UFL 2024 Week 9 Odds & Picks: The Week of Road Favorites

profile image of scottkacsmar
Jontre Kirklin #13 of the San Antonio Brahmas is upended by D.J. Swearinger #36 of the DC Defenders during the second quarter at Alamodome on March 31, 2024 in San Antonio, Texas. Matthew Stockman/UFL/Getty Images/AFP

Despite the big spreads, Week 8 in the UFL featured a lot of surprisingly tight games with the margin of victory between 5 and 7 points in each game.

The UFL’s Week 9 odds, available at top-rated sportsbooks, show a new trend with the road team favored in each game for the first time all season. You know there should be at least one upset from this slate, but who is the right home team to trust for your UFL picks?

We picked our favorite spreads and totals for Week 9 below.

Top UFL Pick: Defenders -5 (-110) at BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)

BetOnline logo
Defenders -5 (-110)
Visit Site

D.C. Defenders vs. Memphis Showboats

Sunday, May 26, 2024 – 02:30 PM ET at Simmons Bank Liberty Stadium

The Defenders (3-5) are eliminated from playoff contention as the playoff field is set with the Stallions, Panthers, Battlehawks, and Brahmas making it. But D.C. can still keep the push for a .500 finish alive with a win against the Showboats (1-7), the worst team in the UFL.

The Defenders are a 5-point road favorite with a total of 46 points. Let’s look at that spread.

Defenders Blow Lead vs. St. Louis

It looked promising for the Defenders last week in the battle of injured quarterbacks, especially when A.J. McCarron was ruled out and Jordan Ta’amu was able to play for D.C.

But after taking a late lead in the 4th quarter, the Defenders allowed St. Louis with a backup quarterback to march down the field for a go-ahead touchdown. Ta’amu and the offense were unable to answer, and the Defenders fell 26-21, eliminating them from the playoffs.

The good news is that as disappointing as this season was for a D.C. team that was so good in the XFL last year, they get to play the Memphis Showboats this week, and they are easily the worst team in the UFL.

Memphis Continues Slide

If not for that Week 1 win over Houston, we might be looking at a winless season for the Showboats, who have lost 7 games in a row ever since.

The list of flaws is long:

  • Memphis is dead last in yards per game on offense (233.6).
  • The only reason the Showboats aren’t dead last in scoring is because they have a league-high 59 points scored off turnovers.
  • But the Showboats average a pathetic 5.2 yards per pass attempt and 3.3 yards per rush – both averages are last in the UFL.
  • Memphis has taken 36 sacks on offense, which is 14 more than any other team.
  • Memphis has allowed 44 more points than the next-worst team in scoring defense in the UFL, which is D.C.
  • Memphis allows a league-high 8.0 yards per pass attempt on defense.

Plain and simple, teams that can’t block anyone and can’t defend are going to flirt with winless seasons in professional football.

The Pick

Memphis has lost 6 games in a row by at least 6 points, and last week was actually the first time the team didn’t lose by at least 15 points since Week 2.

This is a “get-right game” for the Defenders. Unless they blow it off with the playoffs out of reach, this should be the best Ta’amu and the offense have looked in weeks, and the Defenders should get a comfortable win.

UFL Pick: Defenders -5 (-110) at BetOnline

BetOnline logo
Defenders -5 (-110)
Visit Site

St. Louis Battlehawks vs. Arlington Renegades

Saturday, May 25, 2024 – 12:00 PM ET at Choctaw Stadium

The Battlehawks (6-2) had to sweat things out last week with a 4th-quarter comeback win against the Defenders without quarterback A.J. McCarron available. The Renegades (1-7) came up short in their bid for back-to-back wins, falling 20-15 to the Brahmas.

The Battlehawks are a 3.5-point road favorite at top-rated sportsbooks. It looks like McCarron could be back after the team waived a recently signed quarterback. Is he going to be good enough after a week off to cover this spread?

Week 2 Recap: Battlehawks 27, Renegades 24

These teams met way back in Week 2, and the quarterback play was some of the best in the UFL this season with A.J. McCarron and Luis Perez both passing for over 230 yards with a combined 3 touchdowns and no interceptions in a 27-24 game. It was a fairly clean game too as neither team had a turnover.

The Battlehawks pulled it out late with a game-tying field goal followed by a game-winning field goal from 22 yards out with no time left.

The game was essentially a tale of the 2024 season for these teams as the Battlehawks got more help from the running game than the Renegades did, and the defense for Arlington was unable to seal the deal on a day when Perez and the offense played well.

