American Alliance of Football (AAF) Launches Sports Betting App

Alliance of American Football Betting App

The AAF draws talent from the NFL’s past and present.

The NFL season ended days ago, but the American public is confronted with a new pro football league this weekend: The Alliance of American Football (AAF). The new league, which debuts on CBS this Saturday night at 8pm EST, embraces gambling in a way the NFL has not done to this point.

The AAF has its own live in-play football betting app which allows bettors to place wagers on a seemingly endless variety of prop bets. Part of the AAF’s salary structure will be based on how many fans are betting on their individual performances.

While those live prop bets will not be available in the first weekend of play, it is expected in the coming weeks.

Meanwhile, online sportsbooks like MyBookie have begun taking futures money-line bets on which team will win the American Alliance of Football’s inaugural season.

Before we get to the odds for each team, let’s talk about the basics.

AAF League Structure

The American Alliance of Football has 8 teams and plans a 10-week schedule to last from February to April. Most of the league’s rules are the same as fans are used to in the NFL, because the AAF wants viewers familiar with the rules. Some notable changes are in place.

For instance, the AAF has no kickoff. Teams start at their own 25-yard line. Extra points do not exist. Instead, teams go for a 2-point conversion after touchdowns. Onside kicks do not exist.

When asked about the lack of kickoffs, former NFL official and AAF officiating consultant Mike Pereira said, “We were all looking around saying, ‘Does anyone miss kickoffs?’ The answer was, no, we did not miss them.”

SkyJudge Officiating

To get calls right and shorten the oversight of bad calls, the AAF has a SkyJudge, a member of the officiating crew who sits in the booth and can overturn obvious missed calls on the field. The AAF wants to eliminate the kind of calls which (many feel) cost the New Orleans Saints a trip to Super Bowl 53.

The play clock is 35 seconds instead of 40 seconds. The idea is for games to last 2.5 hours, where NFL games tend to be closer to 3 hours long.

AAF Background and Associations

The AAF is the brainchild of Charlie Ebersol and Bill Polian. Charlie Ebersol is a successful tv producer best known for The Profit on CNBC, NBC’s The Wanted, and the USA Network’s NFL Characters Unite. Ebersol has produced a number of sports documentaries, including the ESPN 30 for 30 documentary This is the XFL, Don’t Look Down (about Shawn White), and Tradition Never Graduates (about Notre Dame football).

Charlie Eberson was co-founder of The Company with Justin Hochberg, which is now known as The Company. He is the son of Dick Ebersol, who was the president of NBC Sports from 1989 to 2011. Dick Ebersol was the co-founder of the XFL along with Vince McMahon of WWE fame.

Bill Polian Profile

Bill Polian is a Hall of Fame former NFL executive best known for his run as General Manager of the Buffalo Bills (1986-1992), Carolina Panthers (1995-1997), and Indianapolis Colts (1997-2009). Polian also was the team president of the Colts from 1998-2011.

During that time, Bill Polian was a 6-time NFL Executive of the Year, engineering 5 trips to Super Bowl between the Buffalo Bills (3) and the Indianapolis Colts (2). He won Super Bowl XLI as the Colts’ GM. Polian also took the Carolina Panthers to the NFC Championship Game in only its 2nd year in existence as an expansion franchise.

AAF Players and Coaches

The AAF has recruited a number of famous former NFL coaches and players to help manage the league and its franchises. Former Pittsburgh Steelers greats Hines Ward and Troy Polamalu are part of the league’s front office. So is former New York Giants and Oakland Raiders defensive end, Justin Tuck. JK McKay and Dick Ebersl are advisers.

A few of the current head coaches include Mike Singletary, Steve Spurrier, Rick Neuheisel, Dennis Erickson, and Mike Martz. The 8-team league will have a 4-team playoff bracket. The AAF Championship Game takes place at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas on April 28. Interestingly, the NFL Draft takes place from April 25 to April 27.

If the AAF survives into Season 2, it will go up against a revived XFL, the pro football league being backed by WWE’s Vince McMahon.

AAF’s Online Sportsbook Odds

Arizona Hotshots — +250
Salt Lake Stallions — +400
Atlanta Legends — +500
Orlando Apollos — +500
San Antonio Commanders — +500
Birmingham Iron — +1000
Memphis Express — +1000
San Diego Fleet — +1000

Not much is known about the strengths and weaknesses of the various AAF teams, except their head coaches and a few players. Unless a fan knows players from college or plays fantasy football in deep dynasty leagues, almost all of the players will be unknown to them. Like Rod “He Hate Me” Smart, a few standouts likely will become notables in the first weeks of the season.

It is hard to determine why a team like the Arizona Hotshots received better odds than the Birmingham Iron, based on the player breakdown below. Perhaps the NFL careers of Trent Richardson or Christian Hackenberg had an effect on team perception for the Express or Iron. While Rick Neuheisel was a successful college coach, Mike Martz (Super Bowl) had the most success as an NFL coach. Former NFL executives like Phil Savage and Randy Mueller act as their team’s GM, while former Dallas Cowboys fullback and Fox Sports broadcaster Daryl Johnston is also a GM.

Arizona Hotshots: Rick Neuheisel (coach), Phil Savage (general manager), Trevor Knight, Josh Huff
Salt Lake Stallions: Dennis Erickson (coach), Randy Mueller (general manager), Matt Asiata, Branden Oliver, Kenny Bell
San Antonio Commanders: Mike Riley (coach), Daryl “Moose” Johnston (general manager), David Cobb, Demarcus Ayers
Orlando Apollos: Steve Spurrier (coach), Akeem Hunt, Garrett Gilbert
Atlanta Legends: Kevin Coyle (coach), Seantavius Jones
San Diego Fleet: Mike Martz (coach), Gavin Escobar, Damontre Moore, Bishop Sankey
Memphis Express: Mike Singletary (coach), Christian Hackenberg, Zac Stacy
Birmingham Iron: Tim Lewis (coach), Trent Richardson

81% of the players have signed an NFL contract at one time or another. Many signed free agent deals in the offseason and were waived in training camp. Some spent time on NFL Practice Squads, while many others were active members of NFL rosters for one or more seasons. Most were college stars, though their NFL careers were not altogether stellar. A few, such as Matt Asiata, had some success in the NFL. The San Diego Fleet’s expected starting quarterback, Josh Johnson, was signed by the Washington Redskins midseason in 2018 and started several games due to injury.

Each franchise collects players from specific regional colleges, along with 4 associated NFL franchises and 1 Canadian Football League (CFL) squad.