A New Money Maker?
By Tom Barton
This weekend the AAF opened up to America and America was paying attention. It's no secret that the viewing public loves football and we have seen football leagues have some successes, bit mostly failures. The AAF debuted with a large attention span and seems to have the right model to grab football fans. The ratings were a 2.1 which beat out LeBron vs. Westrbook on ABC. That is impressive no matter how you look at it. There are star names on the sidelines and the fans like the refreshing style. In fact fans enjoyed it so much that 11 of the top 20 trending topics in the U.S. on Twitter Saturday night were AAF related.
It doesn't have the hype of the former XFL and doesn't have the pure star power of the USFL from days past but what it has is some old school feel that fans are dying for. The highlight that was have seen over and over is a QB getting hit so hard on a blitz that his helmet flies off .... and no flags. We watched a replay judge's thought process on how to overrule or uphold a call and overall we watched some talented young men show off their skills.
With all this said the question for us is can we make money on this and the answer is a screaming YES! Look, you can make money potentially on anything, but this really gives people a leg up. The linesmakers are as in the dark as most of the public but these rosters are filled with good players, even if the betting public doesn't quite recognize who they are.
I watch Ivy League football and I love Division 2 football, there are plenty of these "stars" in the league and knowledge of that makes the difference. Just take the first week for example where all four favorites won and all four covered. We also saw 3 of the 4 games go under the total. In fact three of the four teams won by 16 or more points.
So how can we handicap this? Well, the unders early on make sense as defenses always are in sync quicker than offenses. Throwing to a spot and knowing a receivers tendencies takes some time but hitting a QB and stuffing the run can be adapted easier. As far as the games themselves I expect some massive line moves over the course of the year. The talent gaps on the teams seem to be pretty large which equates to the blowout fashion of some of these games. We can ride the favorites for the early part and then when the books adjust they will, as they always do, over adjust and we can start to ride the underdogs. There is money to be made in this new league it just takes studying and understanding of the players involved.