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USFL Week 5 Odds and Predictions

Since this is the first year of the new USFL, milestones are cheap. The league reaches one this weekend with the midway point of the 2022 campaign upon us. And what have we learned after the first four weeks?

Well, the Birmingham Stallions are the best team in the league improving to 4-0 with a victory over the Tampa Bay Bandits. Once again the Stallions rallied after trailing, something they’ve done in every game. We’re also seeing betting trends emerge as the sample size grows. And Birmingham is tops in that market going 4-0 against the USFL betting line.

For the most part games have been competitive with all four last week decided by eight points or less. There have been just three games this season decided by more than 10 points with the Pittsburgh Maulers on the wrong end in two of those encounters. They played better than they did in their Week 3 shutout loss, but the Maulers have yet to taste victory dropping to 0-4 with a 21-13 setback to New Jersey.

They did win something, though, covering the 10-point spread for their first payout of the season. The Maulers were the underdog in their first four games and that trend continues with them catching 5-points for their matchup with the Houston Gamblers.

Let’s take a look at the Week 5 matchups.

Michigan Panthers (1-3) vs Tampa Bay Bandits (2-2)

Kick off: Friday, May 13 – 8 p.m. ET (USA)

Opening Line: Tampa Bay -1.5, O/U 33

The last thing the Panthers expected was a problem at QB. They drafted Shea Patterson with the first pick and added former NFL pick Paxton Lynch to form what many thought would be the most capable duo. The two have struggled completing just 53.5 percent of their throws with twice as many interceptions as TD passes.

So, Jeff Fisher turned to the run game with Reggie Corbin leading the way. Corbin rushed for 285 yards and the Panthers amassed 495 yards on the ground the last two games scoring 49 points in those contests. They totaled just 18 points in the first two games. They were a missed chip-shot field goal away from evening their record, but they look more like the team most had at the top of the league rankings before the season.

Tampa is trying to find some consistency on offense. They’ve scored more points than only Pittsburgh and dropped to 2-2 with a 16-10 loss to Birmingham. It might be tough breaking through against the top defense in the USFL which is why I’m leaning toward the UNDER.

Prediction: Michigan +1.5 and UNDER 33

New Orleans Breakers (3-1) vs New Jersey Generals (3-1)

Kick off: Saturday, May 14 – 3 p.m. ET (FOX)

Opening Line: New Orleans -3, O/U 37

The top two offensive teams in terms of yards go at it in what should be the game of the week. Both teams are 3-1 with their only loss to Birmingham. New Jersey was the closest to beating the Stallions back in Week 1. They’ve won three straight since behind a potent ground game that averages nearly 180 yards of the league-best 359.2 yards per game the Generals manufacture. Kyle Sloter authored a game-winning touchdown drive last week giving New Orleans a 23-16 win over Houston. Sloter, the USFL’s leading passer, finished 26 of 41 for 397 yards and the Breakers totaled 506 yards of offense. You might expect a lot of points in this game based on what happened, but both clubs are stingy defensively and the Breakers have had a tough time holding onto the football. They committed four turnovers last week making the game much closer than it should’ve been.

Prediction: New Jersey +3 / UNDER 37

Birmingham Stallions (4-0) vs Philadelphia Stars (2-2)

Kick off: Sunday, May 15 – 12 p.m. ET (NBC)

Opening Line: Birmingham -5.5, O/U 35.5

They haven’t played the best football but the Stallions are the best team in the USFL without a loss through four weeks. Slow starts have been a problem with Birmingham trailing once again in last week’s matchup. They overcame a deficit to beat Tampa Bay 16-10 behind solid defense and special teams. The Stallions held Tampa to 158 total yards and tossed a second half shutout while Brandon Aubrey booted three field goals and has just one miss this season. Birmingham saw the return of QB Alex McGough, who started for the first time since a Week 1 injury. He threw for 126 yards and the highest scoring offense sputtered, but the D came up big. Philly intercepted three passes and forced four turnovers to barely beat Michigan last week. It took a missed Panthers field goal in the closing seconds and the club will ride with Case Cookus at QB while Bryan Scott recovers.

Prediction: Birmingham -5.5 / OVER 35.5

Pittsburgh Maulers (0-4) vs Houston Gamblers (1-3)

Kick off: 4 p.m. ET (FOX)

Opening Line: Houston -5, O/U 34.5

The USFL betting week closes with a contest between slumping teams. The Maulers have yet to win a game while Houston has dropped its last three. Still, the Gamblers are laying 5-points as they look to straighten out their defensive issues. They’ve allowed at least 23 points in every game of their skid and give up on average the most points and yards in the USFL. One team will benefit since Pittsburgh is the lowest scoring team and has the second-fewest yards. The Maulers did play an inspired game last week falling 21-13, but they lack the firepower with receiver Bailey Gaither sidelined. Houston has been inconsistent on both sides of the football, but they’ve show more promise offensively.

Prediction: Houston -5 and OVER 34.5

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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