Week 16 AFL betting news and notes

Week 16 AFL betting news and notes

Week 16 AFL betting news and notes
By TED SEVRANSKY

Seven teams can clinch playoff berths this weekend, but only two control their own destinies: Georgia and New Orleans. Chicago can clinch home-field edge throughout the American Conference playoffs with a single victory as well.

Cleveland, Colorado, Grand Rapids, New York and Utah all have the potential to clinch spots in Week 16, but each of those teams needs some help.

The fact that Utah is in position to clinch this week is nothing short of amazing, a true testament to the weakness of the American Conference this season. Remember, the Blaze started the year by losing their first nine games, but they’ve won five of their last six both SU and ATS, despite losing the pointspread cover this last Monday Night on the final play of the game against the LA Avengers, winning by only nine as 9.5/10-point favorites.

Blaze Quarterback Joe Germaine’s leads the league with 91 touchdown passes, while receivers Huey Whittaker, Aaron Boone and JJ McKelvey all rank in the top ten in both total receptions and receiving yards. The Blaze are the only team in the AFL to have three receivers with more than 110 catches and more than 1300 receiving yards.

Grand Rapids is another team that is in position to clinch a playoff spot this week, despite a horrific run of eight losses in a nine game span and a 4-10 record overall. The Rampage won an Arena Bowl title back in 2001, but the franchise has declined markedly in recent years, failing to reach the postseason since the 2003 campaign.

The Rampage put on a truly impressive offensive showing against Colorado this past weekend, hanging 84 points on the Crush. First year head coach Steve Thonn promised a more aggressive approach following their home loss to Utah the previous week, and he certainly wasn’t bluffing. The Rampage had a season high 16 possessions against Colorado, averaging less than two minutes per possession. For the game, the two teams combined to score twenty touchdowns, while averaging less than three plays per touchdown drive; the longest drive for either team in the entire game taking slightly over four minutes. That’s the single fastest pace (most aggressive) game of the entire season.

Rampage quarterback James MacPherson has an extraordinarily sharp dichotomy between his winning performances and his losing ones. In his four wins as the starter, MacPherson has thrown 30 touchdowns with only four interceptions, completing better than 80% of his pass attempts. In his eight losses as a starter, his completion percentage is a more modest 62.6 and his TD/INT ratio is also more modest: 41/11. Three different Grand Rapids receivers had 100 or more yards and at least three touchdown receptions this past weekend, the first time in team history they’ve accomplished that feat.

I wrote about Orlando’s turnover problems last week, a team that started the season 6-2 but currently is on the outside, looking in, at the playoff race after another ugly loss at Tampa Bay this season. Quarterback Shane Stafford threw for a season high 362 yards (the most Tampa Bay has allowed all year), but he fumbled a snap for the fifth straight game, and committed a turnover for the 13th time in 15 games. Only Colorado QB John Dutton has committed turnovers in 13 different games this season. No one in the AFL has more total turnovers, total fumbles, or fumbles lost. Stafford is approaching Kurt Warner’s (yes, that Kurt Warner) all time season record of 18 fumbles set back in 1995 with the Iowa Barnstormers.

Orlando has reached the playoffs in each and every season during their 16-year existence. The VooDoo, by the way, are 0-7 in their history in the state of Florida, suffering a late season meltdown of their own after losing four of their last five following a 7-2 start.

The Chicago Rush are another team playing poorly down the stretch. Needing only a single win to clinch home-field advantage throughout the American Conference playoffs, the Rush got hammered at Cleveland this past weekend, losing by three touchdowns. Their normally strong defense coming out with their worst effort of the season, allowing 65 points on a whopping 10.7 yards per pass attempts. Their only win in the last three weeks was a come-from-behind victory in the final seconds against arguably the league’s worst team, Kansas City. To make matters even worse for Chicago, their final two games come against Georgia (the hottest team in the league, winners of six straight and Dallas (also needing to win out to secure home playoff games).

Speaking of Kansas City, I made a mistake a few weeks ago, writing that head coach Kevin Porter was on the hot seat following their decline from 10-6 last year to 3-11 in 2008. Porter, the former Chief, signed a five-year deal in part due to his friendship with former Kansas City Chiefs teammate Neil Smith, one of the co-owners of the team. The ownership group can certainly be blamed for the Brigade’s quarterback woes after letting Raymond Philyaw go to Cleveland in free agency in the offseason.

The Brigade became the first AFL team this year to start four different quarterbacks, as former Dallas Cowboy Quincy Carter made his first career start at home against Arizona this past Sunday. Proving once again that the AFL and NFL have completely different skill sets for quarterbacks, Carter’s performance was a disaster as KC lost by 39 points in a game that they were actually favored to win. Much like benched quarterbacks John Fitzgerald, Matt Kohn and D. Bryant failed before him, Carter struggled from start to finish throwing a whopping 20 incomplete passes and two interceptions while leading the Brigade to a season low 34 points.

