USFL Odds, Picks, Predictions: Gamblers-Breakers & Bandits-Stallions Overs, Generals-Maulers Spread, More Week 4 Bets

USFL Odds, Picks, Predictions: Gamblers-Breakers & Bandits-Stallions Overs, Generals-Maulers Spread, More Week 4 Bets article feature image

Joe Robbins/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Gamblers RB Mark Thompson

Week 4 of the USFL kicks off Friday night, with action throughout Saturday and into Sunday afternoon. Our analysts are here to break down their picks and predictions for every game based on the latest USFL odds below.

USFL Odds, Picks, Predictions

Click on a pick to skip ahead
Stars-Panthers Under 36.5
Friday, 10 p.m. ET
Generals -9 vs. Maulers
Saturday, 2:30 p.m. ET
Bandits-Stallions Over 41.5
Saturday, 7 p.m. ET
Gamblers-Breakers Over 41.5*
Sunday, 3 p.m. ET

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Philadelphia Stars vs. Michigan Panthers

Under 36.5
Friday, 10 p.m. ET

Joey Carrion: Philadelphia is coming off a Week 3 loss to the New Jersey Generals in which Stars starting quarterback, Bryan Scott, was injured. Scott proceeded to miss the rest of the game and has been ruled out for Week 4.

Prior to exiting, Scott was the USFL leader in passing yards and touchdowns. The Stars offense will struggle to remain as efficient with backup Case Cookus set to make his first career start on Friday night. Cookus was serviceable in Week 3, throwing for 146 yards and one touchdown on 20 attempts.

Losing Scott, arguably the best QB in the USFL, is incredibly worrisome for the Stars. They average 219.7 passing yards per game compared to only 49.7 rushing yards per game. With Cookus behind center, we can likely expect a more run-heavy game plan. This will lower the pace-of-play for a team we’ve seen prefers to play with tempo.

The Michigan Panthers, on the other hand, are coming off a dominant Week 3 shutout of the Pittsburgh Maulers.

Quarterback play is the main concern for Michigan right now. Shea Patterson is seventh in the league in both completion percentage and passing yards-per-game, and 11th in QBR. Patterson is not the answer, but the Panthers' only other option is former first-round NFL draft bust Paxton Lynch.

Offensively, the Panthers are doomed at quarterback no matter who they start.

Michigan will have to lean on defense. The Panthers are allowing a league-low nine points-per-game, and lead the USFL in yards allowed per game at only 219.7. The defense is single-handedly carrying the team on its back three weeks into the season. We know head coach Jeff Fishers’ philosophy is to play hard nose defense and establish the run on offense — and the Panthers have the perfectly-constructed team to fulfill that fantasy.

All signs point to both teams struggling to produce points in this matchup. The Stars average only 21 points per game, and that was with the best QB in the USFL. Take him out of the lineup, and we should expect a drop in scoring efficiency. The Panthers average only 14 points per game, which is the way they want to win.

At 36.5, this is a low total, but it’s this low for a reason.

New Jersey Generals vs. Pittsburgh Maulers

Generals -9
Saturday, 2:30 p.m. ET

Ben Hauver: This matchup features a battle of teams with similar philosophies, yet wildly varying abilities to execute.

Simply put, the Generals have been the best rushing team in the league through three games. Three of the USFL's top-six rush-yard leaders are on this team. De’Andre Johnson, Trey Williams and Darius Victor are to the Generals what Lamar Jackson, J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards are to the Ravens.

Despite his electric impact on the game, Johnson has yet to earn a full-time role as the team’s starter. Luis Perez has been the preferred “passer,” while Johnson has been utilized as dual threat.

It seems there's room for New Jersey to grow and unlock its offensive potential by fully handing the reigns over to Johnson to lead a dominant three-headed rushing attack. Whether the team agrees with that sentiment internally remains to be seen. However, in Week 4, the point is moot.

Carmen Mandato/USFL/Getty Images. Pictured: USFL Generals QB De'Andre Johnson

The Pittsburgh Maulers have established themselves as the clear-cut worst team in the league. They are bad. Like the far-superior Generals, the Maulers aim to win on offense by rushing the ball. Unlike the Generals, the Maulers' scheme is bland and predictable.

