Last Updated: 2018-04-13
The Arena Football League season begins tonight, when the Washington Valor makes the short journey to Baltimore to face the Brigade, while the other game of the week takes place Saturday when the two-time defending champions, the Philadelphia Soul, travels to Albany to face the Empire in their first-ever game.
The league is probably stronger than its ever been as far as the teams go, as you simply have fewer players due to having fewer teams and the best players from Tampa Bay and Cleveland, essentially creating a league that should have some decent parity this season, although the Soul have to be considered the favorites, primarily due to their ability to keep players from last year’s squad.
Since basically three of the four teams are new, at least as far as rosters go, using last year’s stats is a little bit trickly, since there’s been so much player turnover, but coaching tendencies and philosophies, free agent pickups in regards to team needs, etc., can prove to be helpful, along with line moves and injuries.
AFL teams don’t play preseason games and didn’t have any scrimmages, so this week is the first time players will see somebody in a different jersey, so there could be a little bit of rust showing, especially for quarterbacks Nick Davila and Tommy Grady.
Definitely will tread very light until we get some games in the books.
Washington at Baltimore: The big news in this one is the return of Davila to the AFL after he sat out last season and was on the Arizona Rattlers coaching staff after Arizona moved to the Indoor Football League, where mobility comes into play much more, as it’s more of a rushing league, which isn’t his strength. He gives Washington an instant upgrade on its offense, but the Brigade also added some talented players. Baltimore is favored by 3.5 and the total has climbed all the way up to 97.5, but would have to lean the other way and have a slight lean on the under in this one.
Philadelphia at Albany: The Soul are favored by 12.5 and the total is 99.5, as Albany will play its first game in front of a sellout crowd. Would really love to take Albany in this one, but it’s hard to go against the Soul, who have at least had more time together. Albany coach Rob Keefe is a defensive guy first and foremost, so will have another lean on the under in this game, but will likely stick to small wagers until we see each team play each other at least once.
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