Odds taken from BetMGM. Click on the links below to head to the sportsbook and place your bet.
|Team||Point Spread||Points Total||Money Line|
|Houston Gamblers||+5.5 (-115)
|Tampa Bay Bandits||-5.5 (-115)
Though the Bandits will most likely win this game outright, expect the Gamblers to keep it close the way they seem to do and cover this rather generous spread.
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The final USFL Week 8 game is a South Divisional matchup between the one-win Houston Gamblers who have been eliminated from the playoffs and the 3-4 Tampa Bay Bandits who are fighting to earn the second postseason seed in that Division, a must-win late-season game.
The one-win Gamblers come into Week 8 now eliminated from the USFL’s postseason, their loss to the Philly Stars last week, 24-35, was the result of a collapse on both sides of the ball, the offense failing to score in the fourth quarter while the defense allowed 22 fourth-quarter points.
Tampa Bay is coming off their 4th loss of the season, the 3-4 Bandits never getting their offense going against the NJ Generals last week, with QB Jordan Ta’amu tossing three interceptions in that one as the team scrambles to make the playoffs while scoring just 18 points per game.
Here are our best predictions, odds, and picks for Gamblers vs Bandits – good luck, win big!
The 1-6 Houston Gamblers have spent all season coming ‘close but no cigar’ to wins, falling short by just a point in multiple games, and last week was hard to watch as Houston took a 24-13 lead into the fourth quarter and proceeded to let the game turn into a shocking 24-35 loss.
That fail to win again cost Houston its playoff chances, and now they must act as spoilers to kill the Bandit’s chances for postseason play, but the Gamblers struggle to put more points on the board (22.3 per game) than they allow opponents to score (25.3), thus their second-half woes.
The last time these two teams played each other was back in Week 3, and true to form the Gamblers lost that game by just a point, 26-27, so no doubt Houston HC Kevin Sumlin wants revenge for that close loss, but whether his players can act as spoilers is another question.
If the Tampa Bay Bandits expect to make the playoffs, let alone win any postseason games, HC Todd Haley and OC Bob Saunders have to figure out how to limit QB Jordan Ta’amu’s turnovers, right now with 8 on the season, the most picks among his USFL peers so far.
There appears to be an accuracy issue since Ta’amu only completes 57.9 percent of his passes, too low if the Bandits expect to beat playoff teams like the New Orleans Breakers or the New Jersey Generals, though Jordan’s 10 passing TDs are tied for the most this season.
Ta’amu has been the second most productive QB in the league this year, completing 121 passes off 209 attempts for 1,404 yards, and he’ll face a Gamblers defense this week that allows opponents to throw for 227 yards per game, a chance for him to put up big numbers.
For three years (2017-2019), Houston Gamblers outside linebacker Donald Payne suited up in the NFL for the Jacksonville Jaguars, posting 76 total tackles (3 for a loss), a sack, 2 fumble recoveries, a QB hit, and a pass defended in that time, finally waived last year by the 49ers.
Now in the USFL, Payne stands out and plays hungry, the 27-year-old 5’ 11” 217-pound tackling machine now leading the league in takedowns, so far with 85 tackles, 2 sacks, 2 interceptions, a fumble recovery and 5 passes defended in the seven games in which he has played.
Payne will be facing the Bandit’s two lead rushers – RB Juwan Washington (64 carries, 220 yds, 3 TDs) and QB Jordan Ta’amu (42 carries, 222 yds, TD) – and play a key role in spoiling Tampa’s playoff hopes, a player worth watching as he tries to earn his way back into the NFL.
Fans of the 2006 film Invincible no doubt recognize the name Papale, this Bandits WR the son of the infamous Philadelphia Eagles wideout Vince Papale, whose NFL career was the basis of that film, a proud pop, no doubt, who gets to watch his son stand out for the Tampa Bay team.
The younger Vinny is a former Delaware player who was signed to play pro football in the CFL (Montreal Alouettes) until the season was canceled due to Covid and he was released, and then spent time in The Spring League (Conquerors) as well as tryouts with the NFL and XFL.
The 6’ 1” 205 pounds Papale is starting to emerge as a prime target for QB Jordan Ta’amu, last week leading the team with 4 catches off 6 targets for 68 yards in that loss, his longest a 31-yarder, proof that once the ball gets in his hands, he can be as invincible as his old man.
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|Gamblers vs Bandits Information|
|What||Houston Gamblers vs Tampa Bay Bandits|
|Where||Protective Stadium in Birmingham, Alabama|
|When||Sunday, June 5, 2022; 4:00 PM ET|
|How to watch||Peacock|
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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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