Week 5 in the IFL was an important week for a few IFLs attempting to prove that they are legitimate playoff contenders during the 2024 season. The Tulsa Oilers were able to travel to Sioux Falls and earn a convincing win against the Storm, showing that they were a threat to the Eastern Conference. San Diego followed up a 2-0 start by traveling to the Arizona Rattlers and picking up their win for their franchise against the Rattlers.

In Week 6, several IFL teams are fighting to establish their place in the IFL standings, while only some attempt to pull away from the pack in the Eastern and Western Conferences. One of the most critical matchups in Week 6 features the Frisco Fighters visiting the Tulsa Oilers for the second round of the Red River Rumble. In addition, the undefeated San Diego Strike Force travels to the undefeated Bay Area Panthers to try and get their second landmark victory against one of the best teams in the IFL.

Last week, we successfully picked 4 out of 6 winners with our predictions, and for the season, we have an 18-7 record when it comes to predicting winners in the IFL.

If you want more IFL analysis and commentary, check out the In The Alley podcast on YouTube hosted by Cody Bryant.

Note: All IFL games are available via live stream on the IFL Network on YouTube or Caffeine.tv.

Game #1 Upset Special

Date and Time: Thursday, April 18th at 7:30 pm EST

Home Team: San Antonio Gunslingers (0-3)

Away Team: Tucson Sugar Skulls (1-2)

Location: Freeman Coliseum in San Antonio, Texas

DraftKings Betting Line: Tucson Sugar Skulls -4.5, O/U 104.5 points

The San Antonio Gunslingers return home after a tough three-game stretch to start their first season in the IFL. Offensively, the Gunslingers have been explosive with Sam Castronova and have put points on the board; defensively, they struggle to stop the running game and pressure opposing quarterbacks. If the Gunslingers can keep putting up points and find a way to get a few stops, they have an excellent chance to get their first win in the IFL.

The Tucson Sugar Skulls come into this game looking for a spark offensively. Tucson can run the ball on offense with quarterback Mylik Mitchell and running back Mike Jones, but they still need to finish drives consistently. Defensively, the Sugar Skulls will need to contain the Gunslinger’s quarterback and get a few stops each half to earn a win on the road.

Game Prediction: San Antonio Gunslingers 50, Tucson Sugar Skulls 47

Game #2

Date and Time: Friday, April 19th at 7:05 pm EST

Home Team: Green Bay Blizzard (2-1)

Away Team: Sioux Falls Storm (0-3)

Location: Resch Center in Ashwaubenon, Wisconsin

DraftKings Betting Line: Green Bay Blizzard -7, O/U 81.5 points

While the Green Bay Blizzard have picked up two wins this season, they have struggled to put points on the scoreboard. The Blizzard are stout defensively, and that strong defense has put Green Bay in a position to get early wins. Offensively, the Blizzard was given a jolt by the running ability of quarterback Skyler Perry against Quad City. If the Blizzard can maintain their solid defense and put some points up on offense, they should be able to pick up another win this week.

The Sioux Falls Storm need help finding their footing after an offseason of restructuring their roster and coaching staff. Offensively, the Storm can run the ball into the end zone with quarterback Billy Hall and running back Xavier Jackson, but there is still work to do to get their passing game shored up. Defensively, the Storm still need to get stops for force turnovers, and this week, they will need to contain the Blizzard’s quarterback if they want to get things turned around on the road.

Game Prediction: Green Bay Blizzard 35, Sioux Falls Storm 32

Game #3

Date and Time: Saturday, April 20th at 7:05 pm EST

Home Team: Jacksonville Sharks (0-3)

Away Team: Vegas Knight Hawks (3-0)

Location: Vystar Veteran Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida

DraftKings Betting Line: Vegas Knight Hawks -10.5, O/U 83.5 points

The Jacksonville Sharks are still looking to gain footing on offense as they are having a rough transition from the IFL to the NAL. Along with the transition, they have been playing against one of the most demanding schedules in the IFL. This week, the Sharks will need to find ways to put points on the board, and defensively, they will need to contain the Knight Hawks quarterback Ja’Rome Johnson.

The Vegas Knight Hawks are on a roll as they travel to Jacksonville to try and stay undefeated. Offensively, the Knight Hawks are hard to stop, with quarterback Ja’Rome Johnson leading their unit on the ground and in the air. The only area for improvement for the Knight Hawks is their dependence on their quarterback’s running ability, and they could find themselves in a difficult spot if he gets injured while running the ball. Defensively, the Knight Hawks find a way to get a few stops a game, which sets their offense up for success on the scoreboard.

Game Prediction: Vegas Knight Hawks 45, Jacksonville Sharks 40

Game #4

Date and Time: Saturday, April 20th at 8:05 pm EST

Home Team: Quad City Steamwheelers (1-2)

Away Team: Massachusetts Pirates (4-0)

Location: Vibrant Arena at the MARK in Moline, Illinois

DraftKings Betting Line: Massachusetts Pirates -9.5, O/U 85.5 points

The Quad City Steamwheelers are a team that needs to find a new identity. In previous seasons, the Steamwheelers offense focused on dynamic quarterback EJ Hilliard, but with Hilliard gone, the Steamwheelers need a new approach to their offense. Steamwheelers’ current quarterback, Judd Erickson, needs to build more chemistry with his receivers if Quad City wants to have a chance to make a run at a playoff spot. Quad City will get a boost this week from their home crowd, but they need to put points on the scoreboard.

