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Semifinals food for underdogs

Jul 8, 2008 6:59 PM

The Indoor War by Kevin Stott |


The underdogs were really barking in the Wild Card round, winning three of four games and covering all four. The Dragons, Crush and Rampage played inspired football and deserved to make their respective conference semifinals.

Those conference semifinals (Col at SJ, NY at Philly, SAT; GR at Chi, SUN; and Cle at GA, MON), also called divisional playoffs, were played right up until GT’s press time on Monday so trying to handicap this coming weekend’s American and National conference championships will be tough but with all four chalks favored by a touchdown or more, speculating on a Philadelphia-Georgia (National) and San Jose-Chicago (American) would be okay from this distance. But don’t be surprised if the Dragons or Gladiators or Rampage – who scored 80 points four times this season – found a way to fight into the conference championship game. After all, the Destroyers made it to last season’s ArenaBowl with a losing record.


Georgia at Philadelphia: The Force (10-6, 7-7-2 ATS) edged Philadelphia (11-3, 9-7) in Atlanta on May 12 but that was in the Peach State and AFL followers know how important the homefield advantage is. Philly should find a way to win at home but if you can get 6 or 7 or more points with this Force team in this possible conference title game, take them as Georgia is playing the best it has all year. GEORGIA (if +6 or 7).


Grand Rapids at San Jose: How did the Rampage (8-10, 9-9 ATS) get this far? Answer: By simply getting a little bit better each week. The two met in Michigan in the opening week with the SaberCats prevailing 66-58. But that was then and this is now and SJ (12-5, 9-7-1) will likely be giving a bunch of points. Like the Rush game, GR may just be able to pull off the upset and punch their ticket to the ArenaBowl. But the defending champs Cats are tought at the HP Pavilion, going a mind-boggling 58-10 in QB Mark Greib’s last 68 starts there. Still I lean toward the Rampage, especially if getting a TD or more. GRAND RAPIDS.