As we inch towards the finish line of the 2022 USFL season we can start looking at playoff scenarios. The top two teams in each division will square off in the semifinals with the winners playing for the league title.
Through the first six weeks of the inaugural campaign it’s obvious the Birmingham Stallions are the class of the USFL. They started the second half just like they ran through the first half: with a win improving to 6-0. The Stallions remained atop the USFL futures odds board with their 33-17 win over Michigan, covering the 6-point USFL betting line for their sixth straight payout.
Birmingham has a two-game lead over New Orleans in the South Division while the red-hot New Jersey Generals hold a two-game bulge over Philadelphia for the top spot in the North. New Jersey won its fifth straight with a 26-25 comeback over Houston last week. Philadelphia is second at 3-3 with Michigan and Pittsburgh two of three teams in the league at 1-5.
The Week 7 USFL betting slate opens with a cross-division matchup between New Jersey and Tampa Bay. At 3-3 The Bandits are a game behind New Orleans for second in the South. The Generals opened as a 3.5-point favorite on the USFL betting line. Birmingham is the biggest favorite of the week and of the USFL season laying 12.5-points to the 1-5 Pittsburgh Maulers. Only one other game saw a double-digit line with Pittsburgh catching 10-points in its Week 4 tilt with New Jersey. The Maulers covered the line in a 21-13 loss. For the second straight week every game cashed the OVER with totals below 40. Oddsmakers have adjusted with the lowest opening point total for Week 7 at 41.5. You can make football bets online and wager on the USFL all season at Sugarhouse sportsbook.
USFL Week 7 Schedule
New Jersey Generals vs. Tampa Bay Bandits
Date and Time: Saturday, May 28, 12 p.m. ET
Opening Odds: Generals -3.5, O/U 42.5
Generals vs. Bandits TV Coverage: USA
New Jersey (5-1) is riding a 5-game winning streak going 3-2 ATS in that span. There have been some close calls with none closer than last week when Luis Perez scored on the game’s final play for a 26-25 win over Houston. The Generals lead the league averaging 365.2 yards and also give up the fewest yards at 245.5 per contest. They’ve scored more than 20 points in four straight games and in five of six and they might be the most complete team in the league. We saw Tampa Bay (3-3) do good things on offense last week amassing 411 total yards with Jordan Ta’amu throwing for 333 yards and four scores. But turnovers continue to plague the Bandits, who coughed it up three times against the Stars and are last in the league with a minus-7 differential. If they value the football they have a chance.
USFL Prediction: Bandits +3.5 / OVER 42.5
New Orleans Breakers vs. Michigan Panthers
Date and Time: Saturday, May 28, 9 p.m. ET
Opening Odds: Breakers -6.5, O/U 41.5
Breakers vs. Panthers TV Coverage: FS1
Even when Kyle Sloter has a bad game the Breakers find a way to win. The USFL’s leading passer threw for just 92 yards last week, but New Orleans got a big game on the ground from Anthony Jones, who rushed for 102 yards in the 26-16 win over Pittsburgh. Jordan Ellis added 47 yards and New Orleans amassed 173 in 40 carries. The shift to the run game was planned and it worked well. The defense also came up with big plays, especially Ike Brown, who had two interceptions including a 97-yard pick-six. After a rough opening Michigan turned things around offensively with Shea Patterson looking more comfortable. Patterson threw for 209 yards and a TD against Birmingham, but the Panthers dropped their third straight, 33-17. They’ve cashed the OVER on the USFL betting line in three straight games, but they’ve proven to be a lousy bet going 1-5 ATS.
USFL Prediction: Breakers -6.5 / UNDER 41.5
Birmingham Stallions vs. Pittsburgh Maulers
Date and Time: Sunday, May 29, 2 p.m. ET
Opening Odds: Stallions -12.5, O/U 41.5
Stallions vs. Maulers TV Coverage: FOX
As much as I want to back Pittsburgh and the points I just can’t do it. After leading the Maulers to their first win in Week 5, Vad Lee was brought back to earth tossing a pair of interceptions, including a gut-punch pick-six, in the loss to New Orleans. The Maulers played well enough defensively, but they won’t have a lot of success against Birmingham’s stout stop unit. The Stallions improved to 6-0 with arguably their best game of the season last week. They held Michigan to 289 total yards, forced a pair of turnovers and got 105 yards and a TD on the ground from Bo Scarbrough. J’Mar Smith had a tough game getting yanked in the second half, but that shows just how good the Stallions are to win by 13 points.
USFL Prediction: Stallions -12.5 / UNDER 41.5
Philadelphia Stars vs. Houston Gamblers
Date and Time: Sunday, May 29, 6 p.m. ET
Opening Odds: Stars -4.5, O/U 43.5
Stars vs. Gamblers Coverage: PEACOCK
The Gamblers are the tough-luck team of the 2022 USFL season dropping their last two on the final play of the game. They haven’t been helped by a defense unable to come up with a game-saving stop that also allows the second-most points. The group just wore down last week after spending over 40 minutes on the field, including the final 5:50 when New Jersey strung a 15-play, 80-yard drive together. Houston allows a league-worst 377 yards per game and only one team gives up more points, that’s Philadelphia. So, can we expect a shootout in this one? It’s possible, but with Case Cookus still at the helm for the Stars I’m backing the UNDER at Sugarhouse.
USFL Prediction: Gamblers +4.5 / UNDER 43.5