The USFL is gaining traction with their product each week so far. The first week was rough for most teams, but there was more consistency and identity shown in Week 2. This was expected, and now the entertainment factor is becoming real.
We’ll look ahead to Week 3 of the USFL’s 10-week season and provide you with updates for each team as well as top picks and predictions. Every week will be a learning experience for every coaching staff and roster, meaning there’s a real opportunity for bettors to take advantage of the lack of knowledge. We can’t overreact to what happened in the first two weeks but must balance what we think with what we know.
At OddsTrader, we’ve chosen two games to highlight for our Week 3 preview and best bets. Hopefully, the top sportsbooks will continue to offer enticing spreads and totals as they did in Week 2. Our weekly picks piece last week had us up several units already.
Tampa Bay Bandits (1-1) vs. Houston Gamblers (1-1)
Saturday, April 30, 2022 – 04:00 PM EDT at Protective Stadium
Shake it Off
Both Tampa Bay and Houston are coming off tough losses that each must shake off quickly before this matchup. Tampa was housed by New Orleans, showing a terrible effort on both sides of the ball. Quarterback Jordan Ta’amu was completely shut down by New Orleans last week, and now this passing attack has become one of the least efficient in the league.
There’s time to turn things around against a mediocre Houston offense. Clayton Thorson has been worse than Ta’amu, which was predictable due to his strange fit in this passing game.
The positive is that M.J. Thompson has been an excellent rusher, leading the league in yards. Can head coach Kevin Sumlin give Thorson easier looks off play-action to Thompson?
There’s not a lot of defensive talent between the teams. Houston corner Will Likely is the lone standout, with two interceptions and a pick-six on his resume. This is a tough game to judge based on all these factors. I’ll take the Bandits in a bounce-back game. They may have the lower floor but also the higher ceiling.
USFL Pick: Bandits -1 (-110) at DraftKings
Birmingham Stallions (2-0) vs. New Orleans Breakers (2-0)
Saturday, April 30, 2022 – 08:00 PM EDT at Protective Stadium
The two undefeated teams square off in a heavyweight bout. New Orleans, the prohibitive favorite in the early season, looks almost unstoppable with Larry Fedora’s offense boasting high efficiency and big plays. Quarterback Kyle Sloter has been a great point man with short passes, and rushers Jordan Ellis and T.J. Logan have combined for huge games as well.
The speed on the Breakers’ offense can be matched by the hometown Stallions. Birmingham has their own duo of backs worth watching in C.J. Marable and Tony Brooks-James. They’re right behind Ellis and Logan in production.
Dual-threat passer J’Mar Smith has been a revelation for the offense though. He’s averaging the highest yards per completion in the league and has added 44 rushing yards. His ability to create big plays out of nothing gives Birmingham an x-factor that even New Orleans lacks.
That being said, I think the Breakers are simply the best team right now. That may change in the next two months as teams continue to evolve.
USFL Pick: Breakers -4 (-105) at DraftKings