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AAF Week 8 Odds & Picks: Commanders Can Take Control of West

Robert Duff

by Robert Duff in AAF

Updated Apr 8, 2020 · 7:20 PM PDT

San Antonio Commanders QB Logan Woodside rolling out
Logan Woodside's San Antonio Commanders face a showdown with the Arizona Hotshots for supremacy in the AAF's West Division. Photo from @KENS5 (Twitter)
  • Playoff possibilities should become clearer after Week 8 of the AAF season concludes
  • The Arizona Hotshots face the San Antonio Commanders for first place in the West
  • Atlanta, Memphis and Salt Lake could be eliminated from contention with losses

Can the San Antonio Commanders take command? Or will the Arizona Hotshots live up to their nickname?

While it’s evident that both the Commanders and Hotshots will be part of the postseason picture, a win here would establish which team offers the best chance give the top-seeded Orlando Apollos a run for the AAF Championship.

Meanwhile, the Atlanta Legends, Memphis Express, and Salt Lake Stallions, all 2-5, could be eliminated from the playoff chase with a Week 8 loss.

Let’s analyze all the Week 8 match-ups.

Orlando Apollos vs Memphis Express

Teams Moneyline Spread Total
Orlando Apollos N/A -10 (-110) O 42 (-110)
Memphis Express N/A +10 (-110) U 42 (-110)

*All odds taken 03/28/19

Kickoff: Sat, Mar 30 at 2pm EST

The 6-1 Apollos just clinched a playoff spot. Memphis is coming off the high of a 31-25 comeback overtime win over the Birmingham Iron that kept the Express in the playoff hunt.

The main attraction for the Express is 2012 Heisman Trophy winner Manziel. Fans are paying to see him. But to keep the playoff drive alive, their best hope is to go with Brandon Silvers under center.

Coach Mike Singletary must find that balance between playing Manziel enough to satisfy the curiosity seekers and focusing on getting the victory. The Express have proven a tough out at home. They’ve won their last two at Liberty Bowl Stadium and their only setback was a close 20-18 loss to Arizona.

The  Apollos looked to be back on track, rebounding from their first loss of the season to pound Atlanta 36-6. The high-powered Orlando offense, no. 1 in the league (391.6 yards per game) scored on the first five possessions against the Legends.

Apollos coach Steve Spurrier even took time to respond to a playful jab from the Express, who noted on their Twitter account that the last time Spurrier brought a football team to the state, his South Carolina Gamecocks were upset by the Tennessee Volunteers.

We think Orlando wins this one, but Memphis keeps it close. Take the points.

Pick: Express +10, Over 42

San Diego Fleet vs Salt Lake Stallions

Teams Moneyline Spread Total
San Diego Fleet N/A +3 (-110) O 40.5 (-110)
Salt Lake Stallions N/A -3 (-110) U 40.5 (-110)

Kickoff: Sat, Mar 30 at 8pm EST

It’s one thing to note that Salt Lake might be the best of the AAF’s three 2-5 teams.

The Stallions only show a -13 point differential and have lost their five games by an average margin of 6.6 points per game. But maybe it just means that they aren’t quite good enough to get the job done.

The Stallions only show a -13 point differential and have lost their five games by an average margin of 6.6 points per game.

San Diego has lost two straight and three of four. It’s abundantly clear that the loser of this game can probably kiss the playoffs goodbye.

To make matters worse, the Fleet’s leading receiver, Dontez Ford, and leading rusher Ja’Quan Gardner, were both placed on the injured reserve list.

Pick: Stallions -3, Under 40.5

Atlanta Legends vs Birmingham Iron

Teams Moneyline Spread Total
Atlanta Legends N/A +6 (-110) O 38 (-110)
Birmingham Iron N/A -6 (-110) U 38 (-110)

Kickoff: Sun, Mar 31 at 4pm EST

The Atlanta Legends are without question the worst team in the AAF.

They show a league-worst minus-117 point differential, and that includes a 28-12 loss to the Iron in Week 3. And yet, with a win over 4-3 Birmingham, they’d pull right into the playoff hunt.

The Iron can’t let the sting from last week’s OT loss at Memphis linger. They still control their own destiny.

The Birmingham defense, which averaged three forced turnovers a game through the first three weeks of the season, didn’t produce a single turnover in the loss to the Express.

Pick: Iron -6, Under 38

Arizona Hotshots vs San Antonio Commanders

Teams Moneyline Spread Total
Arizona Hotshots N/A +1 (-110) O 43.5 (-110)
San Antonio Commanders N/A -1 (-110) U 43.5 (-110)

Kickoff: Sun, Mar 31 at 8pm EST

The real Hotshots should be revealed this week. Arizona has won two straight, including a solid 32-15 win last week over San Diego.

Prior to that success, though, they dropped three in a row – inexplicable setbacks to Atlanta and Salt Lake, along with a home defeat handed them by San Antonio.

The Commanders are the AAF’s hottest team, with four straight wins.

The Commanders raced to a 26-0 lead in their victory over the Hotshots. They are the AAF’s hottest team, with four straight wins.

The Alamodome offers the best home-field advantage in the league. The Commanders are 2-1 there – their only home loss coming at the hands of Orlando – and lead the AAF in attendance, drawing a league-record 30,345 last week.

Pick: Commanders -1, Over 43.5

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