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USFL Week 4 Predictions and Odds

As we get close to the halfway point of the USFL season things are clearing up a little bit. But there remains a cloud of uncertainty surrounding the top teams in the league. The Birmingham Stallions emerged as the only unbeaten through the first three weeks becoming the fourth different team to top the power rankings and hold down the top spot on the USFL futures market. And it’s not like the Stallions have been dominating teams. They had their third comeback win of the season rallying in the fourth quarter to beat previously unbeaten New Orleans 22-13.

It was a crazy last week at the betting window with one favorite winning, one underdog winning, one push and a pick em. Birmingham won outright as a 4-point dog while the Michigan Panthers picked up their first win beating Pittsburgh 24-0 as a 3-point favorite. Tampa Bay was a 1-point favorite to beat Houston getting the 27-26 victory. One game was a toss-up with the New Jersey Generals beating Philadelphia 24-16.

The Bandits can get back in the best-team-in-the-USFL conversation with a win over the Stallions this week. The Maulers look to join everyone else with at least one victory but they will have to find some offense. They were blanked last week and average just 9.0 points with an uncertain situation at quarterback. Pittsburgh is the biggest underdog of any team in the history of the new USFL getting 10-points in their matchup with New Jersey.

Let’s take a peek at the Week 4 matchups.

Philadelphia Stars (1-2) vs. Michigan Panthers (1-2)

Opening Line: Michigan -1.5, O/U 36

Kick off: Friday, May 6 – 10 p.m. ET (FS1)

While the Panthers offense remains a work in progress, the defense looks like the real deal. They pitched a shutout last week and lead the league in fewest points and yards allowed. And it looked like the offense found another gear with Paxton Lynch at the helm. Lynch directed a pair of scoring drives before leaving with an injury leaving Shea Patterson back under center.

There are a number of question marks surrounding both teams on the offensive side with the Stars losing starting QB Bryan Scott to an injury in last week’s loss. Michigan ditched the QBs in favor of a running attack that amassed 244 yards with Reggie Corbin going for 133 of those yards. A strong defense and powerful run game has me backing the Panthers in this matchup.

Prediction: Michigan -1.5 / UNDER 36

New Jersey Generals (2-1) vs. Pittsburgh Maulers (0-3)

Opening Line: New Jersey -10, O/U 35

Kick off: Saturday, May 7 – 2:30 p.m. ET (Peacock)

While they aren’t getting the respect that some other teams are, the Generals are that close to being undefeated. They held a late lead in the season opener before Birmingham scored a late touchdown for the 28-24 win. A balanced attack produced 453 total yards against Philadelphia last week vaulting them to the league lead in total offense with 374.7 yards per game.

They also rank second allowing less than 240 yards. QB play for the Maulers has been awful and we don’t know who between Josh Love and Kyle Lauletta is going to start. Kirby Wilson said he’s going to simplify the offense to try and kick start the group. That will also make it easier for New Jersey to get stops. Still, laying 10-points is a hefty amount in a league that’s seen a lot of close games.

Prediction: Maulers +10 / UNDER 35

Tampa Bay Bandits (2-1) vs. Birmingham Stallions (3-0)

Opening Line: Birmingham -4, O/U 42.5

Kick off: Saturday, May 7 – 7 p.m. ET (FOX)

The Stallions are taking advantage of being the only home team in the league with a trio of second half comebacks leading to their perfect record. It’s not like they’ve dominated teams, but they are winning and that’s the only thing that matters. They scored 12 fourth quarter points to upset New Orleans last week forcing three turnovers and another fumble that resulted in a safety.

They also had four sacks. While the record is perfect the Stallions are far from it. There are issues on offense. J’Mar Smith completed just 39.5 percent of his passes last week and the Bandits rebounded from a rout the previous week to beat Houston on a last second field goal. Jordan Ta’amu looked more like the player we expected and could have a big day against an average Birmingham defense.

Prediction: Tampa Bay +4 / OVER 42.5

Houston Gamblers (1-2) vs. New Orleans Breakers (2-1)

Opening Line: New Orleans -5, O/U 42

Kick off: Sunday, May 8 – 3 p.m. ET (NBC)

Mistakes proved costly for the Breakers in their showdown with Birmingham. There were a number of turnovers, a strip-sack that resulted in a Birmingham safety and a missed field goal to name a few. Even the best teams find it hard to overcome those mistakes. We did see the Breakers play another strong game defensively holding the Stallions to just 1 of 4 in the red zone and taking better care of the football will give them chances to score more points.

Houston will rely on rushing leader Mark Thompson, who scampered for 147 yards last week. The Gamblers passing game needs some work, but they can put up points like they did last week giving me a strong sense that the OVER is the play in this one.

Prediction: New Orleans -5 and OVER 42

View Week 4 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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