The San Antonio Commanders have been playing decent football since Week One of the Alliance of American Football season. But they had the misfortune of running into Orlando in Week Two, and then simply got destroyed by San Diego in Week Three.
Maybe oddsmakers gave more weight to the loss to San Diego rather than the win over them in Week One. Because at that point in the season, their championship odds were +1200. Only the Memphis Express and the Atlanta Legends had longer odds at that point (Salt Lake also had +1200 odds).
But after winning four in a row and sit on top of the Western Conference in complete control of their own destiny.
With that mastery, has come shorter odds to win the AAF Championship. According to Bovada (as of 3/29), heading into Week Eight, the Commander’s championship odds will be among the top three of the AAF:
- Orlando Apollos +115
- Arizona Hotshots +325
- San Antonio Commanders +350
- Birmingham Iron +500
- San Diego Fleet +1200
- Memphis Express +6600
- Atlanta Legends +8000
- Salt Lake Stallions +8000
It is kind of interesting that a team with a worse record (Arizona is 4-3 heading into Week Eight) has better odds than them. But that could change depending on how Sunday’s game between the Commanders and Hotshots plays out.
So—who’s going to win that one?
Oddsmakers are favoring San Antonio (-125) over Arizona (+105) and have the spread set at 1.5 points in favor of the Commanders (odds via SportsInteraction.com as of 3/30). Clearly, they are expecting this one to be a very close game.
The two played back in Week Five in a game that was dominated by the Commanders. But the Hotshots made a furious comeback in the fourth quarter that fell just short in the end.
Since then, the Hotshots became the first team to defeat the Orlando Apollos (Week Six; 22-17). Last week they dominated the San Diego Fleet, 32-15. Their offense has always been one of the better ones in the league, but their defense gave up big plays way too often—except for the last two weeks.
The closest the Commanders have gotten to slaying a similar proverbial dragon would be controlling their game against Birmingham back in Week Four. Otherwise, the competition San Antonio has been defeating hasn’t been that tough (Atlanta, Memphis, and Salt Lake).
So—are the Commanders really any good or are they just a product of a fortunate stretch in their schedule?
Sunday’s game will tell for sure, but the edge should go to the Commanders. They have an offense that has already proven itself against the Hotshots defense, and they have a defense that is quite capable of limiting the Arizona passing game. According to Pro Football Focus, they have the highest graded coverage unit in the league.
So—who’s going to win Sunday between the Commanders and the Hotshots? It will be a close game but take the Commanders to win. They have the better defense and/an offense that should do well enough to win.
When that happens, expect to see their championship odds to become even shorter.