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BETTING

2024 UFL Semifinals Best Bets: Feeling the Under in the Playoffs

Justin Smith San Antonio Brahmas v DC Defenders
Justin Smith #10 of the San Antonio Brahmas attempts to avoid a tackle by D.J. Swearinger #36 of the DC Defenders. Matthew Stockman/UFL/Getty Images/AFP

It is playoff time in the 2024 UFL season with the 4 best teams remaining. The Birmingham Stallions (9-1) are trying to win a 3rd-straight championship while the St. Louis Battlehawks (7-3) are in the tournament after missing out in the XFL last year.

But both teams face some stiff tests from the Michigan Panthers (7-3) and San Antonio Brahmas (7-3) this week. Both of those teams were a long field goal away from beating these teams last weekend. That’s how thin the margin was.

We may have previewed a strategy last week that the Week 10 games would purposely be low scoring as the teams toyed with each other a bit, knowing that they would have to meet again in the playoffs where it’d be higher scoring. Both games easily hit the under with final scores of 13-12 and 20-19.

However, are we backing off from that strategy after what we saw last week and with the quarterback health questions going into these games? Maybe so. In the playoffs, it comes down to matchups and this will be the 3rd time these teams have met each other this season.

We made our best bets for the playoff schedule below.

Picks Summary

  • Panthers-Stallions Under 43 (-110)
  • Brahmas-Battlehawks Under 43.5 (-110)

*All odds from Bet365 (check our Bet365 Review)


Michigan Panthers vs. Birmingham Stallions

Saturday, June 08, 2024 – 03:00 PM ET at Protective Stadium


The Stallions are looking to complete another season with a championship under coach Skip Holtz, but they haven’t exactly been lighting up the competition in the last month. Over the last 4 games, the Stallions are just +3 on the scoreboard.

The tale of the Panthers season has been a steadily improving defense and long field goals with some early makes in the season from kicker Jake Bates, who started the year by making a 64-yard field goal to beat the Battlehawks. That’s why it was surprising he did not deliver on a 53-yard field goal last week to beat Birmingham.

Michigan is a 5-point road underdog with a total of 43 points at top-rated sportsbooks.

Michigan Offense Dealt a Blow

Any hope for Michigan unleashing Bryce Perkins in this game as a full-time quarterback was dashed when he was injured in last week’s game. That leaves Danny Etling or former starter E.J. Perry as the latter is hoping to return from injury this weekend. Etling led the Panthers to a 10-point lead last week in Birmingham before the defense gave up a late score in the loss.

It’s a bummer as Perkins seemed to be the team’s best passer and could lead the team in rushing in any given game as a dual threat. Fortunately, Etling got a look at the Stallions’ strong defense last week, and he rushed for 36 yards and a touchdown in the game. But he’s not as good as Perkins, and if Perry plays, he has to show he can avoid sacks. Birmingham is near the top of the league with 29 sacks.

Michigan only threw 8 touchdown passes this season, or fewer than half of Birmingham’s total (17). This offense has not cracked 20 points in any of the team’s losses this year, and the Panthers have been held to 18, 13, 9, and 19 points in the 4 games against the other playoff teams in the UFL this season.

In other words, it would not be surprising at all if the Panthers failed to reach 20 points this weekend. Keep in mind, Birmingham has held 7-of-10 opponents under 20 points this year. The only times they didn’t was in Weeks 6-8.

Does Michigan Have a Read on Birmingham’s Offense?

For the most part, Birmingham has had its way with the rest of the UFL on offense this year. The Stallions averaged 347.5 yards per game, more than 35 yards ahead of any other team. They led the league in scoring at 26.5 points per game, scoring at least 20 points in 9-of-10 games.

But of the 4 teams to hold Birmingham under 27 points this year, Michigan has half of those games. Michigan held the Stallions to 20 points in both meetings this season.

Last week, the Panthers outgained the Stallions by 101 yards in a game without any turnovers. Birmingham quarterback Adrian Martinez may be the MVP of the league and had the best statistics of any quarterback in 2024. But he only completed 14-of-28 passes last week for 163 yards and a touchdown.

When Martinez played in a 2-quarterback system against Michigan in Week 2, he was only 8-of-15 for 88 yards in that game. With the way the Panthers have improved on defense this season, it may be in the best position to contain Martinez, who has not been at his sharpest in the last month, and to hold the Stallions once again to 20 points and give themselves a chance to win this game.

