The 2023 USFL Championship Game is set to unfold Saturday night between the Pittsburgh Maulers and the defending champion Birmingham Stallions on Saturday night at Tom Benson Stadium in Canton, Ohio.
Pittsburgh punched its ticket with a hard-fought, back-and-forth 31-27 overtime win against the Michigan Panthers in the North Division Championship on Saturday night.
Meanwhile, the Stallions posted a dominant 47-22 shellacking of the New Orleans Breakers in the South Division Championship on Sunday night to keep their title-repeat aspirations alive.
As has been the case since the start of the regular season, I’ll offer a betting prediction for Saturday night’s high-stakes battle.
USFL Championship Lines
USFL odds are current as of Monday, June 26, at noon ET and were used from DraftKings Sportsbook.
Here are the early-week lines for the Stallions vs Maulers 2023 USFL title matchup:
- Moneyline: Birmingham (-275) • Pittsburgh (+230)
- Spread: Birmingham -6.5 (-110) • Pittsburgh +6.5 (-110)
- Total Points: Over 46 (-110) • Under 46 (-110)
Pittsburgh vs Birmingham Best Bets
Maulers +6.5 (-110) • DraftKings Sportsbook
WAGER: 1 unit
The Maulers finished the regular season with just a 4-6 record, but Pittsburgh only had -1-point differential thanks in large part to a standout defense.
Ray Horton’s squad surrendered a league-low 17.8 points and 257.5 yards per game, sporting the No. 2 rush defense (83.4 RYPG) and No. 1 pass defense (174.1) along the way. The Maulers also snagged a league-high 13 interceptions, recorded a solid 23 sacks, and held quarterbacks to a league-low 69.5 rating.
Naturally, the Stallions, which scored a USFL-high 287 points, present a unique challenge, yet it’s one Pittsburgh proved mostly up for in the one regular-season clash between the teams.
Meeting on this same field back in Week 4, the Stallions escaped with a 24-20 win, but Alex McGough threw for his second-lowest yardage tally of the season (157) and was picked off a season-high two times.
Pittsburgh quarterback Troy Williams increasingly played a role in the Maulers being competitive in nearly every loss and notching a trio of double-digit wins. The Utah product finished the regular season with a completion rate of 68.0 percent or better in four of the last six contests, and he threw just three picks across 220 pass attempts all season.
Williams followed up his strong finish to the regular season with 236 total yards in the overtime North Division Championship win over the Panthers, and he’ll now face a Stallions team that only managed six interceptions and 19 sacks in the regular season.
McGough’s MVP-level play is complemented by the backfield duo of CJ Marable and Ricky Person, who can be explosive. The 3.4 yards per carry the Maulers limited opponents to this season could certainly result in Birmingham’s offense looking less balanced than usual.
In the aforementioned Week 4 game, the Stallions were limited to just 4.7 yards per play.
The Maulers displayed a propensity for playing close games most of the season. Their defense is also one of the league’s stingiest despite uncharacteristically giving up some big plays through the air in the playoff win over Michigan.
I’m in the camp of the Stallions, which have the confidence of a defending champion, recording the outright win. Yet, with the moneyline price sitting at a hefty -275, that isn’t the most appealing of wagers.
However, with the spread having moved up to 6.5 since opening at 6, I’ll roll with the underdogs, which will also have a 24-hour rest advantage, keeping their loss relatively close for my USFL bet of the day.
Parlay: Stallions ML + Under 46.5 points (+160) • DraftKings Sportsbook
A same-game parlay involving the Stallions’ moneyline and the Under is also in play given the quality of Pittsburgh’s defense.