The Massachusetts Pirates are loaded with talent on offense and have been successful in leaning hard on their highly effective running game. After resting running back Jimmie Robinson last week, the Pirates should be feeling fresh and healthy. Unfortunately, the Pirates are on the road this week and traditionally struggle to be on the road. While the Pirates running game and defense will likely get them another win, they need to find more balance in the offense as the season progresses.

Game Prediction: Massachusetts Pirates 47, Quad City Steamwheelers 45

Game #5

Date and Time: Saturday, April 20th at 8:05 pm EST

Home Team: Iowa Barnstormers (0-3)

Away Team: Arizona Rattlers (1-3)

Location: Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, Iowa

DraftKings Betting Line: Arizona Rattlers -7, O/U 81.5 points

The Iowa Barnstormers could be better on offense and defense. Last week, they found themselves running into a brick wall in Massachusetts. Offensively, the Barnstormers must discover a few playmakers to help them get in front of the chains and start picking up first downs. Defensively, they need to get a few stops a half and give their offense a chance to get rolling.

The Arizona Rattlers come into Week 6 on a three-game losing streak that coincides with quarterback Dalton Sneed’s loss. Each week, the Rattlers have had a chance to win in close games, but Lorenzo Brown Jr. has failed to make the key plays that will allow them to win. This week is an excellent opportunity for the Rattlers to return on the right track.

Game Prediction: Arizona Rattlers 42, Iowa Barnstormers 36

Game #6

Date and Time: Saturday, April 20th at 8:05 pm EST

Home Team: Tulsa Oilers (2-1)

Away Team: Frisco Fighters (3-0)

Location: BOK Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma

DraftKings Betting Line: Frisco Fighters -7, O/U 85.5 points

In the first round of the Red River Rumble, the Tulsa Oilers did everything except win the game. The Oilers held the lead most of the game, but at the end of the fourth quarter, their lack of clock management allowed Frisco to force overtime. Tulsa has one of the best defensive units in the IFL, and quarterback Daniel Smith is starting to get the Oilers’ offense fired up.

The Frisco Fighters have struggled to live up to their standards of excellence so far this season. Offensively, they are one-dimensional, riding their running game with quarterback TJ Edwards and running back Martez Carter to their first three wins. This week, the Fighters will need to get their passing game working more efficiently, and their defense needs to step up and force some turnovers.

Game Prediction: Tulsa Oilers 45, Frisco Fighters 40

Game #7

Date and Time: Saturday, April 20th at 9:05 pm EST

Home Team: Bay Area Panthers (3-0)

Away Team: San Diego Strike Force (3-0)

Location: SAP Center in San Jose, California

DraftKings Betting Line: Bay Area Panthers -9, O/U 90.5 points

The Bay Area Panthers have turned away all challengers so far this season. Bay Area faces a San Diego team ready to move up a tier in the IFL. The Panthers have been nearly unstoppable on offense and can contain their opponents ‘ offenses this season. If Bay Area and quarterback Daquan Neal stay healthy, they can stay at the top in the IFL.

The San Diego Strike Force is the hottest team in the IFL. Last week, they had to turn up their running game with running back Chance Bell to get a win on the road against the Arizona Rattlers. Previously, the Strike Force had never beaten the Rattlers, and picking up that win should go a long to raise the expectations for San Diego. One uncharacteristic element of San Diego’s win in Arizona last week was the inability of their quarterbacks, Nate Davis and Rudy Johnson, to get in rhythm with the passing game. San Diego cannot afford a slow start against the Panthers this week.

Game Prediction: Bay Area Panthers 50, San Diego Strike Force 44

Game #8

Date and Time: Saturday, April 20th at 9:05 pm EST

Home Team: Northern Arizona Wranglers (2-1)

Away Team: Duke City Gladiators (0-3)

Location: Findlay Toyota Center in Prescott Valley, Arizona

DraftKings Betting Line: Northern Arizona Wranglers -10.5, O/U 90.5 points

The Northern Arizona Wranglers are exceeding expectations this season behind the playmaking ability of wide receiver Arsiah McCorker. Quarterback Josh Jones has done an excellent job of getting the ball to this offensive weapon, and he can pick up key rushing yards in short-yardage situations. Defensively, the Wranglers must step up and get some stops against their opponent.

The Duke City Gladiators are a difficult team to read, which shows that they need help to execute offense and defense well. Quarterback Javin Kilgo has played well for the Gladiators, and they have been able to score some points, but turnovers have made it difficult for them to be in a position to win games. Defensively, the Gladiators have a lot of work to do, and they need to find ways to pressure opposing quarterbacks, giving them a chance to force turnovers.

Game Prediction: Northern Arizona Wranglers 45, Duke City Gladiators 35

Follow me on X: @AaronSauter7

author avatar
Aaron Sauter
Aaron Sauter is a 23-veteran high school football coach that is also an fan of all levels of football. He is especially interested in alternative football leagues like the CFL, UFL, and IFL. Aaron enjoys analyzing innovative schemes on offense and defense during his free time.

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