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.