal degenerate parlay with Orlando).
Memphis (o/u 38.5) at Atlanta (-1.5)
Tuley’s Take: This is a matchup of the two worst teams in the AAF, though both are on the improve as each earned their first victory after losing their first three games behind substitute quarterbacks Zach Mettenberger in Memphis and Aaron Murray in Atlanta. Amazingly enough, the winner of this game will probably be thinking about the playoffs are 2-3. But, I’m sorry, that’s not enough to get me interesting in this game and I’ll wait to watch the replay later to scout it for future plays. Best Bet: Pass.
San Antonio (o/u 40) at Arizona (-2.5)
Tuley’s Take (also appearing in Sunday’s New York Post): We cashed last week with the San Antonio Commanders beating the previously undefeated Birmingham Iron 12-11 as 8-point road favorites and they look like the best bet again on the Week 5 card.
San Antonio (2-2) got back to .500 with the victory, though I still maintain its best game was the 37-29 Week 2 loss to Orlando, the best team in the AAF. Kenneth Farrow, a former backup to Melvin Gordon with the San Diego Chargers, ran for an AAF-record 142 yards last week against the highly rated Birmingham defense to give the Commanders’ offense more balance with QB Logan Woodside.
Meanwhile, the Arizona Hotshots were the preseason AAF title favorites and started 2-0, but they’ve lost their last two games to previously winless teams in Memphis and Atlanta. The offense has lost all semblance of continuity, looking especially bad last week in only putting up 11 points against an Atlanta defense that hadn’t stopped anyone in its first three games, and that was as a 14.5-point home favorite.
These are two teams heading in opposite directions. The play: San Antonio Commanders 2.5.