The Week 6 slate treated us fairly well from a betting perspective, and we were just a pair of points away from a 3-1 mark when the Stallions finished the first half leading the Panthers by just a field goal when the line was -4.
Nevertheless, with both wins coming by virtue of the Over hitting, we’re going to go with a heavy dose of totals wagers this week.
The reality with the ever-evolving USFL is that betting spreads can be a bit of a rollercoaster due to the week-to-week uncertainty regarding offensive performance in particular with certain teams, while favorites often carry such heavy prices on their moneyline bets that it becomes impractical to suggest those.
All USFL Week 7 betting odds are courtesy of Caesars Sportsbook and current as of Friday, May 27, at 11:00 a.m. ET.
- Juan Blanco USFL Week 6 Betting Record: 2-2
- Juan Blanco USFL Season Betting Record: 9-15
USFL Best Bets: New Jersey Generals vs Tampa Bay Bandits
New Jersey Generals vs Tampa Bay Bandits Prediction
The Generals notched a wild comeback win in Week 6 over the Gamblers, escaping with a 26-25 victory on a last-second quarterback sneak by Luis Perez on a valiant second effort.
Meanwhile, the Bandits were involved in a high-scoring shootout of their own but came out on the losing end, dropping a 35-28 decision to the Stars despite a brilliant performance from Jordan Ta’amu.
Perez put in extra duty in Week 6 due to De’Andre Johnson‘s early exit with what appeared to be a lower-body injury. It remains to be seen if Johnson will be available for this game, but even if he isn’t, Perez has proven a good steward of the Generals’ efficient attack by completing 70% of his passes through five games.
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Ta’amu once again got little help from his ground attack in Tampa Bay’s 35-28 loss, but the quarterback impressively put the offense on his shoulders by throwing for 333 yards and four touchdowns while adding 61 rushing yards. Ta’amu distributed the ball and notably hit his tight-end duo of Cheyenne O’Grady and De’Quan Hampton for three of his scores.
With the two teams boasting plenty of offensive playmakers and defenses that can give up some points from time to time, I see this unfolding as a back-and-forth affair where each club will have its fair share of trips down the field before Tampa Bay emerges with a narrow win.
Tampa Bay Bandits 27, New Jersey Generals 21
Generals vs Bandits Best Bet: OVER 43 Points (-110)
WAGER: 1 Unit
Both teams sport talented, cohesive offenses that appear close to hitting their full stride. Ta’amu should be brimming with confidence following his spectacular Week 6 showing, and while the Generals defense is tough, the Bandits have enough pass-catching playmakers to make their fair share of plays.
Meanwhile, whether Johnson is available or not, Perez and his own talented array of pass-catching weapons should also be able to keep the Bandits defense on its heels at times.
One of the reasons for New Jersey’s air attack being one of the league’s most efficient and consistent is an effective running game that helps keep defenses honest, and I think that applies enough again Saturday for the Generals to do their part to have the Over hit.
Given the offensive outlook for each team, I like the Over to hit in our USFL Bet of the Day.
USFL Best Bets: New Orleans Breakers vs Michigan Panthers
New Orleans Breakers vs Michigan Panthers Prediction
The Breakers were able to get back in the win column in Week 6 with a 26-16 victory over the Maulers. The Panthers gave the undefeated Stallions a tough battle for a half, but Birmingham pulled away with a 20-7 advantage in the second half to notch a comfortable win.
The Breakers’ Kyle Sloter managed to stay away from any interceptions against Pittsburgh after throwing five over the previous two games, but he also threw for only 92 yards after managing a modest 155 a week prior.
Running back Jordan Ellis was also under 50 rushing yards for the second straight game, and he’s averaged 3.6 yards per carry or less in four of his last five.
The Panthers’ offense was impressively balanced against the tough Stallions defense. Shea Patterson put together another strong performance with 209 yards and a passing and rushing touchdown apiece, while Reggie Corbin bounced back from a lackluster Week 5 by gaining 71 yards on 16 carries.
Patterson continues to display strong chemistry with receivers Lance Lenoir (9-82) and Devin Ross (7-67-1), yet they’ll have their work cut out against a New Orleans defense giving up just 16.9 points per game.
New Orleans Breakers 21, Michigan Panthers 17
Breakers vs Panthers Best Bet: UNDER 42.5 Points (-110)
WAGER: 1 Unit
The Breakers offense still sports plenty of accomplished names, but Sloter has looked a bit more vulnerable over the last three games with a 3:5 TD:INT during that span. Meanwhile, the Panthers defense has been solid against both the run and pass while allowing just 18.8 points per game and forcing a turnover per contest as well.
Michigan’s offense has relied fairly heavily on the run with solid statistical success on most weeks, but New Orleans has done a very good job against opposing ground attacks by allowing only 103.8 rushing yards per game.
The Panthers also surprisingly released Patterson this week after his two best games of the season, and he landed in New Orleans, where he can instantly bring plenty of insight into Michigan’s attack this week.
