The 2019 AAF season has really blown by, as the Orlando Apollos punched their playoff ticket last week, and now just three weeks remain in the regular season.
Orlando made history in week 7 as the AAF’s first-ever playoff team, while the league hauled in even more attention from the media thanks to the debut of Johnny Manziel in Memphis.
Manziel’s first snaps in the AAF didn’t lead to a Memphis win and technically eliminated the Express from the AAF playoffs, but his arrival has created some nice buzz for the league.
Tracking Johnny Football for the final few weeks will be fun for all AAF fans, but the bigger picture remains who can actually make a run at the title and how sports bettors can profit from it.
Whether you’re chasing the first-ever AAF champion or trying to snag some wins each week, join me as I break things down in my weekly AAF betting preview.
2019 AAF Title Odds
Before we take a look back at the past week in the Alliance of American Football, let’s consider where things stand in the pursuit for the inaugural AAF championship.
Orlando is the first team to clinch a playoff spot, and thanks to a stout 6-1 record through seven weeks, they remain the odds-on favorite to win the league title.
I haven’t budged from that stance for some time, and with the top AAF betting sites surely boosting Orlando’s price between now and when the playoffs start, I’m not sure there will be a better
team to bet on than the Apollos.
The actual AAF championship odds aren’t updated going into week 8 just yet, but when they’re up, I’ll list them here and break down some of the best value.
For now, you can probably start by leaving Memphis and Salt Lake City off of your wagers when it comes to this bet. You really just have four teams to worry about with a smaller playoff
tournament ahead of us, so sticking with Orlando, Birmingham, Arizona, and San Antonio makes the most sense.
Depending on what craziness shakes out over the next few weeks, of course, Atlanta may not be the worst flier bet in the world. For the most part, though, I’d stick with the top four teams, and
I’m not seeing much incentive to go away from the Apollos.
Week 7 Recap
Johnny Manziel is in the AAF now, and that’s pretty neat, but he’s playing for the worst team in the league. I genuinely hope he gets things figured out and can play well down the stretch, while
it’s fair to wonder if he can make a positive impact for the Express.
If so, that could create some issues for bettors that previously felt betting against Memphis was easy money. Then again, judging by Manziel’s time in the CFL, perhaps this move by the Express
just reinforces that logic.
Regardless, Manziel’s presence didn’t equate to much with the Express, as he sat and watched Memphis complete a wild comeback without him.
That turned an easy win into a loss for me. What could have been a sweet 3-1 week 7 run ended up being 2-2 instead.
My AAF picks have been pretty solid lately, as I’ve overcome a slow start in an unfamiliar betting market and turned things around. I’ve gone 2-2 and 3-1 in the previous two weeks leading into
week 7 and was 9-11 overall on the year.
Here’s how things worked out for my AAF picks in week 7.
Orlando Apollos (-8.5)-110
San Antonio Commanders (-5)-110
Arizona Hotshots (-3.5)-110
Birmingham Iron (-3)-110
As you can see, it was another fine week for my AAF predictions. I honestly could have had an even better run, too, as the Commanders won but only did so by four points (needed five).
I’ll take it, as even breaking even in the Alliance of American Football has to be seen as a win.
The volatile nature of the league should keep you from massive bets for the most part, but I’m pleased with how I’ve been able to properly gauge the league in recent weeks and end week 7 with an
11-13 overall record.
That still isn’t a winning mark, but hopefully another solid effort in week 8 can get us over the hump on the year.
Week 8 AAF Picks
One thing I have to wonder is if Orlando will pump the brakes a bit now that they know they’re locked into a playoff spot. Knowing Steve Spurrier’s history, though, I somehow doubt it.
The other thing is that virtually everyone else still has work to do in order to finalize the AAF playoff seeding. Just three other teams can worm their way into the 2019 AAF playoffs, and while
Memphis is out of the running, this could still be a wild ride.
I’m not sure exactly how much weight bettors need to put into it, but ignoring Orlando’s incentive to play hard and not accounting for desperation could be grave mistakes.
Keep those aspects of the league in mind and also find the most updated AAF pricing possible when you make your week 7 bets.
Johnny Manziel has a decent shot at starting in week 8, so you definitely have to think about his impact. He looked pretty good in spurts in week 7, so with another week of digesting the offense,
he could easily help Memphis improve offensively.
Even if that happens, the Express are likely toast and will be facing the best team in the Alliance of American Football league. Unless Orlando sits some guys and the point spread ends up being
egregious, I find it very difficult to bet against them this week.
San Diego Fleet @ Salt Lake City Stallions
Here we have two teams with their backs against the wall. The AAF playoffs are largely spoken for at the moment, but a win gets the Fleet to .500 (4-4) and right back in the conversation.
This is certainly Salt Lake City’s last stand, though. The Stallions will be at home and probably need to win out for even a faint hope at cracking postseason play.
The Fleet have been better to this point and edged out the Stallions (27-25) earlier this year, but Salt Lake City has actually been better defensively and as a whole have been really
Assuming the spread is somewhat favorable and that the Stallions end up being home dogs, I think they could offer some nice ATS value in a must-win game.
Atlanta Legends @ Birmingham Iron
The Iron are 4-3 after totally blowing a week 7 win against Memphis. For a second there, they honestly had a shot at ending the year with the best record in the AAF, as well as the top seed in
the 2019 AAF playoffs.
That isn’t going to happen anymore, but they can still play for a top seed and look to lock up a playoff spot.
This week, they’ll be at home against a beatable Legends squad. Atlanta comes in with a weak 2-5 mark on the year, and while they’ll be desperate, they have really struggled all year offensively.
The Legends have gotten smoked more than a couple of times, and this feels like a brutal spot for them on the road. Much like the Orlando game, assuming the point spread isn’t over the top, the
Irons to cover feels like a locked-in play.
Arizona Hotshots @ San Antonio Commanders
Here we have without a doubt the top AAF game of the week, as both of these teams roll out competent offenses and tend to compete at a very high level.
Arizona hasn’t quite lived up to their preseason favorite status, but they’re a respectable 4-3 and have an opportunity here to basically ensure they make the playoffs.
I doubt the Commanders will just lie down at home, though, seeing as San Antonio won (29-25) in this same matchup just three weeks ago. I expect a slugfest here, and with the Commanders at home,
they make for a solid ATS pick if they come in as mild underdogs.
It took some time to make it happen, but the presence of Johnny Manziel in the Alliance of American Football is the exact type of intermediate star power people were hoping for when this league
Who knows if Manziel will play well or stick around for long, but the fact that he’s here will hopefully help the league grow and also convince other big names to head over to the AAF.
Regardless, it’s been a solid stretch for anyone rolling with my weekly AAF betting picks. Hopefully, I’ve helped you stay in the green lately, and the goal is to keep the good times rolling in