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Odds taken from DraftKings
|New Orleans Breakers
New Orleans Breakers (-105)
With their shutdown defense and evolving pass attack, expect them to cover the spread here.
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This USFL Week 3 South Divisional Saturday night matchup features the league’s only two undefeated teams as the 2-0 hometown Birmingham Stallions take on the 2-0 New Orleans Breakers, so far, the two highest-scoring franchises after two weeks of spring football.
Given that in this inaugural season all USFL games are being played in Protective Stadium in Birmingham, the Stallions truly have a weekly homefield advantage and HC Skip Holz has his offense firing on all cylinders, though his defense has allowed the most points scored (52).
The Breakers defense kept its opponents to just 3 points in Week 2 and only 17 points in Week 1, the lowest total points (20) of all eight defenses, so expect New Orleans HC Larry Fedora to have his DC Jonathan Tenuta game plan something special for the hometown Stallions.
To save money, the USFL has decided to play all of the games in its inaugural season in Birmingham, Alabama, so therefore the Stallions are gifted ten regular season home games even when they are listed as the visitors, a relatively huge advantage, it turns out.
For example, in Week 1 the Stallions versus the New Jersey Generals game drew about 17,500 fans compared to a virtually empty stadium for all the other opening games, and Week 2 was equally unbalanced, with the Stallions and Gamblers drawing the weekend’s best crowd by far.
The league may be producing a TV product but having fans in attendance makes for a better visual and there is no doubt that these professional football players enjoy playing for live fans instead of empty rows of bleachers, so expect that to help the Stallions against these Breakers.
With all the NFL camp experience Breakers QB Kyle Sloter has had (Broncos, Vikings, Cardinals, Lions, Bears, Raiders, and the Vikings again), it is no wonder that many USFL insiders were expecting him to play big, but Sloter’s Week 1 debut left a few doubts.
In that first game, Sloter completed 17/27 passes for 150 yards and threw an interception, his defense keeping the team in the game until the end, but in Week 2 Sloter showed up and completed 25/39 passes for 266 yards and 2 TDs and also rushed once for a touchdown.
After keeping opponents to the league’s lowest point total in two weeks (20), it seems obvious the Breakers have one of the best defenses in the league but add in an effective QB like Sloter to that mix and now you can see why New Orleans is number one in the USFL power rankings.
One of the Stallions athletes who is getting some attention right now is running back CJ Marable, a 25-year old Coastal Carolina alum who spent some time in the Chicago Bears’ training camp last season before he was waived and eventually drafted by Birmingham.
A former First team All-Sun Belt (2020) running back, Marable is 5’ 10” and weighs 200 pounds, and in two weeks of play with the Stallions he has carried the ball 23 times for 98 yards and two rushing touchdowns, ranked 8th among RBs and averaging a respectable 4.3 yards per carry.
Marable’s running backs coach is Larry Kirksey, a former Super Bowl Champion (XXIX) who has had success coaching running backs and wide receivers at the college and professional levels, so expect this young player to continue to develop and maybe catch some passes.
One of the featured players of the impressive New Orleans Breakers defense is inside linebacker Jerod Fernandez, a 5’ 11”, 227-pound wrecking ball, a 27-year-old North Carolina State alum who is turning heads as he covers the field for DC Jonathan Tenuta.
In two games this season, Fernandez has made his presence known, so far having posted 19 total tackles (12 solo), a pesky take down artist who seems to know where the play is going before the ball is even snapped, a quality that is bound to keep him on the Breakers’ field.
Fernandez has earned a spot on a defense that keeps opponents out of the endzone, so far the team allowing just two touchdowns against them (both in Week 1), this young player looking to make his name in this spring football league on a team that is ranked best in the USFL now.
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|Birmingham Stallions vs New Orleans Breakers Information
|Birmingham Stallions vs New Orleans Breakers
|Protective Stadium in Birmingham, Alabama
|Saturday, April 30, 2022; 8:00 PM ET
|How to watch
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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