Also, left tackle Christian Dilauro was placed on injured reserve. That’s a big loss on the offensive line and with terrible timing too. Watch Super Bowl 55 and ask the 2020 Chiefs about losing a left tackle in the playoffs and the impact that could have.

The Pick

Both defenses are among the top 3 in sacks on defense. Both running games are easily the top 2 in the league. You could see a game where the defenses dominate on 3rd down, the running games keep the clock moving, and you don’t get a ton of points on many possessions from these teams.

Birmingham is the better team and should win, but Michigan is going to have a chance in this one. We also like the fact that Michigan has been able to hold Birmingham to 20 points twice this year. Throw in a Michigan offense that isn’t the most trustworthy, and with the Perkins injury, and it would be a surprise if both teams scored into the 20s in this game.

We’ll back the under in this USFL Conference Championship Game.

UFL Pick: Under 43 (-110) at Bet365


San Antonio Brahmas vs. St. Louis Battlehawks

Sunday, June 09, 2024 – 07:00 PM ET at The Dome at America’s Center


St. Louis barely escaped last week’s game with a 13-12 win to claim the XFL conference and set up a home game in this rematch with the Brahmas, the No. 1 defensive team in the UFL. Both teams have a 7-3 record, but the Brahmas have been swept by St. Louis.

San Antonio is a 3-point road underdog with a total of 43.5 points.

Head Coach Wade Phillips vs. QB A.J. McCarron

This matchup is similar to Birmingham-Michigan in the way the San Antonio defense has done well in 2 games against top quarterback A.J. McCarron this year. Better than most defenses have fared.

Even in Week 3 when the Battlehawks won 31-24, McCarron only threw for 152 yards. Last week, he made his return from injury after missing the previous 2 games, and the Brahmas held him to 115 yards on 10-of-24 passing. They also intercepted him, and they held the St. Louis offense to 2-for-12 on 3rd down.

Look for Phillips to bring the heat on McCarron, who doesn’t have the strongest offensive line in front of him, isn’t as mobile as some of these quarterbacks, and the Brahmas lead the UFL with 32 sacks on defense this year.

The Brahmas have held every opponent under 20 points this year except for the Battlehawks (31) in Week 3. St. Louis does not generate a ton of big plays in the passing game. If the Brahmas can repeat last week’s defensive success, they have a real shot in this game.

Another Quarterback Question for San Antonio

Here we go again as the Brahmas will have to choose between quarterbacks Chase Garbers and Quinten Dormady after Garbers was injured last week. Dormady was recently injured too, but he came off the bench last week and almost led a comeback win against a highly-ranked St. Louis pass defense. The Brahmas just needed that 51-yard field goal to work out for the win.

Dormady is better than Garbers at creating big plays this season. Dormady averages 11.7 yards per completion and 7.0 yards per attempt. Garbers averages 8.0 yards per completion and 5.5 yards per attempt.

But there are some drawbacks here. Dormady throws more interceptions, takes more sacks, and doesn’t get rid of the ball as quickly or complete passes at as high of a rate as Garbers.

San Antonio expects to wait until Sunday to announce the starter, and it is not an easy call. Either way, the Brahmas are not a good pick for lighting up the scoreboard. This team has not surpassed 20 points in 5 straight games going into the playoffs.

It’s all about Phillips’ top-ranked defense for this team.

The Pick

It’s hard to argue with the way San Antonio contained the St. Louis offense on the road last week, or how it has held 90% of opponents under 20 points this season.

Overall, 9-of-10 games this season for San Antonio have finished under 40.5 points, let alone 43.5 points. None of their last 5 games have topped 35 points.

It’s the playoffs. It’s the top 2 pass defenses in terms of yards per play allowed. It’s a top sack team in San Antonio, coached by a defensive legend. The Battlehawks do not have McCarron at 100% and also have one of the better defenses in the league.

It may not be the sexy choice, but we like the under in this XFL Conference Championship Game at -110 betting odds.

UFL Pick: Under 43.5 (-110) at Bet365

*The line and/or odds referenced in this article might have changed since the content was published. For the latest information on line movements, visit OddsTrader’s free betting odds tool.

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