USFL Week 9 Odds, Picks & Predictions for Gamblers vs. Stallions, Stars vs. Maulers & More
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New Jersey Generals vs. Michigan Panthers
Ben Hauver: Entering the penultimate game of The USFL’s regular season, the Generals (-7.5) have clinched one of the league’s four playoff spots. The Panthers have been eliminated from championship contention.
RB Darius Victor has been an absolute force on the ground, operating as the engine of New Jersey’s offense. Victor leads the league in both rushing (524 yards) and rushing touchdowns (9). As a team, The Generals have averaged 165 RYDS/G (1st).
This is also a team that can win in multiple ways.
In addition to rostering the leading rusher, The Generals have also put WR KaVontae Turpin in a position to win. Turpin leads the league with 444 receiving yards. Averaging 55.5 receiving yards per game, his 40.5 receiving line on PrizePicks this week could be an opportunity for value.
The Panthers rank second in RYDS/G with 152.5 on average. Unlike their Week 9 opponents, Jeff Fisher’s ground-and-pound approach has not led to success.
Both of these teams will attempt to run the ball down each other’s throats.
The last time these teams faced, we saw a defensive showdown that resulted in New Jersey winning 10-6. With a 47 Total, the oddsmakers are expecting some sort of offensive innovation on the side of Jeff Fisher for the Over to be live.
#FadingJeffFisher has been profitable so far. Why stop now?
Houston Gamblers vs. Birmingham Stallions
Joey Carrion: The Houston Gamblers take on the Birmingham Stallions in the second-to-last week of the USFL regular season.
Houston is coming off of a 10-point loss to the Tampa Bay Bandits in which they managed to score three total points. With a record of 1-7, the Gamblers are squarely out of playoff contention and will look to play spoiler these last two weeks.
The issue with Houston all season has been its inability to stop opponents on offense. It allows 23.8 points per game and 348.9 yards per game, worst in the USFL.
Houston is also bottom-four in almost every statistical category on offense.
Despite Houston’s woes as a team, it has managed to keep games relatively close throughout the season. Five of its seven losses have been by one score, and three of those games it has only lost by one point.
Houston has not been great ATS. It’s currently 2-4-1 ATS and 5-3 to the Over.
Houston will have its hands full in Week 9 against the Birmingham Stallions.
Birmingham comes into this week with an undefeated record, sitting at 8-0 on the season. The Stallions have been the powerhouse of the USFL, and I don’t see that stopping this week.
Led by dual-threat quarterback J’Mar Smith, the Stallions boast one of the best offenses in the USFL, averaging 24.8 points per game.
Birmingham’s defense has also helped the Stallions become the title favorite. Birmingham is second in yards allowed and first in points allowed. This team is the most balanced on both sides of the ball and has shown it all season long.
Birmingham is 5-2 ATS this year, although it has failed to cover in its last two wins. It’s also 5-3 to the Over. The Stallions have been one of, if not the most profitable team to bet on this season, and it’s hard not to continue betting on them.
This is a game Birmingham should easily win. Houston is dealing with injuries to key players across its team, and it has shown us it just cannot win games.
The question is, will the Stallions be able to cover 12.5 points, which is the largest spread of Week 9?
I think so. Houston is down its starting QB, RB and WR1 in this spot. Birmingham is the better and healthier team, and should easily wipe the floor against a decimated Houston team.
The only concern is the Stallions have clinched the USFL South title and could potentially rest starters. I wouldn’t be too concerned, though — they are still the better team in every faucet.
Ride with Birmingham in Week 9.
Tampa Bay Bandits vs. New Orleans Breakers
Joey Carrion: Tampa Bay takes on New Orleans in the premier matchup of Week 9, with this game being a must-win for Tampa Bay.
The Bandits are currently 4-4 on the year and sit one game behind the Breakers for a playoff spot in the South division. If they lose this game, they will be eliminated from the playoffs, and the USFL postseason will be set in stone.
Tampa Bay has been middle of the pack on both sides of the ball all year long. It’s around league average in almost every offensive and defensive category. The Bandits average 17.3 points per game, and allow 19.6 points per game.
Tampa Bay has had an underwhelming inaugural season, even though Jordan Ta’amu and Todd Haley form one of the better quarterback/head coach duos in the USFL. The Bandits have just been an unpredictable team all season and it’s hard to trust them in a must-win matchup.
New Orleans comes into this matchup second in the South division and will clinch the final USFL playoff spot with a victory.
The Breakers are the more complete team in this matchup. Offensively, they are top four in yards per game and points per game. They are one of the most balanced teams in the USFL and are led by passing yards leader Kyle Sloter.
New Orleans also boasts one of the best defenses in the league. It allows 17.2 points per game and are third in yards allowed per game
From a betting perspective, Tampa Bay is 3-3-1 ATS and New Orleans is 5-3 ATS. I believe that this is going to be a fairly close game and I could see either team winning, but I have to side with the Breakers.
New Orleans is just the more complete team in my opinion, and it also has the better quarterback. I think if New Orleans is winning this game, it’s because Tampa Bay is struggling offensively.
This game is going to be a hard fought battle and will be the toughest game of the season for both teams with the playoffs on the line.
Philadelphia Stars vs. Pittsburgh Maulers
Ben Hauver: It’s hard not to admire the raw perseverance and grit of the Philadelphia Stars (-8.5).
Bryan Scott was on pace to be the best quarterback in the league this season before going down with injury. Whereas most teams would crumble after suffering a personnel loss like that, the Stars managed the opposite.
Somehow, they have managed to improve.
In last week’s blowout victory over the Panthers, Case Cookus set the league ablaze with the single-best QB performance of the season. Cookus efficiently threw for 247 yards and four touchdowns, with a wildly efficient 76.9% completion percentage.
He also added 118 yards and an additional score on the ground.
With a playoff berth clinched, the Stars are hitting their stride at the right time. Meanwhile, their Week 9 opponent has yet to hit anything remotely resembling a stride all season.
The Maulers have been embarrassingly bad all season long. They have run through four starting quarterbacks in nine weeks. Mismanaged at every turn by head coach/head saboteur Kirby Wilson, Pittsburgh will theoretically be looking to right the ship over the final two games of the regular season.
The problem is that no matter who the Maulers face in a given week, they will always be the worse team. Facing a true contender like Philadelphia, I suspect another ugly outing for the Maulers.
If Cookus and the Stars’ offensive can stay hot, expect them not only to win, but to cover (and then some).