USFL Betting – Championship Game Odds and Picks


It’s not the matchup we expected but it’s the one we got. The USFL completes its first season on Sunday with the crowning of a league champion. Everything pointed to the two best teams hooking up in the last game of the year, but the Philadelphia Stars had other plans with a big upset over the New Jersey in the divisional round. It wasn’t big in terms of the spread with Philly getting 4.5-points on the USFL betting lines rather because Jersey had won nine straight games, including two against the Stars, boasting the league’s top offense and second best defense during the regular year.


And just like last week’s matchup the Stars find themselves as the betting underdog in the title tilt catching 4.5-points at Sugarhouse sportsbook, which is where you can go to make football bets online. Birmingham was a 5.5-point favorite when the clubs met in Week 5, covering the line in a 30-17 victory. Philly held a 17-7 second quarter lead before Birmingham engineered a 23-0 spurt behind J’Mar Smith and CJ Marable.


I guess history has a way of repeating itself. Philadelphia’s 19-14 semifinal win vaulted them into the title game in the first season just like their namesake from the original iteration of the league. Back in 1983 the Stars posted the USFL’s best record losing to the Michigan Panthers in the league’s first championship. Instead of Bobby Hebert at the helm the Stars will have Case Cookus leading the way. Taking over midway through the season, Cookus threw for 1,334 yards with 12 touchdowns, the second-highest total during the season. Over the their last five regular season games the Stars averaged over 31 points cashing the OVER four times as a USFL betting pick.


The Birmingham Stallions held up their end of the deal defeating New Orleans, 31-17, to reach the title game. Starting with their comeback win over the Generals in Week 1, the Stallions rattled off eight straight victories before their dreams for a perfect season were ended by Houston. They finished the season tied with New Jersey at 9-1. Birmingham was able to overcome a number of second half deficits during the regular season to post the best record. Five of their wins were by six points or less putting them at 6-4 as a USFL pick against the spread.


SugarHouse Sportsbook ReviewThey didn’t need any late game heroics in their playoff game getting big plays on defense and special teams to grab the lead then controlling the pace with a strong ground attack to finish it off. And that’s been the Stallions recipe for success all season. They led the USFL allowing an average of 269.9 yards while surrendering the second-fewest points. Including the playoff game Birmingham held its last nine opponents to fewer than 20 points cashing the UNDER five times.


USFL Championship Game


Philadelphia Stars vs. Birmingham Stallions

Date and Time: Sunday, July 3, 7:30 p.m. ET

Opening Odds: Stallions -4.5, O/U 44.5

Stars vs. Stallions TV Coverage: FOX


On paper this matchup favors Birmingham. But as we all know the game isn’t played on paper. Ask New Jersey about that. Philadelphia did enough defensively forcing three turnovers with another stop on downs to offset a shaky performance from Cookus. The offense produced just one touchdown and Cookus completed only 50 percent of this throws for 133 yards and an interception. The big play came on special teams with Maurice Alexander returning a punt 88-yards for the winning score with less than two minutes remaining.


Cookus scored the only offensive touchdown with an 8-yard scamper but otherwise struggled. And he sustained a back injury that required a visit to the medical tent, though it doesn’t appear to be serious. Philly’s chances hinge on their QB and if he’s not 100 percent, or close to it, it will be tough going against Birmingham’s dominant defense.


The Stallions are the USFL favorite this week for obvious reasons; not only because of their record but also their ability to make game-changing plays. They had a couple last week that turned the tide. Despite giving up nearly 400 yards of offense to the Breakers, a DeMarquis Gates pick-six and Victor Bolden kickoff return touchdown gave the Stallions momentum. Cookus struggled last week and he had a hard time in the first meeting with Birmingham. If he can protect the football Philly’s chances improve, but Birmingham has been the best all season and they’re my USFL best bet to finish on top.


USFL Prediction: Stallions -4.5 / UNDER 44.5