Koerner’s AAF Power Ratings: San Antonio-San Diego Offers Biggest Betting Value

Koerner’s AAF Power Ratings: San Antonio-San Diego Offers Biggest Betting Value article feature image

Courtesy of @TheAFF/Twitter. Pictured: San Antonio RB Kenneth Farrow

  • Sean Koerner leverages his AAF Power Ratings to find the best betting values for Week 3.
  • His favorite pick? A side in Sunday's San Antonio Commanders-San Diego Fleet matchup.

With two weeks of the Alliance of American Football league in the books, we have a decent sample size of data to work with.

To identify any potential “value” in Week 3 lines, I created our second set of power ratings for all eight AAF teams. We’ll use those to estimate a line for each matchup and make some picks below.

Here’s what they are as of writing on Wednesday:


Arizona Hotshots at Salt Lake Stallions

  • Spread: Arizona -4.5
  • Over/Under: 44
  • Time: 3 p.m. ET on Saturday
  • TV: B/R Live

Arizona closed as a massive 16-point road favorite against Memphis last week — roughly eight points higher than what I thought the spread should be. That game came down to the wire as the Hotshots managed to escape with a two-point win. And as a result, I didn’t see the need to adjust their rating down too much as they’re clearly still a top two team in the league.

The Stallions are the best 0-2 team in the league and would have come away with a win at Birmingham last week if it weren’t for a few special teams blunders that were mostly a result of bad luck. They are also likely to get starting quarterback Josh Woodrum back this week, so I expected this line to open at around +3.5 — which it did — but the market has already pushed it up a point.

It could be worth waiting to see if this number drifts further before backing the Stallions. These teams met in Week 1 when the Hotshots won by 16, and you have to imagine the market is going to overweight that and heavily back Arizona here.

It’s also worth noting that this will be Salt Lake’s first home game. Last week I mentioned that I was using a value of two for home-field advantage, but with home teams going 6-2 over the first two weeks, I’ve bumped it up to 2.5.

The total of 44 is right in line with my initial estimate.

The league has been a bit lower scoring than expected with the average final being 39.25 points. And one reason sharp bettors might lean toward the under here is the very fact that these teams met just two weeks ago. In the NFL, the second meeting of the season between teams is typically lower scoring.

There’s some weight that can be given to the fact that these teams will be better equipped to game plan defensively as they already have a pretty good idea of what to expect.

PICK: Hold

Memphis Express at Orlando Apollos

  • Spread: Orlando -15
  • Over/Under: 45
  • Time: 8 p.m. ET on Saturday
  • TV: NFL Network

Last week I had pointed out that it was way too early to be floating a 16-point home dog (like Memphis was). However, it’s not so far fetched with this week.

Orlando has established itself as the No. 1 team in the league with quarterback Garrett Gilbert the apparent favorite for MVP at this point. Considering the league is lower scoring than many anticipated, the Apollos have a huge leg up as their offense appears to be the most equipped to put up points.

I had pegged this line being -14.5 — which was in line with the opening number — but it was quickly bet up to -15.

While Memphis easily covered the 16-point spread in Week 2, it was not without hiccups. Due to a mix of bad QB play by Christian Hackenberg and coaching, the Express seemed content running out the clock to head to the locker room for halftime despite being on Arizona’s side of the field with plenty of time left. Their two-minute offense at the end of the game was almost as head scratching.

These are self-inflicted wounds that could very well haunt the Express going forward and not simply due to bad “luck.” Because of this, I want to wait and see if the line goes past 16 before I consider backing Memphis.

The total of 45 is exactly where I had it, so there’s no value there currently.

We have seen some pretty big line moves as the market is still trying to figure the league out, so if it moves 1.5 points or more off this total, I would consider betting against the line move.

PICK: Hold

Birmingham Iron at Atlanta Legends

  • Spread: Birmingham -6.5
  • Over/Under: 38.5
  • Time: 4 p.m. ET on Sunday
  • TV: CBS Sports Network

The consensus appears to agree that Atlanta is likely the worst team in the league at this point. The only real positive I can point out is that this will be the Legends’ first home game.

As I mentioned, home teams have fared quite well, going 6-2 over the first two weeks. I had pegged this line as being Birmingham -5, so the current line appears to offer some value on Atlanta.

We have to remember that heading into the season, Birmingham was pegged as the worst team with the lowest regular season win total at 3.5. After a convincing 26-0 win in Week 1, the market overreacted a bit in Week 2 by setting the Iron as 7-point favorites. The only reason they managed to escape with a three-point victory over Salt Lake was due to numerous special team blunders made by their opponent.

The Iron are going to be a bit overrated thanks to their 2-0 record, so let’s see if this line drifts any higher and pounce on Atlanta once it peaks.

It’s a bit frustrating that the market has already sharpened the total down to 38.5. It had opened at 40, so all of the value has vanished.

I had pegged this to be the lowest total we have seen yet with a rating of 38.4. Considering this features two of the league’s weaker offenses — and not to mention a median of 37 points in the league’s first eight games — it wasn’t surprising to see the market move this below 40. I’m predicting that next week’s San Diego-Memphis total could be even lower than 38.5.

PICK: Atlanta +6.5

San Antonio Commanders at San Diego Fleet

  • Spread: San Diego -2.5
  • Over/Under: 43.5
  • Time: 8 p.m. ET on Sunday
  • TV: NFL Network

I have this game being closer to a pick ’em or even San Antonio -1. There is a pretty big drop off after the top two teams, but I have San Antonio as the No. 3 team in my power ratings.

The Commanders are likely to be a bit overlooked at 1-1, but they’re a very complete team. Backup QB Marquise Williams could become more involved this week as I think he showed that dual-threat quarterbacks could thrive in the AAF. The Commanders also have a ton of weapons on offense, so I’m expecting them to get even better over the next few weeks.

Meanwhile, the Fleet’s offensive centerpiece is running back Ja’Quan Gardner, so if the Commanders focus on containing him, they can win this matchup rather easily.

San Antonio +2.5 is my favorite play of the week and I will for sure be taking the Commanders on the moneyline as well.

My total rating for this matchup is 42.9, but if you factor in that these teams faced each other just a couple weeks ago, the under looks even better. As I mentioned, we’ve seen in the NFL that when teams face each other for the second time in a season, it’s typically lower scoring.

PICK: San Antonio +2.5