The 2022 USFL season has reached its final game. After a thrilling 10-week regular season and a shocking conclusion to the first round of the playoffs, fans are ready to see if the hometown Birmingham Stallions can take the title home. Or will the red hot underdog Philadelphia Stars pull the ultimate upset?
We’ve had a lot of success previewing each week of the USFL slate each week. We’re here to review the two playoff games from last week, then dive into the odds for the title game.
We know the USFL will be back in 2023, so this is a significant moment in the spring league’s history.
Let’s dive into our recap below. Don’t forget to continue checking OddsTrader for all of your USFL news and odds.
USFL Playoffs Results
Birmingham Stallions 31, New Orleans Breakers 17
Two quarters basically decided this game. We hadn’t seen an explosive version of the Birmingham Stallions in several weeks but they came out with a vengeance against the New Orleans Breakers.
Maybe the powerhouse Stallions were simply bored as they cruised to a 9-1 regular-season record, or maybe this was more about cutting out bad habits that had formed.
Nevertheless, a 21-point second quarter was enough to win the game, and a 10-point fourth quarter sealed off the Breakers from staging a comeback.
Stallions Quarterback J’Mar Smith
Stallions quarterback J’Mar Smith efficiently controlled the offense and the typically stingy Stallions’ defense continued to clamp down by forcing turnovers.
Of course Breakers quarterback Kyle Sloter fell into the trap as he had throughout the second half of the season.
Birmingham’s offense took full advantage of a short field on two scoring drives, which has been their recipe all season long.
Smith earned every quarterback snap despite the team splitting the job over the last two months. His running game struggled, though, and New Orleans may have won this battle if not for the turnovers.
Breakers Weren’t Consistently
The Breakers couldn’t keep the run game going consistently, and Sloter coughed up two picks despite racking up 327 yards.
Sloter amassed almost 1,000 yards in three games against the Stallions this season but also had eight interceptions. New Orleans played right into Birmingham’s strength.
Philadelphia Stars 19, New Jersey Generals 14
The idea that Philadelphia would beat New Jersey wasn’t insane considering the hot and cold nature of the Stars. But the Generals were the title favorites entering the playoffs.
They primarily lost due to an 87-yard punt return for a touchdown by Maurice Alexander Jr. and a game-ending interception as time expired.
New Jersey’s Offense Bogged Down
The shocking part of this game was how New Jersey’s offense bogged down without DeAndre Johnson at quarterback.
Johnson ran just three times but did not attempt a pass. For as well as Luis Perez has played this year, he tossed two costly interceptions and his lone impact play was a 63-yard completion to Darrius Shepherd.
Case Cookus Performance
Give credit to the Stars. Their recipe to win involved Case Cookus going nuclear, but he was bad and the team still won.
Cookus completed half his 20 passes for 133 yards and an interception but did run for 39 yards and a score on four carries.
This Stars team scrounged for every yard they could, including turning to K.J. Costello and Alexander for a total of three passes. It was an ugly win in a good battle. And now the Stars are tasked with beating the favorite again.
USFL Championship Betting Preview
Here you’ll find the best point spreads and lines for the USFL championship game. All odds are courtesy of FanDuel!
Philadelphia Stars vs. Birmingham Stallions
Sunday, July 03, 2022 – 07:30 PM EDT at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium
Point Spread: Stallions – 4.5 (-110)
Moneyline: Stallions (-195)
Total Over/Under: 45.5 (-105)