USFL Week 1 Betting Picks - USFL Odds

USFL Week 1 Betting Picks

This week, the United States Football League returns to kick off its 2023 season on Saturday, April 15th. And Saturday serves as a fireworks display of outstanding matchups to start the party perfectly. Saturday is a showcase doubleheader on FOX as the Memphis Showboats return in their home opener at Simmons Bank Liberty Stadium against the Philadelphia Stars in the opener. And then the nightcap is a primetime matchup the 2022 USFL champion Birmingham Stallions take on the New Jersey Generals from Protective Stadium in Birmingham, Alabama.

On Sunday afternoon, the Houston Gamblers will host the Michigan Panthers in Memphis at noon. Television coverage is on NBC and Peacock. Last year the Gamblers and Panthers were two of the most disappointing teams in the USFL. And then, at 6:30 p.m. ET, the New Orleans Breakers will host the Pittsburgh Maulers. New Orleans was a wild card qualifier in 2022, while Pittsburgh was the worst team in the USFL. FS1 will televise the action from Birmingham.

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Saturday, April 15

Philadelphia Stars -2.5, 39 at Memphis Showboats

Kickoff time from Simmons Bank Liberty Stadium in Memphis, TN, is 4:30 p.m. ET with television coverage on FOX.

Philadelphia QB Case Cookus returns after posting 1,334 yards passing with 12 TDs and 5 INTs in ‘22. He’ll be challenged for the QB1 role by Kevin Thomson and professional journeyman Vad Lee. ‘22 leading rusher Matt Colburn II returns after posting 457 yards and 8 TDs last season.

QB Jordan Ta’amu led the 2022 USFL season in passing yardage and touchdowns but has since moved on. Memphis grad and local fan favorite Brady White will compete for QB1 against former Spring League Mega Bowl champ Ryan Willis of Virginia Tech.

Bookmaker Best Bet: Memphis Showboats

New Jersey Generals at Birmingham Stallions -5, 40

Kickoff time at Protective Stadium in Birmingham, AL, is at 7:30 p.m. ET with television coverage on FOX.

The Birmingham Stallions enter the 2023 USFL season as the odds-on favorite to repeat as champions. The flagship franchise of the Birmingham-based USFL, the Stallions boast a balanced roster led by a proven leader, Skip Holtz.

The Stallions will return starting QB J’mar Smith and presumptive QB2 Alex McGough. Smith came in when McGough got injured in Week 1 of the ‘22 season and held onto the starter’s job the rest of the way. McGough still wants to start, and he may be trade bait. NFL alum Bo Scarborough returns at RB, along with versatile third-down back C.J. Marable.

It’s difficult to see anyone challenging the Stallions in the south division in 2023 unless the New Orleans Breakers can find a way to upgrade their offensive production immediately.

For New Jersey, Darius Victor and Trey Williams (2022’s best RB duo by a margin) are scheduled to return to the backfield in 2023. De’Andre Johnson from Texas Southern, Kyle LKauletta from Richmond, and Dakota Prukpo from Oregon will compete at QB.

The Generals return a dominant running game on O, a strong overall D, and an excellent kicking teams.

Bookmaker Best Bet: New Jersey Generals

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Sunday, April 16

Michigan Panthers at Houston Gamblers -1, 38.5

Kickoff time at Simmons Bank Liberty Stadium in Memphis, TN, is at noon ET with television coverage on NBC and Peacock.

New Panthers Head Coach Mike Nolan, 63, was HC of the San Francisco 49ers from 2005-2008 and has held numerous coaching positions for 11 NFL franchises, mostly on defense. He’ll replace fellow NFL alumni Jeff Fisher.

QB Josh Love returns for another kick at the can after posting 30/58 for 2 TDs and 2 INTs in limited ‘22 action. He’ll have to compete with the #8 overall draft pick, QB Tanner Morgan of Minnesota, for the QB1 job. Last year’s team-leading rusher, RB Reggie Corbin, returns in the backfield.

The Houston Gamblers enter 2023 as a rebuilding dark horse. First-year Gamblers Head Coach Curtis Johnson is focused on establishing a new vibe for last season’s 3-7 squad.

Bookmaker Best Bet: Michigan Panthers

Pittsburgh Maulers at New Orleans Breakers -3.5, 37.5

Kickoff time at Protective Stadium in Birmingham, AL, is at 6:30 p.m. ET with television coverage on FS1.

The Breakers' passing game was pretty good last year, but 2022 USFL Draft first-rounder Kyle Sloter has departed for the XFL, and former Michigan Wolverines and Panthers QB Shea Patterson is new to town. Whoever gets the nod will inherit a capable O-line, as the Breakers allowed the second-fewest sacks in the league last season. That said, run blocking must get more assertive to improve upon the Breakers’ 3.8 yards per rush average of ‘23.

Uber productive Lindsay Scott, Jr., QB, was selected by the Maulers #2 overall, but he doesn’t yet appear on the team’s official roster, indicating Scott may first take his chance in the NFL. That leaves wandering journeyman Chase Fourcade, formerly of Nicholls State, to compete with the trio of ‘21 NYJ fourth-rounder James Morgan, Connor Sampson, and former CFL QB Troy Williams.

Bookmaker Best Bet: Pittsburgh Maulers

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