Let’s return to the Brigade’s decision not to re-sign Philyaw to conclude this week’s news and notes. In 2006, KC went 3-13. They signed Philyaw in the offseason and improved to 10- 6 last year. In 2007, the Las Vegas Gladiators went 2-14. They moved to Cleveland, signed Philyaw, and are sitting at 8-6 in 2008. Philyaw hasn’t thrown an interception in his last five games (173 pass attempts) and threw only five incomplete passes in an upset win over the league’s best defensive team (Chicago) this past Saturday.

But the Gladiators defense has been a major part of their turnaround as well. First year head coach Mike Wilpolt was the defensive coordinator in LA from ’05-’07, and he was brought into Cleveland in an effort to transform their horrific defense from last year. The defense played their best game of the season in the upset win over Chicago.

However, the Gladiators still need a strong finish to clinch a playoff spot. Cleveland faces a tough test this weekend, traveling to Philadelphia to take on the revenge minded Soul. Remember, the Gladiators handed Philly their first loss of the season after the Soul’s 9-0 start, and Philadelphia needs to win out to clinch homefield edge in the ultra-competitive National Conference.

COVERS.COM

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AFL LONG SHEET

Friday, June 13

NEW ORLEANS (8 - 6) at ORLANDO (8 - 7) - 6/13/2008, 7:30 PM
Top Trends for this game.
NEW ORLEANS is 1-9 ATS (-8.9 Units) in road games against conference opponents over the last 2 seasons.
NEW ORLEANS is 0-6 ATS (-6.6 Units) in road games versus division opponents over the last 2 seasons.
ORLANDO is 38-22 ATS (+13.8 Units) when playing against a team with a winning record after 8 or more games since 1996.

Head-to-Head Series History
NEW ORLEANS is 2-1 against the spread versus ORLANDO over the last 3 seasons
NEW ORLEANS is 2-1 straight up against ORLANDO over the last 3 seasons
2 of 3 games in this series have gone UNDER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons


Saturday, June 14

CLEVELAND (8 - 6) at PHILADELPHIA (11 - 3) - 6/14/2008, 7:00 PM
Top Trends for this game.
PHILADELPHIA is 2-9 ATS (-7.9 Units) when the total is greater than or equal to 110 over the last 2 seasons.

Head-to-Head Series History
CLEVELAND is 2-0 against the spread versus PHILADELPHIA over the last 3 seasons
CLEVELAND is 2-0 straight up against PHILADELPHIA over the last 3 seasons
2 of 2 games in this series have gone OVER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons


GRAND RAPIDS (4 - 10) at COLUMBUS (3 - 11) - 6/14/2008, 7:00 PM
There are no Top Trends with records of significance that apply to this game.

Head-to-Head Series History
COLUMBUS is 1-1 against the spread versus GRAND RAPIDS over the last 3 seasons
COLUMBUS is 2-0 straight up against GRAND RAPIDS over the last 3 seasons
1 of 2 games in this series have gone OVER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons


CHICAGO (10 - 4) at GEORGIA (9 - 5) - 6/14/2008, 7:00 PM
Top Trends for this game.
GEORGIA is 9-1 ATS (+7.9 Units) when playing against a team with a winning record over the last 2 seasons.
GEORGIA is 7-0 ATS (+7.0 Units) when playing against a team with a winning record after 8 or more games over the last 2 seasons.
CHICAGO is 12-3 ATS (+8.7 Units) after playing a game on a Saturday over the last 3 seasons.

Head-to-Head Series History
GEORGIA is 1-0 against the spread versus CHICAGO over the last 3 seasons
GEORGIA is 1-0 straight up against CHICAGO over the last 3 seasons
1 of 1 games in this series have gone UNDER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons


NEW YORK (8 - 6) at DALLAS (11 - 3) - 6/14/2008, 8:00 PM
Top Trends for this game.
DALLAS is 12-3 ATS (+8.7 Units) as a favorite of 3.5 to 9.5 points over the last 2 seasons.
DALLAS is 8-22 ATS (-16.2 Units) in home games when playing on a Saturday since 1996.

Head-to-Head Series History
DALLAS is 4-1 against the spread versus NEW YORK over the last 3 seasons
DALLAS is 5-0 straight up against NEW YORK over the last 3 seasons
4 of 5 games in this series have gone UNDER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons


TAMPA BAY (7 - 7) at SAN JOSE (9 - 5) - 6/14/2008, 10:30 PM
Top Trends for this game.
SAN JOSE is 22-10 ATS (+11.0 Units) in all games over the last 2 seasons.
SAN JOSE is 8-2 ATS (+5.8 Units) when the total is greater than or equal to 110 this season.
SAN JOSE is 20-8 ATS (+11.2 Units) as a favorite over the last 2 seasons.
SAN JOSE is 13-3 ATS (+9.7 Units) in home games over the last 2 seasons.
SAN JOSE is 11-1 ATS (+9.9 Units) in home games where the total is greater than or equal to 110 over the last 2 seasons.
SAN JOSE is 15-5 ATS (+9.5 Units) when playing on a Saturday over the last 2 seasons.
SAN JOSE is 16-4 ATS (+11.6 Units) after playing a game on a Saturday over the last 2 seasons.
TAMPA BAY is 23-10 ATS (+12.0 Units) in June games since 1996.
TAMPA BAY is 53-31 ATS (+18.9 Units) when playing against a team with a winning record since 1996.
TAMPA BAY is 35-19 ATS (+14.1 Units) when playing against a team with a winning record after 8 or more games since 1996.

