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Arizona Hotshots to make AAF debut as title favorites on Sunday

Left to right, Alliance of American Football co-founder Charlie Ebersol, coach Rick Neuheisel, ASU Vice President for Cultural Affairs Colleen Jennings-Roggensack and ASU Vice President of University Athletics Ray Anderson (Kevin Zimmerman/Arizona Sports)

The Arizona-based Alliance of American Football team will open the league’s inaugural season Sunday as the favorites to win it all.

The Arizona Hotshots kick off their first year against the Salt Lake Stallions at Sun Devil Stadium at +250 to win the championship, according to Westgate Superbook.

With a 6 p.m. start time, the game will appear on NFL Network and pit Arizona head coach Rick Neuheisel’s team against the team with the second-best odds to win the whole thing at +400.

A 10-week schedule is ahead for the eight-team league that is aiming to provide football fans with a more local and more interactive taste of football during the offseason.

Betting is expected to be an important part of the league’s success. With a partnership with MGM Resorts, the AAF wants to use the resources to help with marketing, a fantasy sports aspect and live-game interaction when it comes to gambling.

From the players’ perspective, the AAF has marketed itself as an unaffiliated minor league for those who want to develop their NFL skills by playing meaningful snaps.