If Kirby Wilson has any hope of coaching his team to a 1-3 record, he’ll have to allow QB Josh Love the freedom to push the ball downfield. The RB duo of Garrett Groshek and Madre London simply can’t generate enough to win Pittsburgh games.

Like Thanos, the result of this game feels inevitable: It’s not a matter of if New Jersey wins, it's by how many points — and I'm betting it will win by at least more than nine.

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Tampa Bay Bandits vs. Birmingham Stallions

Over 41.5
Saturday, 7 p.m. ET

Joey CarrionThis is the premiere matchup of Week 4.

Tampa Bay should enter this game inspired after last week’s come-from-behind win over the Houston Gamblers; A win in which the Bandits scored 10 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to secure a one-point victory.

Jordan Ta’amu was solid last week, bouncing back for 255 yards and one touchdown. Tampa Bay was also effective rushing the football, combining for 134 yards and two scores on the ground.

On the season, Tampa Bay has been disappointing from an offensive perspective. As a team, the Bandits rank fifth in passing yards per game and sixth in rushing yards per game. They are averaging a measly 15.7 points per game while allowing more than 20 points per game.

While Tampa has not lived up to its preseason hype, this is still one of the better rosters in the league. As the year goes on, we should see the Bandits continue to improve and find their identity on offense. After all, early struggles for all teams were to be expected early in this inaugural league year.

Michael Wade/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Jordan Ta'amu

The Stallions enter Week 4 as the lone undefeated team. As their record reflects, they are the best team in the USFL. The 27.7 points per game they’ve produced on offense is first in the league. Not only have they been good on the field, but betting on them has been profitable. They have gone 3-0 against the spread (ATS) and 2-1 to the over.

J’Mar Smith and Victor Bolden Jr. are key players to the success Birmingham has had on offense. Smith is top three in every statistical category for quarterbacks while Bolden leads the USFL in all purpose yards with 526.

Defensively, they are less than elite, giving up 336.7 yards per game and 19.7 points-per game.

Birmingham profiles as a team that will rely on offensive success to win games down the stretch, which creates very friendly scoring environments that bettors can take take advantage of. With the talent on both of these offenses, and a pair of defenses that can be exploited, this game has shootout written all over it.

Birmingham continues to speed up games with big plays and offensive efficiency, while Tampa Bay should be able to have success against bottom three defense in the USFL. We’re riding the over.

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Houston Gamblers vs. New Orleans Breakers

Over 41.5*
Sunday, 3 p.m. ET

Ben Hauver: Week 4 will close out with an exciting matchup between the Gamblers and Breakers.

New Orleans stumbled in last week’s loss to the division-rival Birmingham Stallions. Despite the minor set-back, the Breakers (-4.5) deserve to be favored in this spot.

QB Kyle Sloter has been the most active passer in the league up to this point. He is attempting eight more passes on average than the next closest quarterback in the USFL (37.7 attempts per game). He also leads in passing yards (657) and pass yards per-game (219).

The main beneficiary of Sloter’s success through the air has been Johnnie Dixon — Week 3 USFL Offensive Player of the Week. The 5-foot-10 former Ohio State receiver currently leads the league with 165 receiving yards and three touchdowns.

Meanwhile, the Gamblers are shaping up to be one of the most interesting teams in the league.

Houston has star players on both sides of the ball.

DE Chris Odom has been a nightmare for opposing offensive lines. He leads the league in sacks (4.5) and ranks fourth in solo tackles (11). Odom’s disruption in the trenches has played a major factor in Houston’s defense becoming tied for the league-lead in takeaways (7).

On offense, RB Mark Thompson is putting out the type of tape that could raise the eyebrows of NFL talent evaluators come training camp. He leads the league in rushing by a wide margin, and his 5.8 yards per rush has been the most efficient at the position thus far.

The Gamblers will need to cut down on mistakes to win this game. QB Clayton Thorson is the interception leader with five-thrown through three weeks.

New Orleans is the more complete team in this matchup, but the Gamblers have the star power to explode in any given week. They play teams close, and their aggressive style forces high-scoring games. I expect to see that trend continue in Week 4.

All of that said, I would advise waiting until Sunday to place this bet. There has been some concern around Sloter dealing with an injury. If news drops that he is limited, this could be a spot to stay away from. If he’s a full-go, I would bet this over comfortably.

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