Stallions vs. Stars USFL Championship Game 2022 Preview

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Marlon Williams of the Birmingham Stallions and Ahmad Dixon of the Philadelphia Stars talk during USFL game. Image taken from Birmingham Stallions’ official Facebook page.

The Philadelphia Stars and Birmingham Stallions are on the brink of making history. The USFL inaugural championship is up for grabs after the two conference winners fought through a 10-week regular season and battled through their first-round playoff matchups. This one is for all of the glory and accolades.

It didn’t matter about the setbacks either team faced. They won and now have the chance of a lifetime.

We’re going to break down the final game of the 2022 USFL season and provide championship game picks. Let’s take a look at our championship best bets and predictions for the spread and total.

Birmingham Stallions vs. Philadelphia Stars

Sunday, July 03, 2022 – 07:30 PM EDT at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium

USFL Playoffs Recap

Breakers vs. Stallions

Last week's playoff matchup brought an exciting set of games. The top-seeded Birmingham Stallions cruised to a two-score in over the New Orleans Breakers.

We expected that to be the less interesting game after Birmingham had shown throughout their first two matchups against New Orleans. 

Stars vs. Generals

In Philadelphia Stars' case, they're continuing to pull upsets and surprise everyone.

They seemed destined to lose to a more well-rounded foe in New Jersey considering their offense couldn't operate at its full potential.

Last Time They Met

Flashback to May 15 for the only time these two teams faced off. It was a dominant second half that had saved the Birmingham Stallions' undefeated season for another month.

The Stars were on the verge of quickly figuring out their issues and going on their own run after their 30-17 loss.

Stallions Analysis

The Stallions began to thrive off quarterback J'Mar Smith's star talent. He was magnificent as a passer despite being known as more of a run threat.

Seeing him carve up the Stars' defense with a 77.3% completion rate and 9.2 yards per pass had us wondering whether the team could actually bench Alex McGough. 

They did, and the results thus far have been largely positive. Smith was not great last week but he has improved his consistency. Philadelphia will want to get Smith out of structure but limit his ability to run for big chunk gains. 

Stars Analysis

Philadelphia had no answer for their balance of speed and precision. It didn't help that Philadelphia's transition to quarterback Case Cookus had been such a mixed bag early on. He's still not fully trustworthy but his upside has won several games for the Stars since.

Cookus sometimes lacks quality anticipation and accuracy on his passes. He's also hurt by Philadelphia's non-existent running game. Paul Terry broke off a 43-yard touchdown run but the team attempted just 10 other runs the rest of the day in their last matchup, and now Cookus is the only real rushing threat each week. 

The lone bright spot for Philadelphia in this first matchup was their defensive star, Josh Banderas. Banderas totaled 2 sacks and 12 tackles. He'll need to be a factor again this week, and any interceptions from USFL-leading cornerback Channing Stribling would be a huge help.

Stallions vs. Stars: The Matchup

Maybe the biggest storyline in this battle is whether Philadelphia's run defense is here to stay. They've improved throughout the year but were still awful when these teams first played.

C.J. Marable ran for 114 yards but has not seen the same success as the season has progressed. I'd guess he'll be largely neutralized in his battle as the Stallions continue to rely on other playmakers.

Basically, these teams are much different than they were in their first matchup. Birmingham is more consistent even if they struggle to score but their defense is excellent. The Stars have a high upside and can win any single game but their offense can go through dreadful droughts. 

USFL Betting Picks and Prediction

Following the USFL odds, what we can likely bet on is a close, lower-scoring game that comes down to the wire.

This should be an excellent way to cap off what's been a truly enjoyable and memorable tear. 

USFL Pick: Stars +4.5 (-110) at BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)

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Stars +4.5 (-110)
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USFL Pick: Under 44.5 (-110) at BetOnline

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Under 44.5 (-110)
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*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.