After seeing two months of the 2022 USFL season, we know by now which teams are in the run for the title in the inaugural season of the new league. Each week has brought new storylines and drama to dissect. There are now just two weeks remaining in the regular season as Week 9 approaches.
This week had a little bit of everything. The undefeated Birmingham Stallions pulled out their eighth win of the season with their last-second game-winning field goal. The New Jersey Generals stayed on their heels with their dominant win over Pittsburgh.
OddsTrader’s full coverage of the USFL continues as we’re recapping the results from Week 8 and previewing the point spreads and lines of Week 9. Everything you need to know about betting on the United States Football League is right here.
Let’s dive into what happened last week first.
USFL Week 8 Results
Houston Gamblers 3 – Tampa Bay Bandits 13
Instead of responding to a quarterback change with a roaring effort, the Houston Gamblers have simply hit snake eyes in the last two weeks. Their three-point output against Tampa Bay was not only thanks to a great performance by the Bandits but also an embarrassing lack of spark by the Gamblers.
New starting quarterback Kenji Bahar was all over the palace with his accuracy and the Bandits were able to rattle him with ease.
All of the pressure shouldn’t have to be on Bahar, who also led the Gamblers in rushing as well as passing. But it was, as the Bandits dared Bahar to hit tight passing windows and not rely on tailback Devwah Whaley. Overall it was a blend of excellent strategy and execution by the better team.
Tampa Bay wasn’t able to produce anything outside of the second quarter. Their offense slogged as much as Houston’s did for the better part of the game. Houston has shown some solid defensive chops but the Bandits must be concerned about their inability to break their pattern of sputtering performances.
Pittsburgh Maulers 18 – New Jersey Generals 29
There’s a real chance that New Jersey is the best overall team in the USFL despite losing to Birmingham previously. Their 16-point second-quarter was the difference in this one, and the Generals barely covered the 10.5-point spread. It’s impressive that New Jersey can cover even when they don’t play especially well.
Pittsburgh is a bad team but their offense has shown the ability to create chunk plays with Roland Rivers at quarterback. Rivers is bad but he has found receivers downfield enough to keep Pittsburgh from being blown out. They don’t have the playmaking or blocking to consistently sustain drives.
The most notable play of the game was the insane 61-yard field goal that Ramiz Ahmed hit for the Maulers. Don’t be surprised if he earns NFL tryouts after that.
Meanwhile, the Generals just keep trucking with an efficient offense. Luis Perez connected on 18-of-24 passes for 220 easy yards and a score. The running game was as impressive with 35 carries for 159 yards and three scores.
It doesn’t get easier than this win for New Jersey.
New Orleans Breakers 9 – Birmingham Stallions 10
The game of the week was an easy one. Birmingham looked lost in this battle until the fourth. They had gone two full quarters without scoring before J’Mar Smith willed what he could for the offense. The Stallions’ star has not played like he is healthy lately, and this became a defensive slugfest as a result.
This was a heartbreaking loss for the Breakers, who are a quality dark horse in the USFL. They limited Smith to a 51.7 percent completion rate and Bo Scarbrough to just 54 yards on 18 carries. Take out his 18-yard scamper and he was completely ineffective. But it didn’t matter as Kyle Sloter threw three interceptions.
We talked about it last week and how Sloter was prone to these performances. Three picks will end any chance of overtaking one of the top two teams in the USFL come playoff time. The Breakers may want to start giving Shea Patterson snaps since Patterson was more efficient even on a bad Michigan team.
Michigan Panthers 24 – Philadelphia Stars 46
The lone beatdown of the week almost was an offensive show as the score sat at 21-18 in favor of the Stars at halftime. Then the second half unveiled a scary version of this Stars team. Case Cookus morphed into a totally different player as he tossed four scores and completed 20-of-26 passes.
Even better, he led the game with 118 rushing yards. His 79-yard touchdown scamper was jaw-dropping. Cookus doesn’t need to be this good to be effective in the playoffs but this was the most dominant level of play throughout this season.
Michigan’s offense was better with Paxton Lynch than Shea Patterson but two interceptions buried any chance they entered the game with. They’re simply begging for mercy at this point of the season.
USFL Week 9 Betting Preview
Here you’ll find the best point spreads and totals for Week 9 of the USFL. All odds are courtesy of Caesars Sportsbook!
Michigan Panthers vs. New Jersey Generals
Saturday, June 11, 2022 – 01:00 PM EDT at Protective Stadium
- Point Spread: Generals -7.5 (-110)
- Moneyline: Generals -350
- Total Over/Under: 47 (-110)
Houston Gamblers vs. Birmingham Stallions
Saturday, June 11, 2022 – 06:00 PM EDT at Protective Stadium
- Point Spread: Stallions -13.5 (-110)
- Moneyline: Stallions -650
- Total Over/Under: 43.5 -110
Tampa Bay Bandits vs. New Orleans Breakers
Sunday, June 12, 2022 – 04:00 PM EDT at Protective Stadium
- Point Spread: Breakers -3 (-110)
- Moneyline: Breakers -155
- Total Over/Under: 44.5 (-110)
Pittsburgh Maulers vs. Philadelphia Stars
Sunday, June 12, 2022 – 07:30 PM EDT at Protective Stadium
- Point Spread: Stars -8.5 (-110)
- Moneyline: Stars -380
- Total Over/Under: 47 (-110)