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USFL Predictions and Odds (Week 6)

If anything the first half of the USFL season has been fun. The games for the most part have been close, new stars are emerging and if you’ve been paying attention there is money to be won wagering on the games. We are starting to see some separation between the teams and the betting markets are catching up.

The Birmingham Stallions improved to 5-0 with last week’s 30-17 win over Philadelphia. They were favored by 5.5-points in that matchup, the largest spread in any of their games, and they earned their fifth straight payout. New Jersey ran its winning streak to four beating New Orleans 27-17 as a 3-point dog. The Generals have a strong case to be the top team in the league with their only setback on opening day when Birmingham scored a late touchdown to beat them. Clearly the best two teams they each had a double-digit victory in Week 5. Only three games in the first four weeks were decided by more than 10 points.

Only once during the first five weeks did we see a spread of more than 6.5-points. That happened in Week 4 with New Jersey laying 10-points to Pittsburgh. And of course the Maulers covered the line earning their first payout. Two teams hit the Week 6 board laying at least 7-points with New Orleans spotting Pittsburgh 8-points and New Jersey a 7-point chalk over Houston.

We’ve also seen totals take a tumble, though that is likely to change. All four games last week had a total below 40 and we saw the highest scoring week. All four winning teams scored more than 20 points and the games averaged nearly 45 points. The OVER cashed in every contest and is 9-2 in games with a total below 40.

Let’s take a look at the Week 6 matchups.

Tampa Bay Bandits (3-2) vs. Philadelphia Stars (2-3)

Kick off: Saturday, May 21 , 1 p.m. ET (NBC)

Opening Line: Tampa Bay -2.5, O/U 39.5

Tampa’s Jordan Ta’amu hasn’t had the kind of season most expected considering his professional experience. But there were moments in last week’s 27-20 win that makes me feel a breakout game is coming. He tossed a 43-yard scoring pass to put the Bandits ahead and had two TDs without a pick in an efficient if not spectacular outing. They also battled getting outplayed but taking advantage of a pair of turnovers to turn back Michigan. Tampa matched a season-high point total and while they allowed a bunch of yards, the defense came up big when it had to. We’re likely to get at least another week of Case Cookus at QB for the Stars giving Tampa a big edge at that position. And as we all know that is the most important spot on the field. With the Bandits laying less than a field goal I think they have a good chance of covering.

Prediction: Tampa Bay -2.5 / UNDER 39.5

Michigan Panthers (1-4) vs. Birmingham Stallions (5-0)

Kick off: Saturday, May 21, 7:30 p.m. ET (NBC)

Opening Line: Birmingham -6, O/U 37.5

Michigan is the best one-win team in the league and the Panthers should probably have a few more. We’ve seen the offense turn things around after a sluggish start scoring at least 20 points in each of the last three games with Shea Patterson having a coming out party last week. Patterson threw for 304 yards, the second QB to top the 300 number this season, and the Panthers amassed 407 total yards yet still lost. A missed field goal in Week 4 cost them a victory and their four losses are by a combined 17 points. They’re not far off and when they put it all together at the same time look out. The Stallions found a way to win all its games but by no means are they dominant. And as close as all the games have been we’re likely to see Birmingham fall at some point. Why not this week? I’ll back the points with things looking up for Michigan.

Prediction: Michigan +6 / OVER 37.5

Pittsburgh Maulers (1-5) vs. New Orleans Breakers (3-2)

Kick off: Sunday, May 22 , 12 p.m. ET (FS1)

Opening Line: New Orleans -8, O/U 35.5

The Maulers needed a lift and they got it from newcomer Vad Lee. Signed the week before, Lee replaced Kyle Lauletta in the first half throwing for 170 yards and a pair of touchdowns, the last to Bailey Gaither with no time on the clock to secure the team’s first win. Pittsburgh never led until that point, but the final score is all that matters. Catching points in every game this season the Maulers covered in their last two. They are getting 8-points against a New Orleans team that stumbled on offense in last week’s loss to New Jersey. The Breakers are solid defensively yielding just 17 points and 261.2 yards per game and Lee will find the terrain more treacherous this week.

Prediction: New Orleans -8 / OVER 35.5

Houston Gamblers (1-4) vs. New Jersey Generals (4-1)

Kick off: Sunday May 22 , 4 p.m. ET (FOX)

Opening Line: New Jersey -7, O/U 39

The Gamblers like to keep their games close so backing them with 7-points seems like a good idea. All five of their games were decided by that number or less and their last two defeats were in heartbreaking fashion. New Orleans put together a late drive to stun Houston two weeks ago and the Maulers connected on a game-winning touchdown pass with no time on the clock last week. They need more consistency from their offensive playmakers and guys like Clayton Thorson and Mark Thompson certainly are capable. They’ll need a strong defensive effort, too, against New Jersey’s league-leading ground attack that averages 180 yards per game.

Prediction: Houston +7 and OVER 38.5

View today’s USFL betting lines.

George Newman
George Newman
Covers NFL, NBA, MLB and NHL for George is also an avid sports bettor and daily fantasy sports fan.

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