Salt Lake Stallions-Birmingham Iron AAF Betting Guide: Should Trent Richardson & Co. Be Favored?
Courtesy of @TheAAF/Twitter. Pictured: Trent Richardson
Betting Odds: Salt Lake Stallions at Birmingham Iron
- Spread: Birmingham -7.5
- Over/Under: 44
- Time: 2 p.m. ET on Saturday
- TV: TNT
Betting market: The Iron have moved to 7.5-point favorites since opening at 6.5, while the over/under has sunk two full points.
Birmingham entered the season with the worst odds to win the championship and now finds itself favored by more than a touchdown against a solid Salt Lake squad that played Arizona fairly tight in Week 1.
Week 1 Takeaways
Salt Lake’s 38-22 Loss to Arizona
- The Stallions were within three points of the Hotshots at halftime before Josh Woodrum (hamstring) was lost for the game. Backup quarterback Matt Linehan averaged only 4.3 yards per attempt with a 54% completion in relief while alleged No. 1 receiver Kenny Bell played a team-high 61 snaps but failed to catch any of his three targets.
- Salt Lake deployed a fairly underwhelming three-headed backfield featuring Joel Bouagnon (16 carries, 39 yards), Branden Oliver (8 carries, 40 yards) and Matt Asiata (4 carries, 3 targets, 4 yards, 1 TD).
- The good news for the Stallions’ rushing attack is Salt Lake has one of the league’s largest offensive lines. Each starting guard and tackle is at least 6-foot-4 and weighs at least 315 pounds.
Birmingham’s 26-0 Win Over Memphis 26-0
- Luis Perez averaged a robust 7.6 yards per attempt last week, but he was plagued by a league-high five drops. Quinton Patton (4 receptions-107 yards-0 TD) was responsible for three of those miscues, although Perez still fed Patton a team-high nine targets.
- Trent Richardson racked up a week-high 24 touches, although it’s tough to ask for better game flow. Backup Ladarius Perkins actually played over Richardson in two-minute situations and wound up catching 6-of-8 targets for 36 yards to complement his five carries for 13 yards on the ground.
- The Birmingham secondary completely shut down Christian Hackenberg and Co. Cornerback Jamar Summers stood out the most, earning AAF Team of the Week honors from Pro Football Focus for his performance.
Birmingham Iron cornerback Jamar Summers balled out in Week 1 #ForgeOn
3 pass deflections
1 forced fumble pic.twitter.com/R2Z4OD2n8i
— Ian Hartitz (@Ihartitz) February 14, 2019
Which team is healthier? Salt Lake
The Stallions have the game’s most important injury to watch, as starting quarterback Josh Woodrum (hamstring) is considered day-to-day and wasn’t able to practice on Wednesday or Thursday. The rest of their passing game is also fairly banged up, as wide receivers Kaelin Clay (hand), Jordan Leslie (hamstring) and Kenny Bell (thigh) were limited in practice on Thursday, while Dres Anderson (hamstring) wasn’t able to practice at all.
Meanwhile, Iron tight end Braedon Bowman was placed on the injured reserve list earlier this week, wide receiver Amba Etta-Tawo (knee) isn’t expected to suit up on Saturday and starting running back Trent Richardson was downgraded to a DNP for Thursday’s practice. No. 1 receiver Quinton Patton (wrist) was limited during Wednesday’s practice, but upgraded to full on Thursday. Tight end Busta Anderson (hamstring) is also banged up.
Key matchup: Luis Perez vs. Salt Lake’s secondary
The Stallions surrendered week-high marks in yards per attempt (9.5), passing yards (275) and passing touchdowns (4) to Arizona last week. John Wolford and the Hotshots’ up-tempo scheme deserve plenty of credit, but the Salt Lake secondary hasn’t exactly earned the benefit of the doubt.
Meanwhile, Perez already looks like one of the league’s top four quarterbacks thanks to his willingness to hang in the pocket under pressure and take chances downfield.
Birmingham Iron QB Luis Perez was dropping dimes in Week 1 👀 pic.twitter.com/1hiyat3URF
— Ian Hartitz (@Ihartitz) February 12, 2019
DFS edge: Ladarius Perkins
The fine folks at FanBall provide daily fantasy contests for the AAF featuring lineups that must include one quarterback, one running back, one wide receiver and three flexes.
Richardson is the week’s highest-priced back at $7,000. Sure, he was one of only two backs to surpass 20 fantasy points last week, but he also averaged only 2.5 yards per rush on his 23 attempts and was bailed out by two short rushing touchdowns.
Richardson’s backup, Ladarius Perkins, still had five rush attempts and finished second on the team with eight targets. Less ideal game flow, as well as the absence of several receivers, could lead to an ever bigger receiving role for Perkins in a week when he costs $4,800 and is priced as the RB11.
Bet to watch: Salt Lake +7.5
I’d feel much better about Salt Lake if we had a better idea of Woodrum’s health. Either way, this sure is a lot points for a team that was pegged as the league’s worst unit literally a week ago.