AAF Week 1 picks, odds: Atlanta Legends cover against Spurrier's Orlando Apollos, plus three more

Now it feels like football season. Um ... again.

The Alliance of American Football kicks off tonight with two season-openers. The San Diego Fleet battle the San Antonio Commanders while the Atlanta Legends take on the Orlando Apollos in the opening games of the first AAF season (both games are on CBS at 8 p.m. ET Saturday, with regional coverage, and can be streamed on CBS All Access.) Opening weekend continues on Sunday, with the Memphis Express traveling to the Birmingham Iron (4 p.m. ET on CBS Sports Network, stream here) while the Salt Lake Stallions play at the Arizona Hotshots (8 p.m. ET on NFL Network, stream on fuboTV, try for free, and view the full schedule here.) 

Now it's time to make picks. How so, when these teams literally ain't played nobody? I'm going off of what I saw in training camps and people I've spoken with around the league. This is limited information, mind you; we're all going into this blind and it's going to take time to establish even a baseline of knowledge. But it's something. (Check out our Power Rankings.)

Also, there may or may not have been a dart board involved. On to the picks. 

Atlanta Legends at Orlando Apollos (-5.5), O/U 44.5

The coaching in this matchup is fascinating. Orlando is coached by Steve Spurrier, while Kevin Coyle took over for Atlanta following the departure of Brad Childress. This is a fun quarterback duel, too, with Atlanta's Aaron Murray and Orlando's Garrett Gilbert. I've gotten the vibe  from preseason scrimmages that Orlando is better, but we'll see if that carries over. Also, despite the fun offensive names involved, Week 1 is a tough moment to start clicking on all cylinders. 

Pick: Atlanta +5.5, Under 44.5

Who wins the AAF championship? And which contender should you avoid at all costs? Visit SportsLine now to get the strong picks from renowned pro football expert Mike "Top Dog" Tierney, and find out.

San Diego Fleet at San Antonio Commanders (-5), O/U 43.5

Word is that San Antonio might have the best offense in the alliance. But, again, how much of that shows up in Week 1? No one is reinventing the wheel, but bringing teams together and introducing some new terminology in this amount of time could slow things down. San Diego linebacker A.J. Tarpley has been getting some buzz out of camp. He could be a problem. Ultimately, though, I haven't gotten the impression San Diego has found a quality replacement at quarterback for Josh Johnson, who was picked up by Washington. 

Pick: San Antonio -5, Under 43.5

The AAF kicks off this weekend so Ben Kercheval joined Will Brinson on the Pick Six Podcast to break down everything about the new league, and you can listen here:

Memphis Express at Birmingham Iron (-1), O/U 40.5

You'll notice that every home team is favored, but Birmingham has the lowest projected win total of all eight teams, so this is the closest you'll get to a pick 'em. The Iron feel strong about their power running game, led by former Cleveland Browns and Indianapolis Colts running back Trent Richardson, but we'll see if they have anything else to complement it. 

Pick: Memphis +1, Under 40.5

Salt Lake Stallions at Arizona Hotshots (-4.5), O/U 42.5

The preseason favorites to win the championship will close out Week 1 and this one should be a lot of fun. Westgate SuperBook feels pretty strongly about Salt Lake (the Stallions have the next-highest odds behind Arizona to win the AAF title at 4/1) and the win total of 4.5 is only two behind Arizona. With the Hotshots, you're definitely getting interesting quarterback play with John Wolford and Trevor Knight. Arizona feels it can win with both of them. 

Pick: Arizona -4.5, Over 42.5

CBS Sports Writer

Ben Kercheval joined CBS Sports in 2016 and has been covering college football since 2010. Before CBS, Ben worked at Bleacher Report, UPROXX Sports and NBC Sports. As a long-suffering North Texas graduate,... Full Bio

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