WORLD LEAGUE – This Week in the World League there are a pair of games so big, the League has decided to feature them both as their marquee games of Week 5, presenting a double feature for the weekly Premier World Match. In a rare event, the #1 and #2 teams from both the Eastern and Western Conferences are schedule to face off with one another in the final week of conference play. It’s like the playoffs, in October.
In the Eastern Conference, the World League’s last remaining unbeaten team, the Scandinavian Stars (4-0-0) are attempting to be the first team in league history to sweep all five division rivals in the divisional play portion of the schedule. Ironically, they’ll be playing the Old England Patriots, a team that came just 3 points short of completing that very feat last season when they lost to the Stars 89-92 in Week 5. This season’s Scandinavian team is # 1 in the league in both the standings and in total scoring, and were ranked AF#4 on this week’s Top 25. The Patriots are 3-1-0, their only loss was a Week 3 stumble against Jerusalem. The pair have faced off against each other 6 times in league history, Scandinavia leading the series 4 games to 2, including a 2014 playoff victory, 111-88 in the semifinal round. The Stars are averaging over 10 points per game higher than the Pats going into the match, and have already gone up 13-0 after Thursday’s game. The betting centers have them installed as massive favorites in this one.
In the Western Conference, the World League’s two southernmost franchises will be battling it out this weekend for control of the conference when the Buenos Aires Blue Dogs take on the Mexico Aztecs. Both teams are 3-1-0 going into the match, separated by just 11 total points on the season. The Blue Dogs lost last week’s match to the defending champion Dacusville Devils while Mexico is riding a two game win streak, so the momentum is with the Aztecs. Mexico leads the all-time series between the franchises 3 games to 2, including a 2013 semifinal win, 99-76 in the season in which the Aztecs went on to win World Bowl 2. Buenos Aires is up first in the match, scoring 13 points in the Thursday game, contributing to their status as 10 point favorites as Mexico deals with injuries and BYE weeks.
In other action across the World League, mid-runners from each conference will be facing off as New Orleans takes on Dacusville in the West, and two past league champions meet, as London plays Jerusalem. All four of those teams sit at .500 with 2-2-0 records and this week could mark a turning point for all of their seasons. City of Champions will be battling Rox’s Cali Rox for last place in the West, while the Milan Wild Boars will be looking for their first win against Dublin Bay.