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||+13.5 (-115)
|Birmingham Stallions||-13.5 (-115)
The Stallions rank 2nd in points allowed (128) and the Gamblers rank last (182), so take the under here and expect it to be a low scoring affair at least on one side.
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USFL Player Bo Scarbrough (9) as a running back on the Alabama Crimson Tide
The USFL’s Week 9 Saturday night game has all the makings of a blowout in the South Division, with the number one team in the league, the undefeated 8-0 hometown Birmingham Stallions taking on the last place one-win Houston Gamblers who have no playoff future.
Not a good Week 8 for the 1-7 Houston Gamblers as they lost their seventh matchup in a row to the Tampa Bay Bandits after only managing to score a single field goal all game, an odd outcome for a team that averages 20 points each time they play; this week may go no better.
Number one in the USFL power rankings are the undefeated Birmingham Stallions, always the hometown team in this one-city league, about to face arguably their easiest opponent of the season, now if only HC Skip Holtz can figure out how to get his team to produce in the first half.
Last week, the Houston Gamblers were held scoreless in all but the third quarter by the TB Bandits when finally, placekicker Nick Vogel booted a field goal after half time to offset all those goose eggs, but that’s a scary thought for a team that averages twenty points per game.
The one-win Gamblers sit at the bottom of the South Division and have been eliminated from playoff contention, but no doubt they are ready to make up for that poor Week 8 showing with some better offense, even against this tough postseason-bound Stallions defense.
The only game the Gamblers have won this season was in Week 1 against the (now 1-7) Michigan Panthers, so HC Kevin Sumlin must figure out how to kill the losing mentality that has no doubt built up in the Houston locker room, and a good Week 9 showing could do just that.
Stallions HC Skip Holtz no doubt wants to keep his win streak going, that 8-0 record tough to tarnish, especially against a far weaker opponent like the 1-7 Gamblers, but when teams play halfway they seem to get hurt more often or, worse, lose, so that cannot happen in Week 9.
So far, the Stallions have proven to be more of a second half team as they have struggled to get on the scoreboard at the start of their games, but QB J’Mar Smith is money, now ranked third in the USFL and he has thrown for 9 touchdowns with four interceptions in his undefeated season.
The key to these last two games is for HC Holtz to keep his players as healthy as possible, but it’s football so injuries are likely, so it will be interesting to see how he handles his roster if he needs yet another second half push to win the game, watch for who he decides to sit and play.
The Gamblers’ offense is struggling, right now ranked 6th in rushing and last in passing, their QB Kenji Bahar ranked 13th among his USFL peers after throwing more interceptions (2) than touchdown passes (1) this season with a not so impressive 57.4 completion percentage.
Bahar is 6’ 3” and 200 pounds, a Monmouth alum who also got some interest from the Baltimore Ravens as an undrafted free agent who finally made the active roster in Week 16 last year but after he was released he was selected in the 12th round of the USFL draft by the Gamblers.
Now this former Big South Offensive Player of the Year (2019) is under center for Houston, and he faces an uphill battle against a Stallions defense that keeps opponents to just 170 passing yards and 17 points per game, a good chance for Bahar to establish himself for next season.
The Stallions are undefeated for many reasons, one being their tough rush attack that averages 145 yards on the ground per game, this team helped by many playmakers including RB Bo Scarbrough who is the ninth ranked rusher in the league after playing in just four games.
Averaging 4.4 yards per carry, Scarbrough has carried the ball 64 times for 283 yards and a touchdown, this 6’ 1” 235 pound beast of a runner tough to take to the ground, his NFL camp experience (Cowboys, Jaguars, Seahawks, Lions, Raiders) no doubt a help to him.
Scarbrough played at Alabama from 2015 through 2017 where he proved he can also catch the ball just fine, with 21 receptions for 131 yards in those three seasons, a dual threat back that will face a Gamblers defense that is easy on rushers allowing 141.1 ground yards per game.
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|Gamblers vs Stallions Information|
|What||Houston Gamblers vs Birmingham Stallions|
|Where||Protective Stadium in Birmingham, Alabama|
|When||Saturday, June 11, 2022; 6:00 PM ET|
|How to watch||NBC|
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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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