Jett Zero, Ray Bentley
Banner Image by J.R. Lawless

One third of the way into the season, and my, how the tables have turned! After bemoaning our under-.500 predictions last week, apparently the teams in the SFL got the hint, helping the Zero Guarantees Team have our most successful week yet at 7-3! After a night of raucous celebration for our successes (at least one table was flipped and then sheepishly placed back), the team was hard at work the next day, crunching the numbers, making calculations, and remembering to carry the one. All in all, if you asked us how we feel about our predictions this week? If they’re not on the money, then you can throw that money away – it’s worthless, folks.

Queen City Corsairs 27
Arizona Scorpions 23

Sunday, February 9 | 10:00am EST [FTF]

The desert is generally known for its arid temperatures and lack of atmospheric humidity - not a climate that's very welcome to the seafaring sort. However, when the dust settles, we here at Zero Guarantees believe the Corsairs will be the ones standing victorious. While Queen City has been full sail ahead as of late, with outstanding offensive, defensive, and even special teams performances, the Scorpions are still searching for a potent venom to help take down opponents. Their first victory was a 3-point thriller to help christen their home stadium, but with their last game being a two-score loss in the Dakotas, Eddie Gauge and Ashley Jackson have to hope that they can add some chop to the waters against the Corsairs. All in all, we expect Erik Barkley to add another victory to his treasure chest o' plundered booty. Avast!
Denver Nightwings 18
Las Vegas Fury 23

Sunday, February 9 | 12:00pm EST [FTF]

It’s the time again for the most anticipated rivalry of the season: Vice Wars! The defending champs make the journey to the City of Second Chances as both franchises push for W’s in back-to-back weeks. After an abysmal first two weeks, Denver looked like Denver at home against a highly touted Vultures regime. Steven Mullenax has been rolling the dice himself over in Vegas, and it finally paid off with a strong win against that one Florida team. I’m giving the slight edge to the home team here as the Fury always get fired up when the Nightwings come to town. To key for LV here is to feed RR the ball early and often. Alternatively, newly appointed HC Jacob Bouvette must utilize the Denver front seven to shutdown said run-game and force the Fury to be one dimensional. Putting the ball in QB Ramen’s hands may be the game changer here.
Tulsa Desperados 24
Houston Hyeneas 28

Sunday, February 9 | 3:30pm EST [Twitch]

After squeaking out a win in Week 1 on a Deacon Nickens desperation heave to Khoury Jones, the Desperados have lost every game and appeared outmatched defensively. Houston, on the other, hand has fared better in general, but has lost in tighter match-ups thus leaving their record the same as Tulsa, 1-2. Seeing as Houston has won their only home game this season and Tulsa has lost both at home and on the road, odds are that the Hyenas will be claiming this victory as well. Stopping Warren Murray will be critical for the Desperados in this contest, while avoiding turnovers on the offensive side of the ball. This could either play out a defensive bout or a high scoring affair; tune in to find out, folks.
Seattle Tyrants 24
Florida Storm 21

Sunday, February 9 | 3:35pm EST [YouTube]

Ahh, Seattle at Florida. I’ve cheekily nicknamed this clash “Battle of the Middling 1-2 Teams, Who We All Expected to be Great, Now Fighting to Avoid Becoming an Irrelevant 1-3 Team.” Has a great ring to it, doesn’t it? Well maybe not, but it’s true nonetheless. It’s hard to imagine that the S13 runner-up and the Season 10-12 Champions are struggling to NOT fall to the back of the pack after Sunday’s tilt. Florida has not been kind to the Storm’s offense, as it has looked ugly through 3 weeks, mustering a paltry 15 PPG. The Tyrants have not looked much better at 18 PPG. One of these teams MUST use their Week 4 victory as a springboard for a more successful S14 moving forward. With the offensive powerhouse that is Zack Sandlin running the rock for Seattle, I gotta hand it to him them.
Vancouver Legion 38
Carolina Skyhawks 28

Sunday, February 9 | 6:00pm EST [Twitch]

Over-under on how many points Vancouver puts up on Carolina this Sunday? 44½? Just kidding! But... actually not. Nothing personal against this Carolina unit, who has played some pretty decent (if not tragic at times) football through the first quarter of the season, but it’s hard to ignore what Andy Hamilton’s squad is doing up there in the frozen north. Averaging 45 PPG on offense is simply madness. Yeah, you can look at Vancouver’s schedule and make an argument there. But 45 PPG is 45 PPG, I don’t really care who you are playing. The Legion are looking like the Monstars from Space Jam out there. Look, Sully Richardson and Co. have a tough road ahead of them in this one, but you know what they say: “Any given Sunday.” The Skyhawks will have to buckle down, make some improvements on both sides of the ball, and make sure their defense can keep the game within reach so as not to force the offense to win the game in a shootout. Also, hey! Maybe try giving MJ a call - it’s worth a shot.
New Orleans Pharaohs 28
London Knights 31

