USFL Week 5 Odds Tips Schedule: Bandits beat Panthers, winless Maulers cover vs Gamblers

That was probably the worst 2-2 ATS week I’ve ever had. Not only did Philadelphia Stars backup quarterback Case Cookus defeat No. 1 overall Shea Patterson of the Michigan Panthers, but the Panthers missed a 21-yard field goal to win. Then, in the fourth quarter, the New Jersey Generals failed to score during their matchup against the Pittsburgh Maulers, who launched a field goal to cover the wide spread. Luckily the rest of the week went in my favor but we were close to 4-0.

We’re getting a better feeling for all eight teams. The undefeated Birmingham Stallions are still favorites to win the championship and the Maulers are still winless. However, Kyle Lauletta appears to be a better quarterback for Pittsburgh than Josh Love, who was released this week. Can the Maulers cover the spread again in Week 5? Let’s jump into the picks.

USFL ATS record: 8-8
USFL straight-up record: 8-8

All odds are via Caesars Sportsbook

Michigan Panthers at Tampa Bay Bandits (-2.5)

Friday, 8 p.m. ET (USA Network)
ATS: Panthers (1-3), Bandits (1-3)

The Panthers have only covered the spread once all season, and that was against the worst team in the league. After failing to hit a backup quarterback and convert a 21-yard field goal, this team is hard to trust or put money on. The Bandits aren’t the most consistent USFL team. They were completely destroyed by the New Orleans Breakers a few weeks ago, didn’t cover the spread as favorites against the Houston Gamblers two weeks ago, and then lost to the Stallions last weekend. Even so, they actually had a lead over hometown Birmingham at half-time.

Tampa Bay is at least a solid team, which is more than we can say about Michigan. give me the bandits

The selection: Bandits -2.5
Estimated score: Bandits 24-14

New Orleans Breakers (-2) at the New Jersey Generals

Saturday, 3 p.m. ET (Fox)
ATS: Interrupters (3-1), Generals (2-2)

The last few seconds mattered, but the Breakers found a way to bring down the Gamblers with a very late touchdown. It was quite a tough game for offense as the ball was turned over four times. But a win is a win. As for the Generals, they won their third straight win last week but didn’t cover the span.

Note here that the Breakers and Generals have the two best running defenses in the league. New Jersey only allows 67 rushing yards per game while New Orleans allows 88 rushing yards per game. However, the Breakers have the No. 1 total defense in the league and average 226.3 yards total offense per game.

The Generals rely on ground play and have the No. 2 rushing offense in the league. If that closes, it means a loss for New Jersey. New Orleans last week held former USFL lead rusher Mark Thompson to just 10 yards on 14 carries and the Gamblers to just 28 rushing yards on 20 carries! That’s enough for me to score points with the Breakers this Saturday.

The selection: breaker -2
Estimated score: Breakers 17-13

Birmingham Stallions (-6.5) at Philadelphia Stars

Sunday, 12 p.m. ET (NBC)
ATS: Stallions (4-0), Stars (2-2)

The Stars gave us one of the best games of the year last Friday night as Cookus led Philly to a 26-25 win over Michigan. If we’re being honest, the Panthers should have won with a chip-shot field goal, but that shouldn’t detract from Cookus’ performance as he outplayed Patterson. As for the stallions, they are straight up undefeated AND against the spread. I can’t say I love this number but I’ll take Birmingham Moneyline and put it to something else.

The selection: Stallions -6.5
Estimated score: Stallions 27-20

Pittsburgh Maulers at Houston Gamblers (-5.5)

Sunday, 4 p.m. ET (Fox)
ATS: Maulers (1-3), players (2-2)

If you wish to ignore this choice, I am totally fine with that. But I’m taking the Maulers to make it two weeks in a row to cover the spread. The generals are perhaps number 2 in ours the latest performance rankings, but the Maulers kept to themselves last week. They’re now moving forward with Lauletta under the middle, and he seems like an upgrade.

The players, on the other hand, lost last week despite reaching +4 in the sales battle! They gave up a touchdown with 16 seconds remaining, making it the second straight game they’ve lost in the final few seconds. Call me crazy, but betting on the Gamblers doesn’t seem too smart.

The selection: Mauler +5.5
Estimated score: Players 24-20 USFL Week 5 Odds Tips Schedule: Bandits beat Panthers, winless Maulers cover vs Gamblers

Justin Scacco

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