first_imgWe have reached Week 5 out of 10 in the Alliance of American Football, which means after this weekend, we’ll be halfway through the league’s inaugural season. Last week was interesting with several upsets. The Express and the Legends both played new quarterbacks, leading to their first wins in franchise history. Also, the Commanders went on the road and defeated the Iron, giving Birmingham its first loss. As a result, we went 1-3 with our picks last week, giving us a 7-4 record on the season. The Hotshots will have a similar strategy, as Jhurell Pressley ran for 110 yards last week. Both teams have struggling QBs with strong ground games, so expect a lot of rushing in this one.Who to watch: Arizona WR Rashad Ross has had at least one touchdown in every game this season while also finishing with at least 50 yards in each contest. He has been consistently great and will be someone the Commanders need to stop if they want a chance to win.Prediction: Commanders win, 28-24 MORE: 10 AAF players who have made a case for the NFLWe’ll be diving in to each of the Week 5 matchups, but before we do, let’s take a look at the schedule. (Betting odds via BetOnline.)Alliance of American Football Week 5 TV scheduleMatchupTimeNetworkOrlando Apollos at Birmingham Iron2 p.m., SaturdayTNT/ fuboTVSalt Lake Stallions at San Diego Fleet8 p.m., SaturdayNFLN/ fuboTVMemphis Express at Atlanta Legends4 p.m., SundayCBSSN/ fuboTVSan Antonio Commanders at Arizona Hotshots8 p.m., SundayNFLN/ fuboTVMORE: AAF Power Rankings ahead of Week 5Apollos (4-0) at Iron (3-1)Spread: Apollos -3.5 (-110)Over/Under: 34The Iron lost in Week 4, so we don’t get a battle of undefeated teams, but this is still the clear matchup of the week. The Apollos and Iron are the top two teams in our Power Rankings, as they boast the two best records in the league. Their quarterbacks also place No. 1 and No. 2 in the league in passing yards.Of course, the most interesting part of this matchup is the Apollos’ top-ranked offense against the Iron’s top-ranked defense. Orlando is averaging just under 30 points per game, while Birmingham is allowing slightly more than eight points per game. At the very least, we can expect Orlando’s offense to struggle a bit.On the other side of the ball, though, we have seen the Iron’s offense struggle all season, while the Apollos’ defense has been able to make plays. Unless Birmingham suddenly finds a spark on offense, it’s hard to see Orlando suffering its first loss in this one.Who to watch: Trent Richardson has been awful through four weeks, and Birmingham might have found a solution in Brandon Ross. He ran nine times for 64 yards (7.1 yards per carry) last week and should get more carries than Richardson, who is averaging 2.4 yards per carry.Prediction: Apollos win, 18-6Stallions (1-3) at Fleet (2-2)Spread: Fleet -6 (-110)Over/Under: 36The Fleet were dealt some bad news when quarterback Philip Nelson suffered a fractured clavicle in Week 4. He’ll be out at least a month, meaning San Diego is turning back to QB Mike Bercovici, who started Week 1 before he was benched due to poor play.Under Nelson, San Diego was looking like one of the top teams in the AAF. The Fleet even jumped out a 20-6 lead in Week 4 before backup Alex Ross came in and turned the ball over three times. Now they’ll face a tough challenge against the Stallions, who are better than their record suggests.Still, given a week of preparation with Bercovici, the Fleet can get something going. They just need to avoid turning the ball over.Who to watch: Fleet’s Dontez Ford was PFF’s top WR last week, earning a 77.0 overall grade. He had 57 yards after catch (finishing with 71 total yards) on three receptions. He also found the end zone and could be a good target for Bercovici in his return under center.Prediction: Fleet win, 18-12Express (1-3) at Legends (1-3)Spread: Legends -1.5 (-110)Over/Under: 38.5The matchup everyone has been waiting for. OK, maybe not, but this game does carry some intrigue, as both franchises picked up their first wins last week. The Express finally sent QB Christian Hackenberg to the bench, and Zach Mettenberger looked surprisingly good in his place.The Legends were forced to go to Aaron Murray at QB after Matt Simms suffered an injury, and he led them downfield several times (although he needs to work on finishing drives in the red zone). Atlanta also found help in Tarean Folston, who had 87 scrimmage yards by running (21) and receiving (66) out of the backfield.Memphis’ defense has been strong all season, and the unit had three players on PFF’s top defense in Week 4. This should be a close game, especially with it being in Atlanta, but expect the Express to extend their win streak.Who to watch: Express EDGE defender Corey Vereen was a force in Week 4, picking up two sacks and two forced fumbles. If he is able to keep up that production, it will be a tough afternoon for Murray and the Legends offense. Prediction: Express win, 17-12Commanders (2-2) at Hotshots (2-2)Spread: Hotshots -2.5 (-110)Over/Under: 40 (-110)This matchup is interesting because it’s a battle between two teams going in different directions. The Commanders have started to look like one of the top teams in the AAF after knocking down the Iron in Week 4. Meanwhile, the Hotshots, who were title favorites at the start of the year, have lost two games in a row to previously winless teams.San Antonio was able to get things done on the ground by rushing Kenneth Farrow 30 times last week for an AAF-record 142 yards. He probably can’t keep up that production, and we’re surprised the Commanders didn’t let Trey Williams get more carries since he has been impressive as a spell back.last_img

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