Last Updated: 2017-08-30
We’ll put our 2-0 Arena Football League record on the line tonight, as the Cleveland Gladiators visit the Baltimore Brigade in a 7 p.m. contest. Cleveland is favored by 3.5 points and the total on the game is 107.5.
The day gets started with an afternoon game between Philadelphia and Washington. The soul is favored by 16.5 points on the road and the total is 93.5. My numbers made the game 50-37 in favor of Philadelphia, so perhaps a lean to the home underdog.
But our primary play today is in the night game, which is a rematch of a game that took place April 16 in which Baltimore came away with a 52-49 victory on the road. Cleveland was favored by 11.5 points in that contest and the total was 98.
Cleveland completely dominated the game and had 297 passing yards compared to just 156 for Baltimore, but still managed to find a way to lose. The way they found to lose dealt with turnovers, as Cleveland lost two fumbles and was intercepted once, while Baltimore had just one turnover.
Cleveland controlled the ball for 32:22, compared to 27:38 for the Brigade and penalties were pretty even. Baltimore led 21-14 at the half before things picked up in the second half. The Brigade had touchdown drives of 4, 5 and 13 yards and also returned a kickoff for a touchdown in the game, which explains how they were able to win despite being out-gained 313 to 165.
The Gladiators will have to do a better job of protecting the quarterback, allowing five sacks in the first game, but they should find Baltimore a bit easier than their opponent the past two games, which has been Philadelphia. As we predicted last week, Cleveland’s streak of playing close games came to an end, as they were defeated 64-46 at Philadelphia.
Cleveland is just 1-5 on the season, but four of their six games have been against Philadelphia and Tampa Bay, which are the two best teams in the league. The did come away with a 48-34 victory over Washington and probably should have fared better in the game with Baltimore.
It’s never fun laying points on the road, but have to think the Gladiators can get the cover in what is a revenge for them. It’s the second of four straight road games for Cleveland and is a game the Gladiators can win if they keep it clean on the field.