AAF Week 3 picks, odds: San Diego Fleet win again, Atlanta Legends cover spread against Birmingham Iron

Through the first two weeks of the Alliance of American Football, if we've learned anything it's that playing on the road is a bear. Shocker, right? Only twice so far has a road team covered, both in Week 2. But even the best team in the Alliance, the Orlando Apollos, needed a late pick-six to seal a road victory a week ago. While it's still to be determined how much value we should assign to home-field advantage -- is it greater than three points? -- we can deduce that going on the road means it's hard to cover. 

We find, again, some top-four teams in perilous spots as the AAF moves into its third week. The Birmingham Iron and Arizona Hotshots go on the road to Atlanta and Salt Lake City, respectively, as one-score favorites; the San Antonio Commanders are actually a two-point dog at the San Diego Fleet. Will this introduce the first round of chaos into the AAF's regular season? It's time to parse through all four games on Saturday and Sunday. 

Lines are courtesy of Westgate SuperBook.

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Arizona Hotshots (-4.5) at Salt Lake Stallions, O/U 46

An intriguingly small line here for the top team in the West on the road against a winless team. This was a 16-point win for the Hotshots in Tempe just two weeks ago -- and Salt Lake had its starting quarterback, Josh Woodrum, for a half before he injured his hamstring. Obviously, Woodrum's health is a factor in whether the Stallions can cover. Playing at home for the first time should help, and given that these two teams know each other already, I'll side with the defenses making enough plays to sweat the under. Arizona has just enough big-play ability to cover, though. 

Pick: Hotshots -4.5, Under 46

Memphis Express at Orlando Apollos (-15.5), O/U 45.5

The Express covered against (and nearly beat) Arizona in Week 2 because of poor ball security and execution by the Hotshots. In all, Arizona had five turnovers (two on downs, two interceptions and one fumble). Otherwise, there still wasn't a lot of life from Memphis' offense (3.5 yards per play). They'll be going up against the best offense in the AAF, and certainly the best passing offense. Meanwhile, Memphis gives up seven yards per attempt through the air, second-worst in the Alliance. Though I'm wary of a spread this big, the Apollos are rolling. 

Pick: Apollos -15.5, Over 45.5

Birmingham Iron (-6.5) at Atlanta Legends, O/U 40

Finally, Atlanta gets a home game. Unfortunately, it's against the Iron, a team that makes you feel as though you're playing football in a swamp with lead shoes. And Birmingham boasts the best passing defense and second-best overall defense in yards per play. The Legends are winless, which means they'll be playing angry. They certainly looked improved from Week 1 to Week 2. I'll give them the cover, but this is setting up to be a low-scoring rock fight. 

Pick: Legends +6.5, Under 40

San Antonio Commanders at San Diego Fleet (-2.5), O/U 43.5

How will the Commanders respond after losing an intense, emotional game on Sunday to the Apollos? A road trip to San Diego, a familiar opponent, won't be easy -- especially not since the Fleet have a win under their belt. We also don't know how San Antonio is going to do on the road for the first time, but away teams are 2-6 against the spread. I'm still concerned about San Diego's O-line -- it took the offense seven quarters into the season to score their first touchdown -- but I think they catch San Antonio at a good time. I wouldn't be surprised if, once again, this one is low scoring and anyone's game going into the fourth quarter. 

Pick: Fleet -2.5, Under 43.5

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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