The USFL kicks off its 10-week regular season on the weekend of April 16-17, with all eight teams taking the field in Week 1.
The New Jersey Generals and Birmingham Stallions will share the spotlight on Saturday night as they play the first USFL-sanctioned game since July 14, 1985, when the Baltimore Stars and Oakland Invaders met in the third and final title clash of the league’s original iteration.
The Game Day will provide weekly betting perspectives for each USFL game during the 2022 season, including the playoffs and championship game.
All USFL betting odds are courtesy of BetMGM Sportsbook and current as of Thursday, April 14 at 2:30 p.m. ET.
USFL Best Bets: New Jersey Generals vs Birmingham Stallions
New Jersey Generals vs Birmingham Stallions Prediction
The Stallions will technically enjoy home-field advantage in every game they play this season. That’s an especially nifty edge to have in the first game of a brand-new league when teams are still getting accustomed to playing together.
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The Stallions have a quarterback with a decent amount of experience in NFL preseason games in Alex McGough, and I like him to help spearhead a balanced attack with plenty of connections to former NFL wideout Victor Bolden in a winning effort.
Score Prediction: Stallions 21, Generals 17
Stallions-Generals Best Bet: Stallions -2.5 (-115)
McGough should be able to run a reasonably efficient offense complemented by the ground-game exploits of Tony Brooks-James, who also has some NFL experience and racked up 3,302 all-purpose yards and 21 total touchdowns during his collegiate career. That edge will lead to a win of at least a field goal.
USFL Best Bets: Houston Gamblers vs Michigan Panthers
Houston Gamblers vs Michigan Panthers Prediction
These two teams figure to have drastically contrasting offensive styles. The Gamblers will likely attack with plenty of spread-offense concepts under head coach Kevin Sumlin, while the Panthers figure to run a very conservative, run-heavy scheme that is head coach Jeff Fisher‘s trademark.
I like Sumlin’s approach to win out here, with his aggressive playcalling having the potential to overwhelm a defense playing a full game together for the first time.
Score Prediction: Gamblers 24, Panthers 13
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Gamblers-Panthers Best Bet: Gamblers +2.5 (-115)
I see the Gamblers pulling off the upset, so the cover here is a no-brainer. Houston’s aggressive offensive approach should help keep the Gamblers close, if nothing else, making this the wager to go with in this game.
USFL Best Bets: Philadelphia Stars vs New Orleans Breakers
Philadelphia Stars vs New Orleans Breakers Prediction
These are two of the more evenly matched squads on paper in Week 1, which should make for an entertaining game. The Breakers have some real offensive potential under what should be an aggressive, pass-heavy offense overseen by head coach Larry Fedora.
New Orleans has a solid amount of NFL experience by USFL standards sprinkled throughout its skill positions. Although Philadelphia boasts some speed at the running back position, I like the Breakers to prevail with a more potent offensive performance.
Score Prediction: Breakers 26, Stars 17
Stars vs Breakers Best Bet: Breakers -2.5 (-115)
Quarterback Kyle Sloter, who has had some success in multiple NFL preseasons, should be able to hit the ground running in Fedora’s pass-friendly offense. He’ll benefit from throwing to the electrifying Johnnie Dixon and former NFL wideouts Chad Williams and Taywan Taylor playing key roles.
Sloter also has a versatile running back group that includes former Cardinals and Buccaneers speedster T.J. Logan, while the Stars will be relying on former Division III quarterback Bryan Scott in their first game.
USFL Best Bets: Tampa Bay Bandits vs Pittsburgh Maulers
Tampa Bay Bandits vs Pittsburgh Maulers Prediction
With experienced head coach Todd Haley and one-time XFL star Jordan Ta’amu leading the way, the Bandits are a team to watch and one of the preseason favorites for the USFL title.
Tampa Bay’s experience at those two key spots will go a long way with a solid skill-position group that includes ex-NFL wideouts Derrick Willies and Keith Mumphrey. That group gives the Bandits the Week 1 edge over a Maulers squad with quarterback Kyle Lauletta but a very unproven running back and pass-catching crew.
Score Prediction: Bandits 28, Maulers 11
Bandits-Maulers Best Bet: Bandits -3.5 (-115)
The Bandits should be able to eventually take command in this game with the combination of an effective, balanced offense and a defense that could prey on the Maulers’ inexperience at the skill positions. As such, I’m in the camp of Tampa Bay covering this short number with relative ease.