By Jonathan Von Tobel
Baltimore (-12.5, 96.5) @ Washington
It has not been the greatest start to the AFL season for Washington, a team that continues to seek its first win of the year. The defense for the Valor continues to be somewhat disappointing, and the offense has fallen off the last two weeks since losing its top signal-caller. In the rematch against Albany, the Valor put up a solid fight in the first half, but that was due mostly to the Empire allowing short drives by attempting multiple onside kicks. Once Albany was content to kick it away and force Warren Smith to drive the length of field, the offensive attack really bogged down for Washington. The Valor managed to score twice in the final quarter, which caused a brutal push for total bettors, but it was shut out in the third quarter. The late-down struggles continued as well, with the team going a combined 3 of 9 on third- and fourth-down attempts.
Meanwhile, Baltimore, with arguably the best offense in the AFL, has had a week under its belt to prepare for perhaps the worst defense in the league. In its last game, the Brigade defense clamped down on the Philadelphia Soul in a 31-21 victory. Washington’s secondary could not handle Joe Hills in back-to-back weeks, as he pulled in five touchdowns in the two games played. They will have their hands full when Randy Hippeard and his assortment of weapons come into town. In the last three games, Washington opponents have scored 152 total points, and 52 of those points were from the Brigade two weeks ago.
Having watched every game until this point in the AFL season, I can safely say that Baltimore is the better team. Of course, the question always remains, are they a good enough team to cover the spread? I say they are, so the pick here is lay the points with Baltimore. As for the Totals, it has not gone well for me. Like throwing a dart at a board blindfolded, so I’m taking another toss and going under.
VON TOBEL’S PICK: Baltimore, Under