Last week the Bay Area Panthers earned their most impressive win in franchise history. The Panther’s opponent, the Arizona Rattlers, was the #1 team, according to the IFL Coaches Poll. As the Panthers look to make a championship run in 2023, defeating the Rattlers 47 to 46 was a massive step in the right direction. This week the Panthers face the challenge of traveling to the Massachusetts Pirates to play an early game on Sunday.
The Frisco Fighters are the current #1 ranked team in the IFL Coaches Poll, a product of their two wins to open the season. Frisco will have to travel to the undefeated Duke City Gladiators and face one of the most impressive passing offenses in the IFL. The Frisco offense struggled to establish itself against the Tulsa Oilers in Week 2 and will look to re-establish their offensive prowess.
Coming into Week 3, we have a 7-1 record when predicting who will win each game in the IFL. So let’s take a deep dive into this week’s games.
Visiting Team: Iowa Barnstormers (0-1)
Home Team: Green Bay Blizzard (0-2)
Location: Resch Center, Ashwaubenon, Wisconsin
Date and Time: Friday, March 31st at 7:05 pm EST
DraftKings Betting Line: Iowa Barnstormers -14.5 O/U 92.5
The Green Bay Blizzard’s offense made significant progress last week as quarterback Ja’Rome Johnson emerged as the leader of the Green Bay offense. However, Green Bay’s defense has struggled to get stops or produce turnovers during their first two games in 2023. Iowa displayed an impressive offense in Vegas last week, but the Barnstormer’s defense needed help to get stops. The Blizzard need to avoid getting into a shootout if they intend to get a victory at home this week.
Prediction: Iowa Barnstormers 45 Green Bay Blizzard 35
Visiting Team: Sioux Falls Storm (0-0)
Home Team: Quad City Steamwheelers (1-1)
Location: Vibrant Arena at The MARK, Moline, Illinois
Date and Time: Saturday, April 1st at 8:05 pm EST
DraftKings Betting Line: Quad City Steamwheelers -7.5 O/U 87.5
The Quad City Steamwheelers have an impressive offense led by quarterback EJ Hilliard. Quad City’s offense can be predictable in big moments due to their reliance on Hilliard’s running ability. However, the Steamwheeler’s defense’s inability to get consistent stops and missed extra points could leave the door open for an upset. Sioux Falls is traditionally a strong team in the IFL, and quarterback Lorenzo Brown brings successful indoor football experience. If Sioux Falls starts slow on offense, the Steamwheelers need to put them away; otherwise, it will be another close finish for the Steamwheelers.
Prediction: Quad City Steamwheelers 48 Sioux Falls Storm 45
Visiting Team: Frisco Fighters (2-0)
Home Team: Duke City Gladiators (1-0)
Location: Rio Rancho Event Center, Albuquerque, New Mexico
Date and Time: Saturday, April 1st at 8:05 pm EST
DraftKings Betting Line: Frisco Fighters -8.5 O/U 109.5
The Frisco Fighters are the only two-win team in the IFL, and offensively they have the potential to be the top-scoring team in the league. In Week 2, the Tulsa Oilers exposed the Fighters passing offense as a weakness, as the Tulsa Oiler’s defense played conservatively and did not allow the Fighters to have explosive plays. Duke City is known for having one of the best passing offenses in the IFL, and quarterback Nate Davis looks impressive. However, Duke City’s inability to establish a run game or get defensive stops will lead to a high-scoring shootout with the Fighters.
Prediction: Frisco Fighters 60 Duke City Gladiators 58
Visiting Team: Vegas Knight Hawks (1-0)
Home Team: Northern Arizona Wranglers (0-1)
Location: Findlay Toyota Center, Prescott Valley, Arizona
Date and Time: Friday, April 1st at 9:05 pm EST
DraftKings Betting Line: Vegas Knight Hawks -13.5 O/U 84.5
The Northern Arizona Wrangler’s offense struggled to get started last week, but quarterback Garrett Kettle got the Wranglers in the end zone in a failed attempt at a comeback. This week, the Wranglers will need to get on the scoreboard early and often to have a chance to win. The Vegas Knight Hawks quarterback had a quarterback rating of 234.7 against the Barnstormers. If the Knight Hawks’ offense can maintain that efficiency level, it will be easier for the Wranglers to keep up.
Prediction: Vegas Knight Hawks 52 Northern Arizona Wranglers 45
Visiting Team: Bay Area Panthers (1-0)
Home Team: Massachusetts Pirates (1-0)
Location: Phoenix Field at the DCU Center, Worcester, Massachusetts
Date and Time: Sunday, April 2nd at 1:05 pm EST
DraftKings Betting Line: Bay Area Panthers -5.5 O/U 91.5
The Bay Area Panthers must travel coast to coast after clinching an emotional win against the Arizona Rattlers. The combination of a long-distance road game and an early start time will be a factor in this game for the Panthers. Massachusetts has a habit of starting strong and letting teams get back in the game in the 2nd half. This week the Pirates will need to start strong and finish in the second half; otherwise, they will be the next traditional IFL power knocked off by a dangerous and talented Bay Area team.
Prediction: Massachusetts Pirates 50 Bay Area Panthers 44
Visiting Team: Tucson Sugar Skulls (0-0)
Home Team: San Diego Strike Force (0-1)
Location: Pechanga Arena, San Diego, California
Date and Time: Monday, April 3rd at 9:05 pm EST
DraftKings Betting Line: San Diego Strike Force -3.5 O/U 95.5
Over the last several seasons, the Strike Force has established an expectation of futility on offense. Against the Quad City Steamwheelers, their offense took off under the guidance of quarterback Demry Croft. San Diego was just a few points away from securing one of their most impressive wins in franchise history. This week they face a potentially high-scoring Tucson Sugar Skulls team led by quarterback Ramone Atkins. Atkins is no stranger to explosive offenses due to his experience leading the Duke City offense to the IFL’s best-passing offense in 2022. San Diego will have to exceed their expectations this week if they hope to get their first win of the season against the Sugar Skulls.
Prediction: Tucson Sugar Skulls 42 San Diego Strike Force 38
Note: Fans can watch all IFL games via live stream on https://goifl.com/
Follow me on Twitter: @AaronSauter7
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