USFL betting: Overs are paying off, so why change?

·Betting analyst
·4-min read

We have another weekend of USFL betting ahead of us. The spring football league is entering its sixth week, and it appears it is on its way to completing the full 10-week season. After hitting our best bet for the second straight week, I'm excited to give the oddsmakers my best shot for the final month and a half.

As we have discussed the last few weeks, the offenses are finding their form. Quarterback play and kicking were a challenge early on, but many teams are finding more success and consistency after signing new kickers and settling on quarterbacks. Week 5 was the league's highest-scoring week as teams averaged 22.4 points per game and over 5.1 yards per play. Overs went 4-0 on the weekend, 6-1-1 in the last two weeks and are now 10-9-1 for the season. The opening numbers on Week 6's totals remained in the mid-to-upper 30s despite the recent surge of offense. I don't think those numbers reflect a large enough adjustment, leaving us another opportunity to take advantage of the books' conservative stance. If it ain't broken don't fix it, so I am going back to well with another over for this week's USFL best bet.

BIRMINGHAM, ALABAMA - MAY 14: Shalom Luani #25 of New Jersey Generals celebrates after getting an interception in the fourth quarter of the game against the New Orleans Breakers at Protective Stadium on May 14, 2022 in Birmingham, Alabama. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/USFL/Getty Images)
Shalom Luani, No. 25 of New Jersey Generals, celebrates after getting an interception in the fourth quarter against the New Orleans Breakers at Protective Stadium on May 14, 2022, in Birmingham, Alabama. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/USFL/Getty Images)

Houston Gamblers at New Jersey Generals (Over 38.5)

After suffering a heartbreaking, last-second loss to the now 5-0 Stallions on opening night, the Generals have clearly established themselves as the league's second-best team by reeling off four straight wins. Last week's 27-17 win over New Orleans was a statement game in which head coach Mike Riley ditched the quarterback rotation and handed over the reins to De'Andre Johnson. The results were phenomenal. New Jersey put up over 400 yards of total offense and gained a 6.4 yards per play against the league's No.1 defense. The Generals have established themselves as the league's best offense and now get to continue the momentum against one of the league's worst defenses.

The Houston Gamblers' season is slipping away fast. After a 17-12 win over Jeff Fisher's Michigan Panthers in Week 1, Houston has dropped four straight behind a defense that is spiraling. The Gamblers allowed a league-high 524 yards of offense to New Orleans in Week 5. They followed up that performance last week by allowing two fourth-quarter touchdowns, including the game-winner as time expired, to the previously winless Pittsburgh Maulers. Houston's defense is dead last in yards allowed, tied for last in yards per play allowed, and is seventh in defensive scoring. The No. 1 offense in the league just hung 27 on the best defense, so it's reasonable to expect at least a repeat performance. New Jersey has been money in the red zone (ranking second) and even better at protecting the football, so I am more than comfortable it can do the heavy lifting on this total.

The Houston offense is more than capable of helping us cash this bet. Head coach Kevin Sumlin's offense has averaged 22.5 points over the last four weeks and packs the firepower to put points against the league's best defenses. The Gamblers have the league's leading rusher and most explosive offensive player in RB Mark Thompson, but they can also attack through the air. QB Clayton Thorson leads the league with seven touchdown passes, and his favorite target, WR Isaiah Zuber, is also the league leader in receiving touchdowns. The combo should be able to exploit a secondary that struggled against Philadelphia and Birmingham, while New Jersey's stout rush defense will get its biggest test with Thompson.

Since Week 2, Houston is 3-0-1 to the over, and its games have produced an average combined score of 49 points. In the three games in which the Gamblers faced above-league-average offenses, those games totaled 61, 53, and 39 points. The latter was a game in which New Orleans' 23-16 win didn't reflect the crazy offensive success the Gamblers had. They exploded for over 500 yards of offense and 7.2 yards per play, but four turnovers led to a misleading final score. New Jersey will be the highest-ranked and most efficient offense the Gamblers have faced all year, and I'm confident the yards will translate to points this week. I am expecting a similar outcome to Houston's 33-28 loss to Birmingham, making it an easy decision to bet this one to go over the total of 38.5.

Stats provided by foxsports.com and football database.

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