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February 4, 2019

The Arizona Hotshots Open As Betting Favorites In AAF; Inaugural Season Begins Feb. 9

Marc Meltzer February 4, 2019
AAF Betting Odds

The National Football League (NFL) season might be over, but the thirst for football never goes away. Sure the NFL combine and draft will satisfy the need for some but there’s no legal betting on that in the US.

Have no fear. The Alliance of American Football (AAF) season kicks off on Saturday, Feb. 9. The AAF is a new professional football league founded by producer Charlie Ebersol (son of NBC executive Dick Ebersol) and former NFL general manager Bill Polian.

They will operate the AAF as a non-NFL developmental football league. In other words, the AAF will serve as an unaffiliated minor league to the NFL. The AAF is taking a new approach to a startup football league.

They aren’t just providing teams and games and hoping for the best. In 2018 the league signed a partnership with MGM Resorts. The league and casino operator will work closely on technology, marketing, fantasy sports, and traditional gambling.

This doesn’t appear to be a fly by night league and they’re taking gambling seriously as a part of how they market the league. They even flew out members from the Westgate Superbook and other sportsbook operators to check out the games a couple weeks ago. Westgate Vice President of Sports Operations Jay Kornegay told TheLines, “The league employs coaches with solid resumes, has young talent, on national TV, and they’re very well organized.”

The SuperBook isn’t the only sportsbook operator that will take bets on AAF games. But they are the first sportsbook with AAF futures odds:

  • Arizona Hotshots +250
  • Salt Lake Stallions +400
  • San Antonio Commanders +500
  • Orlando Apollos +500
  • Atlanta Legends +500
  • San Diego Fleet +1000
  • Memphis Express +1000
  • Birmingham Iron +1000

AAF games will be easy to watch. Games can be watched on their mobile app, CBS networks, and they recently signed a deal with Turner to be on TNT and B/R Live. AAF will be the first league to offer free games to watch via B/R Live.

Most of the teams in the AAF are employing players and coaches with big names that most college football fans will be familiar with:

  • Arizona Hotshots: Head coach Rick Neuheisel, QB Trevor Knight (Oklahoma)
  • Atlanta Legends: Head coach Kevin Coyle (previously Brad Childress), offensive coordinator Mike Vick, QB Aaron Murray (Georgia), WR Stephen Hill (Georgia Tech)
  • Birmingham Iron: Head coach Tim Lewis, QB Blake Sims (Alabama), RB Trent Richardson (Alabama), QB Scott Tolzien (Wisconsin)
  • Memphis Express: Head coach Mike Singletary, QB Christian Hackenberg (Penn State), QB Zach Mettenberger (LSU)
  • Orlando Apollos: Head coach Steve Spurrier
  • Salt Lake Stallions: Head coach Dennis Erickson
  • San Antonio Commanders: Head coach Mike Riley
  • San Diego Fleet: Head coach Mike Martz, RB Bishop Sankey (Washington)

AAF is scheduling games to be played on Saturday and Sunday starting this weekend. Sportsbooks should be posting individual game lines a few days before each clash.

2020 Super Bowl Odds: Patriots Early Favorites To Repeat At FanDuel, DraftKings

Staff February 4, 2019
2020 Super Bowl Odds

There are no months off in the NFL betting cycle. Shortly after the Patriots clinched their sixth title in Super Bowl 53bettors were already looking ahead at futures prices for next season.

The opportunity to wager on the winner of the 2020 Super Bowl was available in mid-January for bettors in Nevada at the Westgate SuperBook in Las Vegas. New Jersey operators like DraftKings Sportsbook and FanDuel Sportsbook followed two weeks later with their own early odds for the Super Bowl 54 champ.

The Westgate opened the Los Angeles Rams (6/1) as the early favorite to capture next year’s Vince Lombardi Trophy on Jan. 15. However, the Kansas City Chiefs shifted into the favorite spot as of Feb. 4.

Jeff Sherman, the vice president of risk management at the SuperBook, sent out the updated odds after the Super Bowl came to a close.

In New Jersey, the Patriots (+800) opened as the favorite to win at FanDuel Sportsbook a week before the big game. That didn’t change after they won their sixth Super Bowl. New England has opened at 10/1 odds or less every season this decade.

At DraftKings, the Patriots, Chiefs, Rams and Saints were all listed with the shortest odds at +750 (15/2). That means the four teams who advanced to the conference championships in 2019 are the early favorites in the 2020 Super Bowl futures market.

2019-20 Super Bowl 54 Futures Odds

TeamDraftKingsFanDuelWestgate2018-19 Record
Green Bay+2500+1800+16006-9-1
Kansas City+750+900+60012-4
LA Chargers+1400+1400+140012-4
LA Rams+750+1100+80013-3
New England+750+800+80011-5
New Orleans+750+900+80013-3
NY Giants+3300+5000+40005-11
NY Jets+4000+8000+80004-12
SF 49ers+3300+3500+50004-12
Tampa Bay+4000+5000+80005-11

A shot of optimism

The biggest longshot to win the 2020 Super Bowl heading into next season is the Miami Dolphins (300/1 at Westgate). But 100-1 longshots and fans from Washington, Detroit, New York (Jets), Buffalo, Cincinnati, Oakland and Arizona can hold out hope that their team can be the next 1998 St. Louis Rams, who went 13-3 and won Super Bowl XXXIV after opening at 300-1 odds following a 4-12 season in 1997.

Those teams can look at this year’s Chicago Bears as another example of optimism going into next season. The Bears were 100-1 odds to win the 2019 Super Bowl prior to the regular season. Chicago went from five wins the previous season to a 12-4 record and division title before losing in the playoffs on a last-second, “double doink” missed field goal — a bad beat for moneyline bettors but not for those who bet at FanDuel Sportsbook.

The Bears (+1,700 at DraftKings Sportsbook) and LA Chargers (+1,400) are expected to be Super Bowl contenders next season after both made the playoffs this year with 12-4 records. The Indianapolis Colts (+1,400) are among the top 10 favorites to win Super Bowl LIV next year after catching fire late in the year. And even the Cleveland Browns (+2,000) are picking up a lot of steam following a 7-8-1 season.