Considering the Breakers can also bring plenty of pressure (12 sacks) and in turn force errant throws (seven INTs), I see them doing plenty to help the Under hit, especially with Josh Love now set to make his first start in an offense he just started learning two weeks ago.
USFL Best Bets: Birmingham Stallions vs Pittsburgh Maulers
Birmingham Stallions vs Pittsburgh Maulers Prediction
The Stallions rolled along in Week 6 with a 33-17 win over the Panthers that saw Birmingham pull away with 20 second-half points. The Maulers fought valiantly against the Breakers but began to hit their stride on offense a bit too late into a 26-16 loss.
J’Mar Smith once again rose to the occasion for Birmingham despite completing just 50% of his passes, as he threw a pair of touchdown tosses to complement an outstanding rushing day from former Dallas Cowboy Bo Scarbrough. Scarbrough took over lead-back duties with 16 carries that he took for 104 yards and a touchdown.
Meanwhile, head coach Skip Holtz still kept Michigan’s defense guessing by sprinkling in a bit of Alex McGough under center, and the FIU alum was able to pitch in 22 rushing yards and a touchdown along with 46 passing yards on three attempts.
Vlad Lee got the start for Pittsburgh against New Orleans, and he eventually threw for 198 yards and a touchdown while adding another score on the ground. Nevertheless, Lee also tossed a pair of picks, including a back-breaking one in the end zone on what appeared to be a miscommunication with wideout Bailey Gaither.
On the ground, Madre London was once again the more efficient back by a good bit over Garrett Groshek, as he averaged five yards per tote on 10 carries.
The Stallions defense brings pressure like no other in the league, while the Maulers’ unit played well the last two weeks against the Gamblers and Breakers. Consequently, I envision a fairly comfortable but lower-scoring win for the class of the league, the Stallions.
Birmingham Stallions 24, Pittsburgh Maulers 13
Stallions vs Maulers Best Bet: UNDER 41.5 Points (-110)
WAGER: 1 Unit
The mismatch here between the aggressive Stallions defense and the inconsistent Maulers offense is a significant one, even with Lee breathing some life into Pittsburgh’s attack over the last two games.
Much like Jeff Fisher with the Panthers, Kirby Wilson would like to hang his offensive hat on the ground attack, but it’s often been an uphill battle in terms of efficiency.
The Stallions have done a solid job slowing down ground attacks (110.0 RYPG allowed) and have made life absolutely miserable on quarterbacks with the league’s highest pressure rate and a USFL-high 17 sacks.
Therefore, while I can see Birmingham having its fair share of success versus Pittsburgh’s defense, I can’t see the opposite happening enough for the Over to hit.
USFL Best Bets: Philadelphia Stars vs Houston Gamblers
Philadelphia Stars vs Houston Gamblers Prediction
The Stars’ offense shined and was able to offset a masterful performance from the Bandits’ Ta’amu in a 35-28 Week 6 win. Philadelphia was led by running back Matt Colburn‘s prolific day, one that saw him record three rushing TDs and 140 yards on the ground.
Meanwhile, the Gamblers came out on the losing end of a 26-25 score when they allowed the Generals’ Perez to complete his sneak into the end zone as time expired.
Philadelphia continues to roll with Case Cookus under center as Bryan Scott (lower leg) remains sidelined. Cookus is a reasonably solid passer and brings plenty of mobility, but the passing game was more productive overall with Scott at the controls.
Nevertheless, Colburn’s breakout effort could certainly mark a turning point, however, as Philly can now attack with up to three speedy, versatile backs in him, Darnell Holland and Paul Terry.
Not all was gloomy with respect to Houston’s one-point loss, as Clayton Thorson tossed three touchdown passes and completed just under 79% of his throws. The Northwestern product did throw another interception, but the fact he was able to remain close to mistake-free despite running back Mark Thompson getting stymied to the tune of 2.0 yards per carry was impressive.
Thorson also found a way to keep Thompson involved by hitting him for two of his aforementioned trio of scoring tosses.
Each team is capable of running a balanced attack and there are vulnerabilities on each squad’s defense as well, which has all the makings of an offensive showcase. With Houston a bit more balanced offensively, I like them to prevail in a high-scoring upset.
Houston Gamblers 28, Philadelphia Stars 24
Stars vs Gamblers Best Bet: Gamblers Moneyline (+170)
WAGER: 1 Unit
On paper, this has the makings of an entertaining offensive shootout to close out the Memorial Day weekend slate.
The Gamblers defense is an interesting blend of opportunistic and vulnerable, allowing an elevated 377.0 total yards and 23.7 points per game while also recording 16 sacks, seven INTs and scoring three defensive touchdowns.
The Stars defense has been even more generous from a scoring perspective with 25.5 points per game allowed, along with 368.8 total yards per contest conceded as well. Philly has had trouble slowing down both the run and pass, and the success Thompson could therefore enjoy could greatly ease the pressure on the mistake-prone Thorson.
With Houston’s defense just a bit more aggressive and effective, I like Houston to emerge with a narrow win.