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Arizona Rattlers installed as 7 to 5 ArenaBowl favorites after Week 3

Adam Markowitz
Wednesday April 15, 2015

Prior to the hiatus in 2009, it used to be commonplace for bettors to be able to wager on anything from who is going to win a game to a total in a game to the odds to win the ArenaBowl each and every week. Largely, most of those options have been severely limited. This season though, William Hill in Las Vegas has posted ArenaBowl futures bets, where you can wager on your favorite team to hoist the Foster Trophy this year.

Odds To Win ArenaBowl XXVIII
Arizona Rattlers 7/5
San Jose SaberCats 4/1
Cleveland Gladiators 5/1
Philadelphia Soul 5/1
Las Vegas Outlaws 10/1
Orlando Predators 10/1
Portland Thunder 15/1
Jacksonville Sharks 18/1
Tampa Bay Storm 30/1
New Orleans VooDoo 75/1
Spokane Shock 150/1
Los Angeles KISS 200/1

Clearly, the first item that has to jump off of the page is Arizona being installed as the nearly odds-on favorite at 7 to 5. The Rattlers, of course, have won the last three championships, and even though they haven't quite looked as good at the outset of this season as we have remembered from them over the course of the last few years, there are still 15 games left to play before getting ready for the playoffs.

Nick Davila remains the best quarterback in the league, and Kevin Guy remains the best coach in the league, and when you've got that combination, you're going to win a lot of games. Arizona, over the course of the next few months, should theoretically go on to win the Western Division title, which would guarantee them at least one home game.

The fact of the matter is that the best bet right now is probably on San Jose at 4 to 1. The SaberCats are 3-0, and they are clearly the odds-on favorites to win the Pacific Division. They have outscored their foes by 53 points in three games, a bigger margin than anyone else in the AFL. Even though losing Virgil Gray for the season is clearly going to hurt, San Jose still has the look of a team which can finish this season with 14 or 15 wins, which would more than likely leave it with that crucial prospective game against Arizona in the National Conference Championship Game at home.

Portland and Las Vegas are clearly overrated teams at 15 to 1 and 10 to 1 respectively, while the odds on winless Spokane and Los Angeles are understandably the longest in the league.

Over in the American Conference, Philadelphia and Cleveland are the co-favorites to win it all at 5 to 1. It feels as though these two teams are on a crash course for one another in the playoffs for the second consecutive season, though the Soul look much more like a title team this year than they did last season.

The Soul have won their first three games, two of which have been in very tough road trips. Cleveland was off to a 2-0 start before once again running into the buzz saw known as Arizona. Keep in mind that the Gladiators haven't lost a game to anyone aside from the Rattlers since the end of 2013, so it would be foolish to count them out.

Orlando, which leads the Southern Division through three games, has good odds on its head at 10 to 1. The Predators did win the Southern Division last year, and with one win already over Jacksonville, they have the inside track at the moment to host that crucial first round playoff game.

But of course, the best odds on the board of all of the 12 teams are on Jacksonville. Yes, the Sharks are 0-3, and yes, they looked atrocious against Philadelphia last week. However, they still have an insanely talented roster, one which just seems to get deeper and deeper with each passing week.

Had the Sharks had a decent kicking game in Weeks 1 and 2, they would be 2-1 right now, sitting atop the Southern Division by a game, and they would probably be the second favorites at around 3 to 1.

If you're going to make a long-term investment this season, you could certainly do worse than betting on the Sharks to capture the ArenaBowl, especially knowing that they are playing in a wide open Southern Division.

All odds posted courtesy of William Hill in Las Vegas as of Tuesday, April 14

Adam Markowitz is an accountant and a freelance sports writer living in Orlando. As a Florida State graduate with degrees in music and history, the garnet and gold will forever be a part of him, but he bleeds the black and red of the Orlando Predators like none other. Adam has been following the AFL since 1991 and has been at well over 200 games, including 16 ArenaBowls. You can follow Adam on Twitter @AFLGuru.
The opinions expressed in the article above are only those of the writer, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts, opinions, or official stance of ArenaFan Online or its staff, or the Arena Football League, or any AFL or af2 teams.
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