The United States Football League playoffs are set to get underway on Saturday in Canton, Ohio. On the docket are two stellar matchups and we examine both in this USFL Semifinal Preview & Odds
First up is the North Division showdown between the Philadelphia Stars and New Jersey Generals. Then, the first round of the USFL playoffs wraps up with the South Division matchup between the Birmingham Stallions and New Orleans Breakers.
Below, we look at the USFL futures market as it stands ahead of the semifinal round; we preview both USFL semifinals and serve up choice betting tips and predictions.
USFL Futures Odds
Going into the playoffs, the Birmingham Stallions (9-1) and New Jersey Generals (9-1) are tipped as the top two bets to win the inaugural championships. Both the Stallions and Generals dominated their respective divisions during the 2022 USFL season, so it’s fitting that they are the two best bets right now.
- Birmingham Stallions +150
- New Jersey Generals +170
- New Orleans Breakers +400
- Philadelphia Stars +450
Philadelphia Stars vs New Jersey Generals
The Philadelphia Stars and New Jersey Generals met in Week 10 of the regular season, providing a timely USFL Semifinal Preview & Odds that bettors can hang their hats on.
The Generals clinched the 26-23 victory over the Stars, clinching their ninth straight win of the season and sweeping the series with the Stars 2-0. In Week 3, the Generals defeated the Stars 24-16.
Last week’s contest had no bearing on either team’s prospects. Both had already secured their places in Canton ahead of the final game of the season. The Generals had clinched the North Division while the Stars took second place.
Nevertheless, the Generals took nothing for granted, throwing down the gauntlet to finish the season with a near-perfect 9-1 record.
Of all the teams going into the playoffs, one could argue they’re in the best position behind the strongest run of form. Their nine-game win streak tops the Stallions’ eight-game win streak to start the season.
The Stars went into their final game riding a four-game winning streak. Although they failed to finish the season on a high with a fifth straight win, they accounted well. They were competitive and fought hard. When all was said and done, they lost merely by three-points.
Whether the Stars can deliver the upset in the playoffs remains to be seen. Certainly, it will take some doing as evinced by the USFL odds. The North Division champions are the more talented and balanced team and they’re tipped as the -210 favorites to win.
Where the Stars could strike an audible chord is the point spread. They’ve shown that they can keep it close with the Generals.
New Orleans Breakers vs Birmingham Stallions
The Birmingham Stallions were the best team in the USFL until they weren’t. A surprising defeat to the hapless Houston Gamblers in Week 8 denied Birmingham the perfect 10-0 record in the inaugural USFL season.
Despite the disappointing setback, the Stallions bounced back in a big way in the final week with a 21-18 win over the Tampa Bay Bandits.
According to preseason USFL betting markets, the Breakers were one of the favorites to win the title. But they didn’t live up to those lofty expectations. Instead, they finished behind a modest 6-4 record to clinch second place behind Birmingham in the South Division
Going into their final week, the Breakers were assured of their place in the playoffs. And in all likelihood, that knowledge impacted their rather lackluster showing in a 20-3 defeat to the Gamblers.
If the Breakers held back in order to save energy for this weekend’s battle with the Stallions, one can’t fault the thinking behind the strategy.
But this strategy will only be worth it if it works. There’s an argument to be had that momentum is a better catalyst for the upset than rest.
The Stallions and Breakers last crossed paths in Week 8, with Birmingham eking out the 10-9 win. Their clash was recent enough to act as a potential USFL semifinal preview that would point to another close affair.