Odds taken from DraftKings
|Team||Point Spread||Points Total||Money Line|
|Michigan Panthers||+1 (-105)
|New Jersey Generals||-1 (-105)
Until these two offenses start to get warmed up, take them under here.
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USFL Player Shalom Luani as a strong safety on the New Jersey Generals
The new and improved USFL had an excellent opening weekend filled with competitive spring football, with weather delays, empty bleachers, and shaky special teams the only real hiccups, all teams delivering impressive debut performances given they only had three weeks to prepare.
This USFL Week 2 opener is a North Division clash between the Michigan Panthers and New Jersey Generals, two teams that came up short in Week 1 and who are no doubt ready to earn a notch in the W column, with Jeff Fisher and Mike Riley two head coaches used to winning.
The Panthers, who fumbled five times last week, will need to get better control over the ball while the Generals, who missed two makeable field goals, will need to improve its special team play, and here we go over the best predictions, odds, and picks to help you make wiser wagers.
Good luck – win big!
It goes without saying you can’t drop the football multiple times and expect to win, but that is what the Michigan Panthers did in Week 1 in their loss to the Houston Gamblers, with five Panther fumbles during the game leading to two Gamblers touchdowns, too much to overcome.
Both QB’s were guilty of poor ball management, Shea Patterson and Paxton Lynch each with a fumble, though Patterson’s ball drop at the 13-yard line as they looked ready to score resulted in an 87-yard scoop and score by Gamblers Reggie Northrup and then a 2-point conversion.
Michigan Head coach Jeff Fisher is far too experienced to let sloppy ball handling become a habit, so expect him to clean that part of their offense up this week as the team gradually figures out their offensive game plan in just their fourth week together as a football unit.
What a first half New Jersey General quarterback Luis Perez had, completing 12-of-16 passes for 142 yards and two touchdowns, but then something happened in the second half because his production greatly diminished down to attempting just three passes for the rest of the game.
The first touchdown that Perez threw to standout WR Randy Satterfield was also the very first touchdown pass of the USFL’s inaugural season (it will have a home in the NFL HOF), his connection with Satterfield obvious from the get-go after they hooked up for a 49-yard beauty.
QB Perez and the Generals are lucky to also have QB De’Andre Johnson under center since he gives New Jersey a solid threat to run with the ball, his legs leading the team in Week 1 rushing production with 12 carries for 98 yards and a touchdown while averaging 8.2 yards per carry.
Like a lot of USFL teams, the Michigan Panthers are taking advantage of having two capable quarterbacks on their roster – Shea Patterson and Paxton Lynch – and they are not afraid to use both throughout the game, a key benefit when the active roster only contains 38 players.
In Week 1, Patterson started the game and posted a QBR of 145.7 after completing 17 of 25 passes (68%) for 192 yards and a touchdown, production that was marred by his costly first quarter non-contact trip and fumble that resulted in a scoop and score to start the game.
However, when the 6’ 7” 245 pound QB Paxton Lynch entered into the game in the second quarter, he struggled to get comfortable under center, completing just 2-of-5 for a single yard of passing production including an interception, and his Week 1 QBR of 1.7 can only be improved.
Leading the Generals in both total tackles (8) and interceptions (1) is safety Shalom Luani, a talented player whose engine seems to run full speed for all sixty minutes, also with two passes defended on the day making him a pain in any opposing quarterback’s game plan.
NFL fans may remember Luani from his brief stints with the Oakland Raiders (2017), the Seattle Seahawks (2018), the L.A. Chargers (2019), and the Houston Texans (2019-20), the 6’ 0” 201 pound exciting Washington State alum ready to prove it was a huge mistake to ever waive him.
Now with the Generals, the 27-year-old Luani has emerged as a defensive team leader who can bring some of his professional camp experience to the younger players in this new league, a bright spot worth watching for in this Week 2 Friday night matchup against the Panthers.
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|Panthers vs Generals Information|
|What||Michigan Panthers vs New Jersey Generals|
|Where||Protective Stadium in Birmingham, Alabama|
|When||Friday, April 22, 2022; 8:00 PM ET|
|How to watch||USA|
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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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