Last Updated: 2018-04-06
The 2018 Arena Football League will kick-off on Friday, April 13, and the league is now down to just four teams, which will feature plenty of rematches and revenge games and everything else that goes with such a small league. The AFL has plenty of competition for players from other leagues now, but still sees lines posted at a number of different sportsbooks, who typically wait later in the week to post their numbers.
For a league that doesn’t get a lot of attention, the oddsmakers did a solid job last season, with the point spread being the great equalizer, as all five teams last season were within a game of .500 against the spread, regardless if it was the 15-1 Philadelphia Soul or the 3-11 Washington Valor.
The Soul averaged a league-best 58.1 points per game and allowed the fewest points in the league at 42.7 points per game. The second- and third-best offensive teams from last season, Tampa Bay and Cleveland, are both gone, with a number of their better players scooped up by the remaining four teams.
We could very well see a slight increase in scoring this season, mainly due to the returns of quarterbacks Tommy Grady and Nick Davilla. The four starting AFL quarterbacks have thrown for a combined 2,488 touchdowns and 111,282 yards or 63.22 miles if you prefer.
Albany Empire: Albany is new to the AFL this season, but has a solid quarterback in Tommy Grady, who has thrown for more than 700 touchdowns in his AFL career, including 142 with Utah in 2012. The Empire made some solid defensive signings and could be a decent team right out of the gate, although it may take a bit of time for the team to come together.
Baltimore Brigade: Baltimore was 4-11 in its first season, ending the season on a five-game losing streak, including a 1-4 ATS mark, but covering in a losing playoff appearance to the Soul. The Brigade were the worst defensive team in the league last year, but added several talented players, including First Team All-Arena Justin Lawrence from Philadelphia and Dexter Jackson from Tampa Bay. It’s unlikely the Brigade will challenge the Soul, but they could be the second-best team in the league.
Philadelphia Soul: The Soul were the benchmark of Arena Football League teams last season, as they were favored by double digits in every game but one, the second game of the season at Washington. The Soul captured the Arena Bowl with a 44-40 victory over Tampa Bay. The Soul could very well be just as good as they were a year ago, but the rest of the league should be better, so the record may be tough to duplicate. Philadelphia may be overpriced slightly in the early going of the season.
Washington Valor: The Valor struggled offensively last season, but were pretty much average on defense and lost two games by a single point. The team is brining back Nick Davilla to play quarterback after he sat out last season when the Arizona Rattlers changed leagues. Hard to knock the signing of a guy who led his team to three straight Arena Football League titles.
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