Playoff time has arrived in the USFL, with the four best teams matching up at a new venue. Although the regular season was played in Birmingham, Alabama, the USFL Divisional Playoffs will occur at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton, Ohio. Of course, that is the location of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. In an interesting twist, the New Jersey Generals will face the Philadelphia Stars for the second consecutive week. Both teams concluded the regular season last week. Meanwhile, the Birmingham Stallions will take on the New Orleans Breakers. Both games occur on Saturday, with the championship game scheduled for next Sunday.
USFL Divisional Playoff Betting Odds
All games will be played at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium, Canton, Ohio.
Saturday, June 25, 2022
Philadelphia Stars (6-4) vs. New Jersey Generals (9-1) - 3:00 PM – FOX
The New Jersey Generals opened as a 4.5-point favorite over the Philadelphia Stars with a total of 47. New Jersey is a -205 moneyline favorite, with Philadelphia a +175 moneyline dog.
Last week the New Jersey Generals defeated the Philadelphia Stars 26-23 as 2.5-point favorites, with the game going over the total of 41.5.
The Generals dominated the game with 35:05 time of possession. New Jersey outgained the Stars 410 to 328 in total yards. The big advantage was on the ground, with the Generals posting a 178 to 84-yard advantage.
New Jersey quarterback Luis Perez continues to show well. Last week Perez threw for 14/18, 138 yards, 7.7 yards per attempt, and three touchdowns with a rating of 138.2. De’Andre Johnson was also impressive with 8/10 for 112 yards, 11.2 yards per attempt, and a 113.3 rating. Trey Williams led the Generals in rushing with 11 attempts, 114 yards, and one touchdown. His longest rush was 61 yards. Alonzo Moore led the Generals with seven catches, 84 yards, and two touchdowns. Darrius Shepherd added six receptions for 79 yards. In comparison, KaVontae Turpin caught five passes for 68 yards.
Philadelphia quarterback Case Cookus had a decent day with 19/33 for 244 yards, 7.4 yards per pass with two touchdowns, one interception, and an 88.4 QB rating. His top receiver was Bug Howard. Howard caught five passes for 101 yards. Maurice Alexander added four catches for 57 yards.
As the season progressed, Luis Perez earned the confidence of head coach Mike Riley. He was firmly ensconced as the starter for the last half of the season. Perez completed the regular season with an impressive 145.9 QB rating. He completed 71.7% of his passes, good for 1200 yards and 6.9 yards per attempt, with nine touchdowns and one interception.
New Jersey running back Trey Williams finished second in the USFL with 579 yards rushing, 4.9 yards per rush, and two touchdowns. KaVontae Turpin was the Generals leading receiver with 44 receptions, 540 yards, and four touchdowns. Turpin led the USFL in receiving yards and averaged 12.3 yards per reception.
Overall, New Jersey ranked 2nd in the USFL for pass efficiency and first for rushing offense. The Generals averaged 4.6 yards per rush. New Jersey permitted the fewest sacks in the league. Defensively the Generals ranked 3rd for fewest points allowed, 2nd overall, and 1st against the rush.
New Jersey head coach Mike Riley has led one of the most complete and fundamentally sound teams in the USFL.
Philadelphia quarterback Case Cookus finished with a 130.6 rating, 12 touchdowns, and five interceptions. He completed 62.5 percent of his passes for 6.4 yards per attempt and 1334 yards. Remember, Cookus took over early in the season because of an injury. Head coach Bart Andrus tutored him well.
Matt Colburn was the Stars' top rusher with 519 yards, 5.5 yards per rush, and two touchdowns. But Howard was the Stars' leading receiver with 30 receptions, 371 yards, 12.4 yards per catch, and four touchdowns.
Philadelphia ranked 6th in the UFL for pass efficiency and 5th for rushing offense. Defensively the Stars ranked 6th for the fewest points allowed, last against the pass, and last against the rush.
In the Stars vs. Generals matchup, the Generals have been the vastly more complete team. New Jersey’s defense is another major advantage.
Best Bet: New Jersey Generals
New Orleans Breakers (6-4) at Birmingham Stallions (9-1) – 8:00 PM – NBC
The Birmingham Stallions opened as a 5-point favorite over the New Orleans Breakers with a total of 44.5. Birmingham is a -210 moneyline favorite with a total of 44.5.
In week ten, the Birmingham Stallions defeated the Tampa Bay Bandits 21-18 as 3.5-point favorites, with the game going under the total of 41.5.
The New Orleans Breakers completed the regular season with a 20-3 loss to the Houston Gamblers as 3.5-point favorites, with the game going under the total of 41.5.
Birmingham outgained the Bandits 379 to 285 in total yards. The Stallions had a 33:39 to 26:21 time of possession advantage. Birmingham extended its edge on the ground with 128 to 68 yards. The Stallions were able to overcome four turnovers in their win.
Alex McGough played his first game at quarterback for the Stallions and was 14/25 for 183 yards with 7.3 yards per pass with one touchdown and one interception with a 75.9 rating.
CJ Marable led the Stallions in rushing with 47 yards on eight carries with 5.9 yards per rush and one touchdown. Sage Surratt was the top Stallion receiver with three catches, 60 yards, and 20 yards per catch. Adrian Hardy added three catches and 46 yards. At the same time, CJ Marable caught four passes for 39 yards.
Birmingham’s number one quarterback J’Mar Smith posted a 118.9 QB rating this season. Smith completed 54.8 percent of his passes for 1573 yards, 6.6 yards per pass, ten touchdowns, and six interceptions.
CJ Marable finished the regular season with 401 yards rushing, 3.9 yards per rush, and five touchdowns. Bo Scarbrough added 352 yards rushing, 4.2 yards per attempt, and one TD.
Marlon Williams was the top Birmingham receiver with 32 catches, 474 yards, 14.8 yards per reception, and four TDs. Victor Bolden Jr. was right behind with 43 catches, 415 yards, 9.9 yards per reception, and one TD.
Birmingham ranked 4th in the USFL for pass efficiency and 2nd for rushing offense. Defensively, the Stallions ranked 2nd for fewest points allowed, 1st for total defense, and 2nd against the rush.
Last week the Breakers were obviously peeking ahead to the playoffs. The game itself was a defensive slog, with Houston outgaining New Orleans 168 to 116 in total yards. The Gamblers held an 82 to 44-yard advantage on the ground.
Last week Michigan Panthers castoff quarterback Shea Patterson went most of the way for New Orleans. Patterson was 9/15 for 36 yards, 2.4 yards per attempt, and a 64.6 QB rating. Patterson is considered one of the worst quarterbacks in the USFL and did nothing to change that perception.
Overall this season, the Breakers finished 7th in the USFL for passing offense and 4th for rushing offense. Defensively the Breakers were surprisingly strong. New Orleans finished 1st in the USFL for points allowed and 3rd for total defense. The Breakers were 3rd against the rush and 3rd against the pass.
New Orleans quarterback Zach Smith finished with a 124.4 rating. He completed 66.7% of his passes for 5.6 yards per attempt, with two touchdowns and two interceptions. Kyle Sloter posted a 112.3 rating for the Breakers with 1798 yards, a 57.7% completion rate, 6.2 yards per pass, and nine touchdowns with 11 interceptions. Birmingham head coach Skip Holtz this season developed a tough and fundamentally sound team. New Orleans has been better than expected, but their quarterbacking has not been up to par.
Best Bet: Birmingham Stallions
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