USFL: Tampa Bay Bandits vs Pittsburgh Maulers Week 1 Predictions, Odds, Picks

  • Game-3 of the triple-header is the #1 Tampa Bay Bandits vs the #2 Pittsburgh Maulers
  • The Bandits are coached by the NFL-seasoned Todd Haley, the former KC Chiefs HC
  • Maulers head coach Kirby Wilson has won two Super Bowls with Bucs and Steelers

Bandits vs Maulers Odds

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Team Point Spread Points Total Money Line
Tampa Bay Bandits -3.5 (-110)
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O45.5 (-110)
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-149
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Pittsburgh Maulers +3.5 (-110)
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U45.5 (-110)
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+115
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Bandits vs Maulers Pick

Maulers (+3.5)

Since Pittsburgh HC Kirby Wilson has been to the Super Bowl mountaintop before, expect him to have his Maulers ready to cover.

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Bandits vs Maulers

USFL Player Kyle Lauletta as a quarterback on the New York Giants

Capping off the USFL’s Week 1 Sunday triple-header is a powerhouse showdown between the number one ranked Tampa Bay Bandits and the number two Pittsburgh Maulers, a pair of newly formed pro football franchises that will headline the revamped league’s first week of games.

The Bandits are coached by the NFL-seasoned Todd Haley who has spent time with eight different NFL franchises since 1995, while the Maulers are led by HC Kirby Wilson, a Super Bowl-winning RB coach with 23 seasons of experience plus years of coaching in college.

Expect these hungry young spring football players to bring everything they have as these two 38-man active rosters compete for their first win of the season, with winning players earning an extra $850 for the W, a great game to bet on so here are our predictions, odds, and picks.

Good luck – win big!

Tampa Bay Bandits vs Pittsburgh Maulers Predictions

Can Bandits HC Todd Haley’s NFL Experience Translate to the USFL?

Fans of the NFL know Todd Haley from his many different roles on various teams, his run as the Kansas City Chiefs head coach for two years and as the offensive coordinator for the Pittsburgh Steelers his biggest claims to fame in that popular pro league, as a head coach he is 19-26.

Having coached at that high a level and getting to work with the most talented players in the sport has given Haley a big picture look at how a championship team is (or is not) made, a vision that will no doubt help this new roster of USFL players become the best unit they can be.

This inaugural season happened quickly – the draft was in February – so the Bandits and the other seven USFL teams have not had a chance to work together let alone game plan against their first foe, so a HC with Haley’s NFL experience should work in Tampa Bay’s favor early on.

Can Maulers 2x Super Bowl Champion HC Kirby Wilson Win in the USFL?

One of the most difficult team feats to achieve is winning a Super Bowl Championship in the NFL, and the Pittsburgh Maulers HC Kirby Wilson has done that twice as a coach, once with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2002 and the other time with the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2008.

It’s that type of big-game experience that Wilson brings to the Maulers, which is key in a league built around coaches and players with little or no experience at that high a pro level, also aided by OC John Tomlinson and DC Jarren Horton as well as Marc Hull who coaches special teams.

In the early eighties, Wilson played as a defensive back and kick returner for two seasons with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and Toronto Argonauts in the Canadian Football league, so he will bring a defensive mindset to his game planning, a possible advantage in such a young league.

Bandits Key Player: (QB) Jordan Ta’amu

In the first round of February’s USFL Draft, the Tampa Bay Bandits selected quarterback Jordan Ta’amu, a 24-year old graduate of Ole Miss who went undrafted in the NFL but who spent time in plenty of pro camps including starring under center in the XFL for the St. Louis BattleHawks.

Ta’amu was born in Pearl City, Hawaii and now stands at 6’ 3” and 214 pounds, the perfect size to see over a pro offensive line, his thirty TDs at Ole Miss more proof that he can get the ball to his open receivers, something he did almost 65 percent of the time over his two-season there.

Another skill Ta’amu has is his quickness that was on full display his two seasons at Ole Miss when he carried the ball 173 times for 507 yards and 10 touchdowns, a dual-threat that will come in handy given that these USFL active rosters are limited to just thirty-eight players.

Maulers Key Player: (QB) Kyle Lauletta

Under center for the Pittsburgh Maulers this inaugural season is first round pick Kyle Lauletta, the 27-year old quarterback from Exton, Pennsylvania whose 6’ 3” 222-pound frame and accurate throwing arm have kept five different NFL teams interested in what he has to offer.

So far his only NFL real game experience was with the New York Giants in 2018 when he played in two games but only threw five attempts with zero completions although he did have one interception in that short time, a Richmond alum who hopes to shine in the USFL now.

In the Maulers’ wide receivers room are two former San Jose State stars, Bailey Gaither and Tre Walker, plus Temple’s Branden Mack, Fresno State’s DelVon Hardaway, and Miami’s Jeffrey Thomas all hungry young ballplayers ready to make Lauletta a star in this new league.

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How to Watch Bandits vs Maulers

Bandits vs Maulers Information
What Tampa Bay Bandits vs Pittsburgh Maulers
Where Protective Stadium in Birmingham, Alabama
When Sunday, April 17, 2022; 8:00 PM ET
How to watch FS1

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Mike Lukas

Expert on NFL

Mike Lukas is a retired standup comedian turned freelance writer now living in Dallas, Texas, originally from Cleveland, Ohio. His love for the game of football and all things Cleveland Browns turned Mike into a pro blogger years ago. Now Mike enjoys writing about all thirty-two NFL teams, hoping to help football gamblers gain a slight edge in their pursuit of the perfect wager. Email: [email protected]