It hasn’t been the best week for the Alliance of American Football, but they’re still playing games. Whether the players and coaches get paid is a whole other story. First up on Sunday we have the Birmingham Iron at the Atlanta Legends at 4 p.m. EST on the CBS Sports Network.
Early this week, it was revealed that the AAF was sold to Carolina Hurricanes owner Tom Dundon, who paid $250 million to help the league make payroll. The AAF hasn’t even hit its first full month yet. So things are looking up?
Regardless, let’s look at some AAF betting opportunities.
Birmingham Iron at Atlanta Legends (+6.5, O/U: 38.5)
The Iron (2-0) are one of the AAF’s three undefeated teams after a defensive struggle against the Salt Lake Stallions last week. The Iron won the game, 12-9, but managed only 14 total first downs and only three of those came on the ground.
It was another embarrassing game for former NFL first round pick Trent Richardson, who averaged just 2.2 yards per carry. His longest run of the day was just nine yards, but he did score a touchdown. If Richardson is going to rejuvenate his professional football career, he’s going about it in the slowest way possible. Where Richardson did shine was the screen passing game as he caught six passes for 50 yards.
You know who is going to end up back in the NFL? Birmingham quarterback Luis Perez. He was an efficient 24-of-38 passing for 184 yards against the Stallions last week. Quinton Patton was his top wideout target, catching three passes for 44 yards.
Defensively, the Iron got sacks from Beniquez Brown and Jeremy Faulk. Faulk added a couple of pass breakups. Jack Tocho forced a fumble.
In Week 2, the Legends (0-2) found themselves on the losing end of a 24-12 contest against the San Diego Fleet. Former University of Tennessee quarterback Matt Sims managed to throw another pick, but also tossed 160 yards worth of passes and a touchdown. Lawrence Pittman rushed nine times for 42 yards and Akrum Wadley caught eight passes for 70 yards.
On defense, Atlanta safety Ed Reynolds had six tackles, a sack and two passes defended. Tracy Sprinkle notched a sack and Carlos Merrit picked off a pass. Reynolds remains a guy to keep your eye on, just like Perez with the Iron. He could very well use these kinds of performances to find his way back onto an NFL roster.
Defense, of course, isn’t the problem in Atlanta. The offense is, as they’ve managed a total of 18 points over the first two weeks of the season and that’s just not going to cut it.
The Iron haven’t exactly been a well-oiled machine on offense themselves, but appear to field the AAF’s best defensive unit. In consecutive weeks they’ve surrendered a total of 12 points. Perez is a solid quarterback and there’s no reason to believe he won’t continue showing that skillset against the Legends. Iron 24, Legends 15
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