Sunday, February 9 | 8:00pm EST [FTF]

Tough contest here for both franchises. Both teams are currently in the Bottom 4 of the Power Rankings; it really can’t get much worse… but it can always get worse. One of these teams will likely be able to crawl out of the bottomless pit on Sunday while the latter will most assuredly tumble to last place. And in the case of London, for the second time in 4 weeks. Being able to almost dunk on Vancouver last week bodes well for the Knights, if only their defense hadn’t allowed a 50 burger to be dropped on them. Both NOLA and LON are at the bottom of the charts defensively, both allowing more than 34 PPG. Xander Gold and Reggie Streeter have been making some magic down in the French quarter, but it hasn’t been enough to compensate for their defense. If London’s offense can win the bout in this Streeter revenge game, then I’m taking them to win in this match-up.
St. Louis Gladiators 24
Charleston Predators 34

Monday, February 10 | 7:00pm EST [FTF]

Jonny Pichler, first overall pick in the Season 14 draft, returned home last week and brought with him a win over the visiting New Orleans Pharaohs. Meanwhile, on the east coast, the Charleston Predators were proving their (Southern) Carolinian supremacy against the at-home Carolina Skyhawks. Both offenses have performed relatively well, all things considered, with the Gladiators scoring an average of 22.7 points per game, while the Predators are racking up around 21 per game. So why do we have the Preds by 10? Their average is skewed thanks to an extremely lopsided game against one of the most effective teams in the league for Season 14, the Vancouver Legion. Without that game, their points per game suddenly jumps to 27. Nothing against St. Louis here, but if they want to prove us wrong, they've got an uphill battle ahead of them.
Atlanta Swarm 34
Baltimore Vultures 37

Monday, February 10 | 9:00pm EST [FTF]

If Baltimore doesn't win this one, Ray Bentley will eat his shoes*. It's not that we think Atlanta is a lesser team then the Vultures; on the contrary! Both are powerhouses this season who have confidently and steadily rode and rose atop the power rankings in the past 3 weeks. Marcus Dunhill and company are getting better every game, with their lowest score posted in Week 1's 27-20 victory over Jacksonville. Last week they put 42 up at home against the Aztecs! Meanwhile, the Vultures went on the road to what was expected to be an easy win against the struggling defending champions, only to suffer their first loss of the season. Now that TJ's team has returned to their roost, we expect them to dust that one off and return to form. Also, this season has been pretty wild with unexpected results so far, so it would be keeping with the theme to have Atlanta suddenly have their L column lit up by the Vultures.

*we have not checked with Ray to see whether he will actually eat his shoes. Zero Guarantees, everyone! It's in the name!
Sioux Falls Sparrows 30
Chicago Wildcats 23

Tuesday, February 11 | 6:30pm EST [FTF]

We here at Zero Guarantees feel like every game deserves a fair shake when we make our decision, and we use the most severely balanced coins to do it with. Keeping that in mind, when we ran our coin-sims on this game, no matter how many we did, Sioux Falls just couldn't be beat. Chicago was able to get their first win of the season at home last week, but Sioux Falls just got their third. Add to the mix that the Wildcat's victory was a 2-point squeaker over the Hyenas, while the Sparrows took them down in Week 2 with a 19 point lead. No two ways about it - Julian Tyree and Colin Hart are ensuring that nobody sleeps on the Sparrows any more, and if they have their way, Shann Varner's team might have some more sleepless nights headed their way. Considering, again, how wacky things have gotten this season, Sioux Falls should take their own advice, and not sleep on the Wildcats.
Mexico City Aztecs 20
Jacksonville Kings 23

Tuesday, February 11 | 9:00pm EST [FTF]

Let's be honest, this is a toss up game. Jacksonville has looked stronger these past few weeks, but don't count the Aztecs out of this one. RB star Ray Bentley has had a down season thus far statistically; don't expect that to last. My prediction is that Mexico City pulls themselves together and better utilizes their star RB duo as the season progresses. As for the Kings, coach Goodin has been leaning heavily on former MVP Christian Christiansen to make plays on the offense. And for the most part, this game plan has proven successful. We are going to give the slight edge to Jacksonville here based on the defensive inconsistencies of the Aztecs and the home field advantage boon. Strap in for a high octane shoot-out, boys and girls.