AAF Week 4 Line Report
The Alliance of American Football League is off and running. The group of eight franchises enters the first week of March and Week 4 of the regular season slate. Those that fed their “Football Jones” less than a week after Super Bowl LIII was final watch NFL castoffs and Ol’ Ball Coaches roaming the sidelines of college football stadiums. As a result a company that literally formed in January, for the first time, took part in one scrimmage and a single preseason affair, promptly followed with early February season opening kickoffs.
Weekend gamers and experienced handicappers alike took to their man–cave dart boards and proceeded to make their Week 1 invest-a-guestimates. I write this with firsthand knowledge because my neighborhood group of degenerates didn’t need but a small twist of the arm before they were backing quarterbacks and teams they knew little to nothing about.
The first common denominator in being successful in prognosticating the outcome of any game is knowing the rules. With that said there are a number of AAF rules that are bottom-line different from that of NFL and College ball.
AAF Rule Differences
- The AAF doesn’t support kickoffs. There are no kickoffs of any kind during the entirety of an AAF contest. Teams begin each series after a scoring play at the 25-yard line.
- To keep in line with the NFL and College Pigskin theme of having the option of onside kicks the pseudo AAF on-side attempts are essentially Fourth-and-10 plays from a team’s own 35-yard line. If they successfully convert the play for a first down they retain possession. If the attempt fails the opposing team takes over at the down of the ball.
- The AAF play clock is 30 seconds rather than the 40 ticks in the NFL. This is just one of the rule differences with the aim to speed up the game and give offenses more plays during the duration of the game.
- Extra points following touchdowns are the equivalent of NFL and College Two-Point conversions.
- Another key capping variable is Penalties. There are a baker’s dozen of examples I could outline for you but the best is that an offensive lineman has to practically tackle a defensive rusher to be called for holding. Penalties are essentially de-emphasized with yet another obvious attempt to assist in scoring.
- In large the AAF is a league that has made rule changes for the purpose of selling, pimping per se, the belief that their fan base wants scoring.
In summary to the rule differences and my belief that the league would sacrifice integrity to sell tickets and keep the company afloat the rule differentials screamed points. As a result I handicapped with the understanding that all things being equal the newly formed league offenses would not initially be behind the defenses, as is the case in the NFL and College containers.
In addition when accessing a pointspread that 2 and 6 would key numbers as opposed to 3 and 7 that we typically tackle in NFL and College.
In brief what I handicapped to transpire across the first three weeks of the AAF couldn’t have been more wrong. Regardless of the league’s attempt to promote and assist offensive success the rules didn’t figure in as projected.
I expected the bookmakers to open the season’s first round of contests with totals in the mid-40’s. Conversely the sportsbooks had mid-50 for their opening totals. As expected the books joined me in making considerable adjustments after the first pair of weeks. At the close of the second Sunday of the regular season schedule the over-unders had dropped to the mid-to-upper 40s.
After three official weeks of AAF action the UNDER has cashed at a 9-3 (75%) clip through 12 games. The average scoring in the league from week to week has checked in at 38.3, 40.3, and 39.5, respectively.
And while the sample size is mall there has been a distinct home field advantage in the AAF. The average game result through the first 12 games has the host winning by 8.8 points.
The Las Vegas SuperBook, Westgate, AAF Week 4 Line Report: