This week is an opportunity for many IFL teams to show that they have the potential to be a championship contender. Several of the top IFL teams are on a bye week, so for those not currently viewed as championship contenders, this week is an opportunity to prove that they could become contenders in the IFL. However, they may also cement themselves in pretender status if they fail to perform at a high level. As a result, many IFL teams will need to hunt for their pathway to success.
So far this season, we are carrying an 11-3 record with our predictions over the first three weeks of the IFL season. Also, all IFL games can be live-streamed for free on https://goifl.com/. So let’s take a look at this week of IFL action.
Visiting Team: Tulsa Oilers (0-1)
Home Team: Duke City Gladiators (1-1)
Game Location: Rio Rancho Events Center, Rio Rancho, New Mexico
Date and Time: Saturday, April 8th, 8:05 pm EST
DraftKings Betting Line: Duke City Gladiators -14.5 O/U 76.5
The Duke City Gladiators have one of the best offensive units in the IFL, led by quarterback Nate Davis with a quarterback rating of 163.3. The Gladiators have struggled with defense and rushing offense, and while they did show improvement in those areas last week, they will need to continue to find more balance.
The Tulsa Oilers opened their season at Frisco, and defensively they had a good game plan and kept the game from getting out of control. However, offensively, the Oilers needed help to move the ball and score consistently. If the Oilers are going to pick up a win, quarterback, Giovanni Sanders will need to become a consistent playmaker.
Prediction: Duke City Gladiators 50 Tulsa Oilers 28
Visiting Team: Tucson Sugar Skulls (1-0)
Home Team: Arizona Rattlers (1-1)
Game Location: Footprint Center, Phoenix, Arizona
Date and Time: Saturday, April 8th, 9:05 pm EST
DraftKings Betting Line: Arizona Rattlers -3.5 O/U 95.5
In Week 2 of the IFL season, the IFL Coaches Poll listed the Rattlers as the top team. During their Week 2 matchup against the Bay Area Panthers, they lost by one point on the road, but they also lost quarterback Drew Powell to the short-term injured list with an upper-body injury. The Rattler’s offense depends on Powell, so it is unclear how well the offense will perform, with Jorge Reyna leading the unit. In addition, the Rattlers have signed 8-time IFL champion Chris Dixon as an emergency quarterback.
To open their 2023 season, the Tucson Sugar Skulls showed absolute dominance in the first half against the San Diego Strike Force. In the second half, they shut it down until the Strike Force started to close the score to within 12 points. If the Sugar Skulls team that showed up in the first half defines this team, Tucson will be difficult to beat.
Prediction: Tucson Sugar Skulls 45 Arizona Rattlers 42
Visiting Team: San Diego Strike Force (0-2)
Home Team: Vegas Knight Hawks (1-1)
Game Location: The Dollar Loan Center, Henderson, Nevada
Date and Time: Saturday, April 8th, 10:05 pm EST
DraftKings Betting Line: Vegas Knight Hawks -12.5 O/U 87.5
The San Diego Strike Force played surprisingly well against the Quad City Steamwheelers in their first game but lost by two points. In their second game, they looked awful in the first half as the Tucson Sugar Skulls did whatever they wanted to do. The Strike Force has the potential to develop into a more successful team, but how long will the San Diego franchise show patience with quarterback Aaron Aiken and Demry Croft? Both quarterbacks have split time and have demonstrated success, but neither signal-caller has been able to take control of the quarterback position.
The Vegas Knight Hawks have the offensive talent to be one of the best teams in the IFL. Quarterback Daquan Neal, with a rating of 157.5, and running back Davonte Sapp-Lynch are clear leaders of this Vegas team; after a slow start during their road trip to Northern Arizona, the Knight Hawks nearly stole the game. However, a team like Vegas will need to focus on consistent improvement and keep their eyes off their record if they want to emerge as a championship contender.
Prediction: Vegas Knight Hawks 48 San Diego Strike Force 26
Visiting Team: Iowa Barnstormers (0-2)
Home Team: Sioux Falls Storm (0-1)
Game Location: The Denny Sanford PREMIER Center, Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Date and Time: Sunday, April 9th, 6:05 pm EST
The Iowa Barnstormers started the 2023 season with the appearance of a solid IFL team. However, when quarterback Darius-James Peterson went down with an injury, they quickly looked like a team with significant holes in their roster. With Zach Reader leading the Iowa offense, the Barnstormers must lean on running back Antonio Wimbush and find ways to score while in the red zone. In addition, the Barnstormer’s defense needs to step up and produce turnovers to give the Iowa offense a better chance to score.
The Sioux Falls Storm is similar to the Iowa Barnstormers when you watch them on the field. Quarterback Lorenzo Brown has been a successful indoor football quarterback previously, but watching the Storm offense against Quad City was difficult to explain. Brown can move the offense down the field, but they struggled to put the ball in the end zone. There are currently limited weapons in this Storm offense, so getting the ball in the end zone will need to be a product of Lorenzo Brown finding ways to get the ball to the weapons they have on offense. This game will come down to the running game and defenses.
DraftKings Betting Line: Iowa Barnstormers 35 Sioux Falls Storm 33
Follow me on Twitter: @AaronSauter7
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