WORLD LEAGUE – with 5 weeks of the Regular Season remaining in the World League, it’s the perfect time for a rematch of last year’s World Bowl 5 to grace the schedule as this week’s Premier Match. Both teams are solid contenders to return to the championship in 2017, with the defending champs, the Dacusville Devils (4-4-0) sitting in second place in what’s turned out to be a weaker Western Conference, while the 2016 runner-up from the Eastern Conference, the AF#14 Scandinavain Stars (7-1-0) have been downright dominant this season. The pair have faced each other five times in their histories, with the series tilted toward the Stars who have won 3 of them. Dacusville beat Scandinavia in their very first meeting, back in 2013, and then again in World Bowl 5 last year, with the Stars dominating the meetings in the interim.
Despite playoff appearances in each of the last three seasons, including two World Bowl appearances, Scandinavia is still on the hunt for their first Atlas Trophy, and this year’s team, may be the strongest competitor they’ve fielded yet, averaging 97 points per game – far above the league average. Dacusville, on the other hand, has had an up and down season, logging wins in which they’ve scored well over a hundred, but also turning in some lopsided losses. Coming into this game last season, Dacusville was 6-2 and Scandanavia was 5-3, and the teams seemed to be in opposite positions from where they stand this year; Scandinavia won that one 118-96, and the betting centers have them listed as the favorite in this meeting as well with the Devils named 7 point underdogs. Already underway, the match has gotten off to a slow start, and could turn into a defensive slugfest.
In other games this weekend, interconference scheduling continues as the new Western Conference leader Mexico Aztecs (5-3-0) faces AF#23 London Falling (5-3-0) just a week after London beat the previous Western Conference leader. The Buenos Aires Blue Dogs (4-4-0) have now lost two very lopsided games in a row and need to get a win this week to keep themselves in the playof picture. It won’t be easy for the Dogs, though, taking on the Jerusalem Cheeseheads (5-3-0), who are averaging nearly 90 points per game over the last three weeks as they try to claw their way into playoff position in the East. Just below Buenos Aires, the New Orleans Acadians (3-5-0) amazingly still have a path to the post season. After almost pulling off an upset vs Scandinavia last week, a loss by Buenos Aires and a win by the Acadians would put them into the playoff running. Unfortunately for New Orleans, they’ll have to get that win against the Old England Patriots (6-2-0) one of the strongest teams in the East.