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Can Iron stop slump to sink Fleet? Get Alliance of American Football Week 6 tips

Leigh Copson 14 Mar 2019

Alliance of American Football predictions for Week 6 of the 2019 AAF season. Can the Orlando Apollos preserve the only unbeaten record left in the Alliance of American Football, and who will come out on top when playoff hopefuls San Diego and Birmingham go head-to-head? Read on for all of our free predictions and betting tips.

Memphis Express at Salt Lake Stallions (Saturday 20:00 GMT)

These two teams are propping up their respective conferences after suffering heart-breaking ends to their Week 5 games, but while Salt Lake were beaten by a last-gasp field goal by the San Diego Fleet, Memphis simply shot themselves in the foot. The Express were knocking on the door to Atlanta’s redzone with the score tied at 20-20 going into the final three minutes of an entertaining contest, and even if they did not convert their third-and-six attempt they were in an excellent position to go in front because they were well inside field goal range. However, Zach Mettenberger inexplicably tried a risky pass in an attempt to earn his team a fresh set of downs, and he was punished in the worst possible way as the ball was tipped and Tyson Graham Jr hauled in the interception. All that was left was for Atlanta to drive downfield and boot a game-winner of their own, leaving Memphis 1-4 and all but out of the post-season picture. The Stallions are also facing up to the prospect of missing out on the AAF’s postseason having also dropped to 1-4 a week ago, so who will keep alive their incredibly slim chances of making it to the final four? Despite Mettenberger’s blunder a week ago there is no mistaking that the Memphis offense has improved considerably to complement a strong defense, but I find myself leaning towards a Stallions team that could quite conceivably by 3-2 right now. That defensive front will get in the face of Mettenberger, who did not get much protection last week, and on the opposite side of the football they have a run game that will help them manage the clock. They will not blow Memphis away however, so backing the Express with a +8 handicap is tempting.

Arizona Hotshots at Orlando Apollos (Sunday 00:00 GMT)

The Orlando Apollos continue to boast the only 100% record left in the Alliance of American Football and they will aim to keep that perfect mark intact when they host the team they replaced at the head of the outright betting earlier this season, Arizona. The Hotshots came into the inaugural campaign as the bookmakers’ pick to win it all, but they have failed to live up to the pre-season billing and go into this match in horrible form having lost three straight games to fall one behind San Antonio and San Diego in the Western Conference. They desperately need to stop the rot on Saturday night, but they are going to need to be at their very best to knock off an Orlando team that are firing on all cylinders right now. Steve Spurriers offense has been outstanding through the first five weeks of the season with the likes of Garrett Gilbert, D’Ernest Johnson, Charles Johnson and Jalin Marshall helping them rack up a league-best 149 points, and defensively they have been sharp too. Earl Okine, Terence Garvin and Keith Reaser have been stand-out performers in this group, helping ensure that only one team in the AAF has allowed less points through five weeks, so there does not appear to be a weakness on either side of the football when it comes to the Apollos. The same cannot be said for Arizona. Defensively they have struggled to keep points on the board and offensively they have hit a real slump. QB John Wolford after he tossed three interceptions in last weekend’s defeat, and that spells trouble because Garvin and Reaser have already combined for six picks for Orlando. Everything is pointing to a home win for the Apollos on Saturday night and I expect it to be a pretty comfortable one. 

San Antonio Commanders at Atlanta Legends (Sunday 20:00 GMT)

This is a huge matchup for both teams. Back-to-back wins over Birmingham and Arizona have helped San Antonio claim top spot in the Western Conference, but their 3-2 record is matched by second-place San Diego and they are just one game ahead of the Hotshots, so there is still much work to be done when it comes to the Commanders’ quest to reach the postseason. Atlanta, meanwhile, have breathed new life into their season and have catapulted themselves into the playoff picture with back-to-back wins. The inaugural season looked set to be a pretty miserable experience for the Legends, but Aaron Murray’s introduction at quarterback, in place of Matt Simms, has given them the spark they need on offense, and on the other side of the football the defense has stepped up its game. They did need some good fortune – or reckless play – from Memphis to get the win a week ago, but a ‘W’ is a ‘W’ and Atlanta must be feeling good about themselves after stringing a couple of those together. But can they make it three-in-a-row? I am not so sure. Atlanta are the hosts for this one, but San Antonio have shown themselves to be strong travellers in recent weeks having followed up a hard-fought victory at Birmingham with a win in Arizona last time out. Quarterback Logan Woodside has been having problems protecting the football, but the Commanders have been able to take some of the pressure off him thanks to a strong ground game. Kenneth Farrow II leads the league in rushing, and that ability to pound the rock gives them an opportunity to control the clock and control the pace of the game – two huge things when you are playing on the road. On the opposite side of the football they have had no problems getting to the quarterback with Jayrone Elliott, Shaan Washington, Winston Craig and Arthur Miley combining for 12 of the team’s 17 sacks, and in the secondary defensive back DeVante Bausby has three interceptions to his name – a league-best.  So while, there is no doubting that Atlanta have improved in recent weeks, it is difficult to look past the Commanders here.

Birmingham Iron at San Diego Fleet (Monday 00:00 GMT)

The Birmingham Iron defied their pre-season critics as they stormed out of the blocks to win their first three games – but did they benefit from what could be considered an ‘easy’ start to their inaugural season? Birmingham’s first three wins came against teams that now have a combined 4-11 record, and when they stepped up the level of opposition in recent weeks they have come up short, losing 12-11 to San Antonio before being soundly beaten 31-14 by Orlando. Both of those defeats came at home too and with Birmingham set to play four of their remaining five games on the road, the fans have to be worried. The first of those games is a visit to San Diego to face a Fleet team who snatched a 27-25 victory from under the noses of Salt Lake a week ago, bouncing back from that shock loss at Memphis. That victory sent Mike Martz’s team above .500 for the first time this season and they probably would be 4-1 right now had the head coach not made a ridiculously risky call against the Express that backfired in spectacular fashion. So who takes this? Despite their recent dip Birmingham still boast arguably the toughest defense in the Alliance of American Football, but only three teams have scored less points than them this season and that offensive deficiency will come back to haunt them against teams that can put points on the board. San Diego certainly fit into that bracket having scored 23 or more points in each of their last four games, but it is not all about the offense for the Fleet. They have some stud defensive players too in the likes of Damontre Moore, Shakir Soto, Kameron Kelly and Ryan Moeller, who have been making big plays this season, so I am backing San Diego for a win that keeps them firmly in the race for the Western Conference crown.

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Can Iron stop slump to sink Fleet? Get Alliance of American Football Week 6 tips

Alliance of American Football predictions for Week 6 of the 2019 AAF season.

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