Head-to-Head Series History
SAN JOSE is 2-0 against the spread versus TAMPA BAY over the last 3 seasons
SAN JOSE is 2-0 straight up against TAMPA BAY over the last 3 seasons
1 of 2 games in this series have gone OVER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons


KANSAS CITY (3 - 11) at LOS ANGELES (4 - 10) - 6/14/2008, 6:30 PM
Top Trends for this game.
KANSAS CITY is 9-2 ATS (+6.8 Units) as an underdog this season.

Head-to-Head Series History
KANSAS CITY is 2-0 against the spread versus LOS ANGELES over the last 3 seasons
KANSAS CITY is 2-0 straight up against LOS ANGELES over the last 3 seasons
2 of 2 games in this series have gone OVER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons

Monday, June 16


COLORADO (4 - 10) at ARIZONA (8 - 6) - 6/16/2008, 10:00 PM
Top Trends for this game.
COLORADO is 3-11 ATS (-9.1 Units) in all games this season.
COLORADO is 3-11 ATS (-9.1 Units) when the total is greater than or equal to 110 over the last 3 seasons.
COLORADO is 1-8 ATS (-7.8 Units) in road games where the total is greater than or equal to 110 over the last 3 seasons.
COLORADO is 0-6 ATS (-6.6 Units) when playing on Monday night over the last 2 seasons.
COLORADO is 0-6 ATS (-6.6 Units) after playing a game on a Saturday this season.
ARIZONA is 10-1 ATS (+8.9 Units) in home games when playing against a team with a losing record over the last 3 seasons.
ARIZONA is 6-0 ATS (+6.0 Units) in home games when playing against a team with a losing record after 8 or more games over the last 3 seasons.

Head-to-Head Series History
ARIZONA is 1-1 against the spread versus COLORADO over the last 3 seasons
COLORADO is 2-0 straight up against ARIZONA over the last 3 seasons
1 of 2 games in this series have gone OVER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons 

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TREND SHEET

Friday, June 13

7:30 PM
NEW ORLEANS vs. ORLANDO
New Orleans is 2-5 ATS in its last 7 games when playing Orlando
New Orleans is 2-5 SU in its last 7 games when playing Orlando
Orlando is 1-4 ATS in its last 5 games
Orlando is 1-4 SU in its last 5 games


Saturday, June 14

6:30 PM
KANSAS CITY vs. LOS ANGELES
Kansas City is 4-1 ATS in its last 5 games
Kansas City is 3-13 SU in its last 16 games
Los Angeles is 8-4 ATS in its last 12 games at home
Los Angeles is 2-4 SU in its last 6 games at home


7:00 PM
CHICAGO vs. GEORGIA
Chicago is 1-3-1 ATS in its last 5 games
Chicago is 6-2 SU in its last 8 games
Georgia is 5-1 SU in its last 6 games at home
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Georgia's last 5 games at home


7:00 PM
CLEVELAND vs. PHILADELPHIA
Cleveland is 4-2 ATS in its last 6 games
Cleveland is 8-13-2 ATS in its last 23 games
Philadelphia is 1-3-1 ATS in its last 5 games at home
Philadelphia is 9-1 SU in its last 10 games at home


7:00 PM
GRAND RAPIDS vs. COLUMBUS
Grand Rapids is 2-4 ATS in its last 6 games
Grand Rapids is 1-5 SU in its last 6 games
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Columbus's last 7 games when playing Grand Rapids
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Columbus's last 5 games when playing at home against Grand Rapids


8:00 PM
NEW YORK vs. DALLAS
New York is 1-4 ATS in its last 5 games when playing Dallas
New York is 0-5 SU in its last 5 games when playing Dallas
Dallas is 2-5 ATS in its last 7 games
Dallas is 19-4 SU in its last 23 games


10:30 PM
TAMPA BAY vs. SAN JOSE
Tampa Bay is 4-1 ATS in its last 5 games when playing on the road against San Jose
Tampa Bay is 2-4 ATS in its last 6 games when playing San Jose
San Jose is 6-1-1 ATS in its last 8 games
San Jose is 6-1 SU in its last 7 games


Monday, June 16

10:00 PM
COLORADO vs. ARIZONA
Colorado is 0-5 ATS in its last 5 games
Colorado is 0-5 SU in its last 5 games
Arizona is 1-4 ATS in its last 5 games when playing Colorado
Arizona is 1-4 SU in its last 5 games when playing Colorado

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Friday's Arena Football game:

New Orleans (8-6) @ Orlando (8-7)-- Season finale for Predator squad that gets the Week 17 bye; they lost 54-53 to Voodoo in Week 2 (-7.5), losing three fumbles. Orlando lost last three in a row, allowing 66 ppg, is 0-5 vs spread last five games. Voodoo lost four of last five games, dropping last three road games by 27-4-7 points. Last four Orlando games went over the total.

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