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|Team||Point Spread||Points Total||Money Line|
|New Orleans Breakers||+3 (-115)
|Birmingham Stallions||-3 (-115)
At some point the Stallions have to lose a game (right?), so why not to the powerful Breakers who should at least be able to cover the spread.
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The top two teams of the USFL’s South Division battle in Week 8, the 5-2 New Orleans Breakers and the 7-0 Birmingham Stallions both likely heading to the postseason, especially if the Breakers can figure out how shut down the Stallions in the second half when they surge.
The Breakers are coming off a Week 7 victory, the result of winning the USFL’s first overtime of the season, and spring football fans got to see a shootout between the two teams that New Orleans starting QB Kyle Sloter dominated despite having been replaced earlier in the game.
Chalk another win up for the Stallions as they continue their unbeaten season, last week the 7-0 hometown favorites beat the Pittsburgh Maulers who seemed hellbent on losing, 26-16, this Birmingham squad proving to be a second-half team and HC Skip Holtz might want to fix that.
Here are our best predictions, odds, and picks for Breakers vs Stallions – good luck, win big!
When you look at where the 7-0 Birmingham Stallions rank on pass (5th) and run (3rd) production, it’s a wonder how they remain undefeated, but regardless the threat is real to the 5-2 New Orleans Breakers who could use another win to solidify their postseason appearance.
When Breakers DC Jonathan Tenuta game plans for this one, he will not doubt be working on a way to stop the Stallions on the ground where they produce respectable yardage, and so far this season New Orleans run defense has kept opponents to 116.4 yards on the ground per game.
Two of the top four tacklers in the USFL play for the Breakers defense, with LB Jerod Fernandez posting the second-most total tackles in the league (68) plus a forced fumble and LB Vontae Diggs, who has 56 total tackles and an interception, a pass defended, and a sack.
The undefeated Birmingham Stallions have apparently discovered the secret to their success since they keep lather-rinse-repeat-ing their recipe for victory, which is to play poorly in the first half enough to keep the score close or even be behind, then win the second half and the game.
Watching the Stallions muster those second-half surges is exciting football, but whether it is a sustainable recipe for ongoing success in Birmingham remains to be seen, especially in the upcoming postseason when teams are better, the stakes are higher, and the loser goes home.
Birmingham’s offense puts 27 points per game on the scoreboard while its defense keeps opponents to just 17 points per game (2nd least), so if all goes normal for the Stallions expect them to win, but a desperate Breakers D might have some 2nd half tricks to make this one fun.
The Breakers HC Larry Fedora did something interesting in Week 7 that a lot of other USFL coaches are also doing, which is to use his other QB during the game by giving starter Kyle Sloter a rest and allowing Zach Smith to play, the backup going 5/8 for 46 yards and a TD.
That move seemed to put a fire under Sloter’s already hot production, the QB who leads the league in completions (138) and passing yards (1,500) but not in passing touchdowns (9, 3rd most), a consistent starter who finished that fifth win going 15/24 for 182 yards and two TDs.
What Smith did offer the offense was the option to run with the ball, which he did twice for 18 yards or 9 yards per carry, a weapon Breakers OC Noel Mazzone and HC Fedora will no doubt keep in their back pocket as they try to do what no other team has done and beat the Stallions.
At the start of spring football, the overriding assumption was that any player who could consistently kick a football through the uprights was already playing in the NFL, so as a result USFL special teams and placekicking have not exactly been stellar so far this season.
There are always exceptions, and the best one of those is Stallions kicker Brandon Aubrey who leads the league in kicking points scored (60), a respectable claim when you consider the next best placekicker on the list is Houston Gamblers Nick Vogel who has scored fourteen less (46).
A big leg like Aubrey’s is an excellent weapon to have in a team’s holster, so far having made 14/16 field goals (his longest a 49-yarder) and 18/20 point-after attempts, a booter HC Holtz can count on, especially in the second half when his team is typically coming back from behind.
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|Breakers vs Stallions Information|
|What||New Orleans Breakers vs Birmingham Stallions|
|Where||Protective Stadium in Birmingham, Alabama|
|When||Saturday, June 4, 2022; 3:00 PM ET|
|How to watch||FOX|
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]More info on Mike Lukas
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