After an exciting Week 1, the USFL serves up another four-game slate this coming weekend.
It’s certainly always a bit challenging to get a betting handle on teams early in the season of any league, much less one that’s just entering its second season. Nevertheless, there appears to be enough year-to-year continuity on certain teams and sufficient information gleaned from Week 1 to provide us with a good foundation for our Week 2 selections.
Each week through the USFL Championship Game in July, The Game Day will offer a betting prediction for each game on the schedule.
USFL odds used for these best bets are current as of Wednesday, April 19 at 4 p.m. ET and were found at DraftKings Sportsbook.
USFL Week 2 Predictions & Best Bets
Breakers -5.5 (-110) • DraftKings Sportsbook
Gamblers vs Breakers Betting • WAGER: 1 Unit
The Breakers have a new quarterback in CFL import McLeod Bethel-Thompson. The Grey Cup champ and two-time 4,000-yard passer north of the border got his USFL career off to a momentous start with a 300-yard passing effort in Week 1.
The veteran signal-caller displayed plenty of rapport with a talented group of pass catchers, helmed by 2022 incumbents Jonathan Adams and Johnnie Dixon and wide-receiver-in-disguise Sage Surratt, who looks like he’ll be a mismatch for safeties and linebackers all season from his spot at tight end.
Meanwhile, the Gamblers struggled to 13 points in Week 1 against the Panthers, with Kenji Behar throwing two interceptions. Given the difference in offensive talent, I like the Breakers to cover as my USFL bet of the day.
Showboats +7.5 (-110) • DraftKings Sportsbook
Showboats vs Stallions Betting • WAGER: 1 Unit
The Stallions had the league’s top defense in 2022, and nothing seemed to have changed in their 27-10 win over the Generals in Week 1. Birmingham had New Jersey’s offense looking off kilter throughout the game.
However, Birmingham’s running game struggled to get much going behind CJ Marable and Bo Scarbrough, despite also boasting plenty of players from their 2022 offense.
The lack of offensive balance could cap the Stallions’ offensive output against a Showboats team that fared fairly well against the run in a 27-23 loss to the Stars in Week 1.
Memphis also showed some life on offense, and the play of Alex Collins, who once fell just short of a 1,000-yard season in the NFL, was especially encouraging as he complied 88 yards on 19 touches.
While Birmingham likely has the talent to pull out the win, I like Memphis’ chances of keeping any loss to seven points or less.
Generals -3 (-110) • DraftKings Sportsbook
Generals vs Maulers Betting • WAGER: 1 Unit
New season, but the same result for the Maulers after one week. Pittsburgh fought hard, but mustered just 15 points in a seven-point loss to the Breakers.
The quarterback play of James Morgan and Troy Williams was especially concerning, as the two combined to go just 10-for-27 for 81 yards. Pittsburgh’s running game was also non-existent, and Ray Horton’s squad now runs into a Generals team out for blood after a 27-10 loss to the Stallions in Week 1.
Given the talent disparity, look for New Jersey to right the ship and win by more than a field goal.
Over 43 Total Points (-110) • DraftKings Sportsbook
Panthers vs Stars Betting • WAGER: 1 Unit
Both the Panthers and Stars looked impressive on offense in Week 1. Michigan scored a league-high 29 points, while Philadelphia tied for the second-most points on the week with 27.
The quarterback play of each squad and the versatile supporting cast for each signal-caller lends credence to the notion that each team’s strong offensive play will continue in Week 2.
Meanwhile, the Stars defense showed some vulnerability by surrendering 23 points and 4.6 yards per carry to the Showboats. Michigan can attack with two capable backs in Stevie Scott III and Reggie Corbin, giving the Panthers a chance to exploit that vulnerability.
Meanwhile, the Panthers defense is in for a big bump in caliber of competition after benefitting from facing a punchless Gamblers squad in Week 1.
That leads me to believe the Over is the play in what could be the best game of the week.