The opening weekend of the AAF will end with a bang. The Arizona Hotshots have been anointed the top team in the league by AAF betting oddsmakers, and they will face one of the other top teams out west when they take on the Salt Lake Stallions. Both these teams won their last preseason games two weeks ago, and each team wants to start with a win now that it matters. Offshore sportsbook BetDSI lists the Hotshots as a 3.5-point favorite in this one with a total of 53.
Salt Lake Stallions
Dennis Erickson is the coach for Salt Lake, and he has put together a solid staff with the help of general manager Randy Mueller. This is one of the top coaching staffs in the league, and they have a good bit of talent to worth with on the offensive side of the ball.
There are a lot of good players at the skill positions for the Stallions. Dres Anderson and Kaelin Clay were underrated during their time at Utah, and Kenny Bell will be rounding out the receiving corps. Matt Asiata and Branden Oliver are very good running backs, and that will really help whoever ends up taking the snaps under center.
Josh Woodrum is set to be the starting quarterback for Salt Lake. He has bounced around the NFL for the last few years, most notably with Baltimore, and that little bit of experience has likely given him the edge. Don’t be surprised if we see Matt Linehan and Austin Allen though.
The Hotshots are the best team in the AAF. They scored a big win when they landed Phil Savage to be their general manager, and he put together the most talented team in the league. Rick Neuheisel is Arizona’s head coach, and I love the signing of long-time Oregon assistant Nick Aliotti to be the defensive coordinator.
This offense should be a lot of fun. Both Trevor Knight and John Wolford are quarterbacks that can do well in this league because of their ability to move the chains with their feet. They should have time to pick apart secondaries too with an offensive line that looks to be one of the top units in the league.
On defense, the biggest name is former University of Arizona star Scooby Wright III. Wright was a tweener and never panned out in the pros, but he could thrive in this lower level of competition. There is plenty of muscle in the interior line too, and opponents will have a tough time running on the Hotshots.
AAF Pick: Arizona -3.5 and Under 53
This is the under I like the least in opening weekend, but I’m still going to play it because I think these totals are too high. It wouldn’t surprise me to see Arizona end up in the mid-30s though, and I like the Hotshots to cover here. It doesn’t matter to me if Wolford or Knight start, as I see both quarterbacks as among the best in the league.
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