United States Football League
USFL Playoffs odds: Best bets for semifinals
United States Football League

USFL Playoffs odds: Best bets for semifinals

Updated Jun. 21, 2022 10:27 a.m. ET

By Geoff Schwartz
FOX Sports NFL Analyst

The most exciting time of year for any sport is always the playoffs. And after 10 thrilling weeks of football, we've reached that point in the USFL season as four teams have proven they've got the stuff worthy to battle it out in the postseason. 

After playing the entire regular season in Birmingham, Ala., the league is taking its show on the road and all playoff games will be played at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton, Ohio — right next to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. 



And speaking of legendary, which teams and players will become USFL legends during this inaugural postseason? Well, I can't predict that, but I can give you my best wagers for the semifinals.

I've done the research for you, so check out my best bets for this first week of the USFL playoffs, with all odds via FOX Bet.

Philadelphia Stars (6-4) vs. New Jersey Generals (9-1), 3 p.m. ET Saturday, FOX

Let’s run it back.

I gave y’all the over in this matchup just last weekend, and it hit with ease. The Generals beat the Stars 26-23 to finish the season hitting the over in seven of their 10 games. You should also know that this New Jersey team has scored the third-most points in the league and entered last weekend ranked first in offensive efficiency. Not shabby at all. 

Because the Generals are a rushing machine, they always leave this former offensive lineman with a smile on his face after watching their games. New Jersey sits at 160.6 yards per game with a three-headed rushing approach. Running backs Trey Williams and Darius Victor have nearly identical rushing yards this season, with Williams at 579 and Victor at 577, second and third in the league. Also, dual-threat quarterback De’Andre Johnson has added 310 yards this season. 

Luis Perez, the Generals' starting quarterback, leads the league in completion percentage (minimum 100 attempts) at 71.7 and has a QBR of 145.9. It should come as no surprise that they are the best team at converting third and fourth downs and have turned the ball over only eight times in 10 games. 

When it comes to the matchup, this NJ offense is facing a poor Philadelphia defense. The Stars have allowed the most points in the league as opponents have scored at least 24 points in seven of their last 10 games. The Stars also allow 151.2 rushing yards per game, which ranks last in the league. This will not be ideal against this potent Generals rushing attack. Expect NJ to put up some points in this matchup.

Now, let's look at Philly.

Philadelphia's defense might stink, but its offense has scored the most points in the league with the second-ranked offense. This team has a balanced offensive attack, averaging 184 passing yards and 103 rushing yards per game. Quarterback Case Cookus completes 62.5 percent of his pass attempts at a 6.4 yards per attempt clip. 

The Stars' offense is facing an opponent in the Generals that will allow points in bunches, as New Jersey's defense ranks seventh in expected points added. The Generals only have 10 sacks this season, and just like last weekend, the Stars will have time for Cookus to cook. Also, it's worth noting that the over has hit in seven of the Stars' 10 games as well.

I'm expecting a lot of points, so I love the over here.

PICK: Over 41.5 points scored by both teams combined

New Orleans Breakers (6-4) vs. Birmingham Stallions (9-1), 8 p.m. ET Saturday, NBC

The Stallions started the season hot, winning and covering their first six games. While the team's winning ways have continued, the covering has not. The Stallions finished 9-1 straight up but failed to cover the last four weekends, winning by one, two and three points the last three weekends.

While the Stallions have scored the second-most points in the league, they’ve only scored 16 points per game over their last three, including just 10 to these Breakers just three weeks ago. Birmingham has averaged 324.3 yards per game but only reached that mark once in the last month. Now, the team faces the best defense in the league. 

It is very possible that the Stallions mentally shut it down after clinching their playoff spot after Week 7, or maybe they regressed to the middle. Birmingham's numbers and its play on the field suggest the latter is most likely.

On the other side, the Breakers entered last weekend with the most efficient defense in the USFL. They rank first in defensive scoring, only allowing 14.6 points per game. New Orleans allows slightly more rushing yards than passing yards, which might aid the Stallions' excellent rushing attack, but that is all the offense Birmingham will get. The Stallions complete only 51% of their pass attempts and that is not good enough to move the ball consistently against this Breakers' passing defense.

These two teams will be pretty evenly matched. New Orleans' offense against Birmingham's defense doesn’t offer much of an advantage. The Breakers' offense ranks fourth in expected points added while the Stallions' defense is second. The Breakers average just a tick over 300 yards per game and have scored 19.4 points per matchup. But the Stallions' defense allows 16.1 points per game. 

In a game this tight, always take the points. This is why I like the Breakers to cover the field goal plus the hook. Look for their defense to carry the workload.

I believe the under is also worth a sprinkle with both defenses being elite. 

PICK: Breakers (+3.5 at FOX Bet) to lose by fewer than 3.5 points (or win outright)
PICK: Under 42.5 points scored by both teams combined

Geoff Schwartz played eight seasons in the NFL for five different teams. He started at right tackle for the University of Oregon for three seasons and was a second-team All-Pac-12 selection his senior year. He is an NFL analyst for FOX Sports. Follow him on Twitter @GeoffSchwartz.

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