Arlington’s Defense Is Mismatched vs. St. Louis

With McCarron having a solid shot to return to action this week, he should enjoy the matchup he draws in the Arlington defense:

  • The Renegades are next to last in yards per game allowed (319.1).
  • Arlington is No. 6 in points per game allowed at 24.5, a full 5 points more than the Battlehawks allow (19.3).
  • Quarterbacks average a league-high 12.0 yards per completion against the Arlington defense, which ranks next to last in yards per pass attempt allowed (7.3).
  • Arlington has allowed the 2nd-most rushing yards in the league and it allows 4.5 yards per carry.
  • Only the Showboats (154) have allowed more 1st downs than Arlington’s defense (148) this season.

Even if McCarron is not 100%, he could lean on his running game in a game like this. Last week without McCarron, the Battlehawks still scored 26 points with backup quarterback Manny Wilkins passing for 126 yards on 9-of-18 passing. The equalizer was a running game that produced 141 yards and 3 touchdowns with Wilkins doing a lot of that on his own with 79 yards.

But the Battlehawks also had a 100-yard rusher against the Renegades in Week 2, so they know how to utilize their backfield.

The Pick

The Renegades are a better football team than their 1-7 record suggests. They have a blowout win, 4 losses by 1-5 points, and they have yet to lose any game by more than 13 points this season.

But this spread is smaller than what St. Louis has been having to cover in recent weeks. We’ll trust that McCarron returns, and plays well against a subpar defense, and the Battlehawks can get this cover for your UFL picks.

UFL Pick: Battlehawks -3.5 (-110) at BetOnline

BetOnline logo
Battlehawks -3.5 (-110)
Visit Site

Birmingham Stallions vs. San Antonio Brahmas

Saturday, May 25, 2024 – 03:00 PM ET at The Alamodome

We have an easy pick for what is the UFL Game of the Week in Week 9 as the Birmingham Stallions take their 8-0 record into San Antonio to face the 6-2 Brahmas. It is the 1st time these teams are meeting, and Birmingham did not roll over the Roughnecks as expected last week in a 35-28 finish that was higher scoring than imagined.

The Stallions are still an 8.5-point road favorite with a total of 44 points. Is that spread too high against a San Antonio team that looks like the 3rd-best team in the UFL? Let’s examine that spread.

Birmingham’s Close Call

The Stallions were a 16.5-point favorite against Houston last week, but it was a 35-28 game after they surprisingly allowed that many points to the league’s worst-scoring team.

Of course, it took a fumble in the 4th quarter and an unsportsmanlike penalty on a 4th down that led to Houston’s last touchdown, a drive that started 21 yards away from the end zone and had more penalty yards (11) than yards from scrimmage gained (10).

But the Birmingham defense stepped up at the end and forced a game-ending sack instead of facing a Hail Mary attempt on the final snap.

Maybe the Stallions were overlooking a lousy opponent in this game, or maybe they were still riding a little high after Week 7’s big win over St. Louis. But let’s see if this Houston game was a wake-up call for the best team in the league that is still seeking a perfect season and a 3rd-straight championship.

Does San Antonio Have the Right Stuff?

San Antonio coach Wade Phillips is no stranger to big games, and he’s seen high-flying offenses at the NFL level before. This is the first time he’s facing Skip Holtz’s Birmingham team, but he’ll have his No. 1 defense ready for the matchup led by that tough dual-threat quarterback Adrian Martinez.

The Brahmas have only allowed more than 19 points once this season, and that was a 31-24 loss to St. Louis in Week 3. If the Brahmas are going to upset the Stallions and ruin their perfect season, they must put pressure on Martinez and force mistakes.

The Stallions are still No. 1 in total defense allowing 242.8 yards per game. The Brahmas rank No. 3 with 261.3 yards per game. But the Brahmas allow a league-low 16.4 points per game while Birmingham has slipped to No. 2 at 17.9 points per game.

Turnovers can help explain this. While the Stallions are only middle of the pack with 9 giveaways, opponents have scored 42 points off of them, the 2nd-highest total in the league this year. The Brahmas, who are next to last with just 8 takeaways, are going to have to get some big plays like that to give themselves a chance for shorter fields and better scoring opportunities.

But while the turnovers haven’t been there, San Antonio has other advantages on defense that should help keep the score down:

  • The Brahmas lead the UFL with 26 sacks on defense.
  • The Brahmas have allowed a league-low 7 touchdown passes.
  • The Brahmas have allowed the 3rd-fewest rushing yards in the league.
  • The Brahmas are tied with the Defenders in allowing a league-low 34.0% conversion rate on 3rd down.

San Antonio’s offense is not as good as Birmingham’s, but the Brahmas are No. 3 in yards per game (295.6), No. 4 in yards per pass attempt (6.1), have the lowest sack rate in the league and rank No. 3 in rushing yards.

The Pick

We do not trust the San Antonio offense enough to predict an upset win for the Brahmas, but we like the defense more than enough to keep this game close and deliver a cover against the spread.

UFL Pick: Brahmas +8.5 (-110) at BetOnline

BetOnline logo
Brahmas +8.5 (-110)
Visit Site

*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.