Week 2 in the Alliance of American Football brought more clarity about overall team quality, and further highlighted the difficulties that poorly prepared offenses would have moving the ball.
If you’re betting Week 3 AAF Saturday and Sunday, be sure you dig beyond recent final scores to look at key game stats (available at noextrapoints.com). You don’t want to bet on underdogs just because “the line seems a little high” or try to anticipate “when Overs are going to start hitting.” Six of eight games have stayed Under so far. Overs won’t start hitting until more offenses can move the ball! A quick recap from last week:
- Birmingham (-7¹/₂) beat Salt Lake only 12-9, losing total yardage 256-216 and yards-per-play 3.9 to 3.4. It took a fumble-return touchdown to steal the outright victory. Birmingham has only one scoring drive longer than 60 yards this season, and that was for a field goal.
- Arizona (-16) beat Memphis, 20-18, but dominated yardage 383-236 and yards-per-play 6.4 to 3.5. The market was right about who the clearly superior team was, but multiple turnovers from the road favorite kept the score closer than it should have been. You should still have Arizona near the top of the league in your rankings. The Memphis offense is virtually helpless trying to drive the field with Christian Hackenberg at quarterback under defensive-minded head coach Mike Singletary.
- Orlando (-5) won at San Antonio, 37-29, in the most entertaining game of the week. Orlando looks to be the class of the league, winning yardage here 428-398 and yards-per-play 8.4 to 5.1. San Antonio is the best AAF team at moving the chains, converting 12-of-19 third downs after 9-of-18 in its opener.
- San Diego (-9) beat Atlanta, 24-12, winning total yardage 313-222 on 4.5 to 4.2 yards-per-play. Huge game on the ground for the home favorite, which might mean trouble versus better rush defenses.
Early soft estimates were that the league would center around 54 total points per game because of rules designed to create scoring and back-and-forth excitement. That soon dropped to the mid 40s. The low-to-high results for total points thus far is 21-21-26-36-38-46-60-66, with midpoints still in the 30s.
Last week’s passing totals, low-to-high, were a dismal 61-105-128-140-169-175-223-362. Thank goodness for Garrett Gilbert! Games won’t be going Over until more quarterbacks reach 200 passing yards more consistently.
Sample-size issues make season-to-date team stats tough to trust. But, it’s already clear Orlando and Arizona are top championship threats, while Memphis and Atlanta are way behind the field. San Antonio (may be strong when not playing Orlando), Birmingham (great defense, struggling offense), San Diego (poor pass offense) and Salt Lake (ugly stats, but in two road games), still have to sort themselves out.