Philadelphia Soul vs. Washington Valor
Date and Time: Saturday, April 22, 2017, 7 p.m. ET
Location: Verizon Center, Washington D.C.
Week 3 AFL Odds: Soul -6.5, O/U 106.5
Soul vs. Valor TV Coverage: Monumental Sports Network
The Soul are fresh off of a 56-52 victory over Tampa Bay on the road to kick off their season. They weren't at their best in the game, as quarterback Dan Raudabaugh turned the ball over on successive drives in the second quarter, something that you virtually never see out of the defending champs.
Still, they never trailed in the game and were always the better of the two teams in spite of the fact that there were some hiccups along the way.
Washington was off in Week 2 of the season, but it has to feel good having beaten up on its brand new rival from Baltimore in Week 1 in the home opener. The Verizon Center was truly rocking and rolling over the course of the game, and the fans seem to get the intensity that the AFL is going to bring it.
There was a genuine fear in AFL circles that quarterback Erik Meyer was going to show some rust in his first game back in the league after taking 2016 off. Still, the 2015 MVP was at his best in that first half against the Brigade. His final numbers didn't look great at 21-of-32 for 237 yards and four scores, but it should be noted that his receiving corps around him is probably the weakest of the five teams in the league.
AFL odds change all the time in the early going over the course of a week, but a move like this one isn't one that you see too often. The Valor actually opened up at -11.5 against Philadelphia, but that spread was at +3.5 within about an hour. Even after the first few hours of betting, the money has consistently come in on the Soul to push the spread up to -6.5, a number that legitimately might just continue to rise.
Do keep in mind with this total of 106.5 that there hasn't been a game this season yet feature a final score beyond 108, and even that 56-52 triumph for the Soul last week was aided by two touchdowns when the visitors should have fallen upon an onside kick instead of bringing it into the end zone with less than a minute left to play.
Soul vs. Valor Free Picks
When head coach Clint Dolezel left last Saturday night from the Sunshine State, he was a disappointed customer even though his team walked out victorious. The Soul were sloppy, they weren't efficient on offense all the time, and the defense was bailed out by a host of follies on Storm extra points. It was a losable game for the champs, and any game that could have gone the other direction looks and feels like a loss.
That tells us the Soul are going to come out and cream the Valor in Week 3. Was Washington great in its first ever half of football? Sure. But the bottom line is that the team took its foot off the gas pedal in the second half, and it didn't have the opportunity to pick on Chase Cartwright in those last 30 minutes after he was benched. There's a big difference between trying to defend against Cartwright and Shane Carden and going against the best quarterback in the league, and we think this will serve as a really rude awakening for one of the AFL's newcomers that the champs are here to stay. We'd have no problem laying up to 10 with the Soul.
Soul vs. Valor Week 3 ATS Pick: Soul -6.5 at BookMaker.eu
Soul vs. Valor Score Prediction: Soul 56, Valor 41