The Alliance of American Football brought a few surprising results and comebacks last week, and we now head into Week 4 with just two teams undefeated. The Orlando Apollos and Birmingham Iron, who are both in the Eastern Conference, sit at 3-0 and only have a point differential of one between them (with the edge to Orlando). These two teams meet next weekend, but it’s no guarantee they’ll make it through this week without a mark in the loss column.
We’re going to take a look at the four games on tap between Saturday and Sunday while also breaking down the betting odds and lines of each matchup. From there, we’ll offer up predictions and picks along with some insight into the teams. Before we get there, here’s a breakdown of the schedule and how to watch each game throughout the weekend.
- Saturday, March 2 at 4 p.m.: San Diego (2-1) at Memphis (0-3) – B/R Live
- Saturday, March 2 at 8 p.m.: Orlando (3-0) at Salt Lake (1-2) – NFL Network
- Sunday, March 3 at 4 p.m.: San Antonio (1-2) at Birmingham (3-0) – CBS Sports Network
- Sunday, March 3 at 8 p.m.: Atlanta (0-3) at Arizona (2-1) – NFL Network
To give a better idea of how each team has fared this season, the updated standings are posted below.
AAF Standings Heading Into Week 4
PF= Points for
PA= Points against
DIFF= Point differential
Team Record vs. Conf PF PA DIFF San Diego Fleet 2-1 1-1 61 38 23 Arizona Hotshots 2-1 1-1 73 63 10 Salt Lake Stallions 1-2 0-2 54 65 -11 San Antonio Commanders 1-2 1-1 55 74 -19
Team Record vs. Conf PF PA DIFF Orlando Apollos 3-0 2-0 98 52 46 Birmingham Iron 3-0 2-0 66 21 45 Memphis Express 0-3 0-2 35 67 -32 Atlanta Legends 0-3 0-2 30 92 -62
AAF Betting Odds, Spreads & Predictions: Week 4
*Note: All betting odds and over/unders are courtesy of Odds Shark. Stats and additional scoring information come courtesy of NoExtraPoints.com.
San Diego Fleet (-6.5) at Memphis Express – Over/Under 39.5
The opening game of the weekend provides a few interesting storylines. San Diego replaced quarterback Mike Bercovici after Week 1 with Philip Nelson, who’s played well since that point. But Memphis opted to make their own change under center at halftime in Week 3. After 10 quarters of poor play from Christian Hackenberg, it was time for Zach Mettenberger to take over.
Mettenberger nearly led the Express to a comeback against the Apollos, completing 9-of-12 attempts for 120 yards and two touchdowns during the second half. The Memphis offense looked far better in that game, but the same can be said about the Fleet offense, who scored 31 points in their win over San Antonio. This came behind running back Ja’Quan Gardner’s 122 rushing yards and one score, along with Nelson’s two touchdown passes.
This should be a good game, and while the San Diego defense has been good, we’ll find out quickly if Mettenberger’s big half was the real deal. I could see an upset here, but at the very least I’ll take Memphis to cover.
Prediction: San Diego Fleet 24, Memphis Express 20
Orlando Apollos (-4) at Salt Lake Stallions – Over/Under 41
Orlando and head coach Steve Spurrier’s undefeated streak to start the year was nearly snapped in Week 3, but they still look like the class of the league. Quarterback Garrett Gilbert leads the AAF in passing yards by a wide margin, totaling 827 yards along with six total touchdowns (one rushing).
As good as the Apollos offense has looked, Salt Lake has a reason for optimism coming off their first victory in Week 3. They upset the previously unbeaten Arizona Hotshots 23-15 behind a now-healthy Josh Woodrum, who threw for 178 yards and one touchdown. The Stallions offense will have trouble keeping up with Orlando, though, and I think the road team covers.
Prediction: Orlando Apollos 27, Salt Lake Stallions 17
San Antonio Commanders at Birmingham Iron (-8) – Over/Under 36.5
These two teams have been tough to figure out this season. Although Birmingham running back Trent Richardson has had little trouble finding the endzone himself, scoring six touchdowns in three games. Considering the struggles we’ve seen from the San Antonio defense in the past two games (allowing 68 points), and the fact they have talent on offense, this one will be higher scoring than most expect.
The Commanders group of wideouts, headlined by Mekale McKay, Greg Ward Jr., and De’Marcus Ayers will find a way to produce against a strong Birmingham defense. The big question is how much they’ll use quarterback Marquise Williams over Logan Woodside. I’ll take the over and leave the point spread.
Prediction: Birmingham Iron 23, San Antonio Commanders 20
Atlanta Legends at Arizona Hotshots (-14) – Over/Under 40.5
The Arizona Hotshots are unquestionably a better team than the Atlanta Legends, especially since John Wolford seems to be good to go after missing the second half last week. But a double-digit point spread in the AAF right now seems to be a trap, and I’m not going to dive into it.
Regardless, Atlanta’s offense has been brutal at times, even factoring in that quarterback Matt Simms threw for 328 yards last week. They’ve had very little production on the ground, and in that loss to Birmingham in Week 3, no running back totaled more than nine yards.
Arizona is averaging just under 25 points per game while Atlanta has given up more than 30. Even if this game turns into a blowout, one thing I do expect to see is points from the Hotshots and the Legends attempting to keep up. I’ll take the over in this one as well – 40.5 is just too low.
Prediction: Arizona Hotshots 31, Atlanta Legends 18