The USFL nearly brought us two massive upsets in Week 7 before teams realized who they were.
Several key personnel changes over the last couple of weeks have changed some of the ways each roster performs.
That, paired with uneven play this week, left top competitors vulnerable in key games.
Alas, we did see two teams clinch their playoff berth as the Birmingham Stallions and New Jersey Generals emerged as winners.
Each game has a separate identity and flow. Week 8 will be no different.
Our knowledge of these rosters, coaching staff, and the league itself has allowed us to prosper thus far.
Join us again for our continued USFL coverage. See our Week 8 preview and best bets for our top two games of the week.
USFL Week 8 Odds and Matchup Analysis
Pittsburgh Maulers vs. New Jersey Generals
Friday, June 03, 2022 – 08:00 PM EDT at Protective Stadium
Pittsburgh Talent Deficit
The Pittsburgh Maulers put up a great fight against the USFL's finest last week as they were actually leading the undefeated Birmingham Stallions at halftime.
As usual, Pittsburgh simply fell short because of its talent deficit. But their new culprit maybe heads coach Kirby Wilson.
Wilson was heard over the broadcast, as he was wearing a live mic, bemoaning starting quarterback Vad Lee's demeanor.
He then benched Lee for Roland Rivers with less than five minutes left on the game clock, and the results were disastrous.
While Lee struggled on his own, he had kept the Maulers within one score until that point.
Maulers Incompetent Coaching
The Maulers can't overcome incompetent coaching. They were able to cover the spread last week though and this is something to note for bettors.
But oddsmakers responded by dropping this line to a much more attractive play. For New Jersey, this is about avoiding the embarrassment of a loss.
New Jersey Has a Balanced Offense
New Jersey will win thanks to their balanced offense and ability to maintain efficiency even as the rest of the league has inconsistent performances.
The Generals were solid across the board in their needed, playoff-clinching win against Tampa Bay.
The Maulers were able to put a stranglehold on the Stallions' run-oriented offense last week but look for the Generals to see more of an advantage in the passing game and not overly rely on the ground game.
Luis Perez has continued to deliver reliable performances that keep the offense controlling the clock and possession of the ball.
Generals Defense Up to the Winning
The Generals' defense may be why this team can win the USFL championship, though. They came up huge against a solid Tampa Bay offense that has playmakers across the board.
Tampa was unable to convert a fourth-down attempt inside the red zone, making the third such missed red-zone opportunity of the game.
They also logged three interceptions, three sacks, and nine tackles for loss. Those impact plays aren't happening for any other defense in the league right now.
Pittsburgh could be in for a massive blowout if they allow the Generals to play so freely on defense.
New Orleans Breakers vs. Birmingham Stallions
Saturday, June 04, 2022 – 03:00 PM EDT at Protective Stadium
J'Mar Smith Health
Is this the week the mighty, undefeated Stallions will fall? It might be, but it depends on the health of quarterback J'Mar Smith.
Smith was significantly limited in terms of effectiveness last week and responded with a vulnerable showing. Birmingham will not win if they get a completion rate under 40 percent again.
For as well as Bo Scarbrough has played for a street-free agent, ramming him into the back of his blockers for 27 carries each week won't win many games.
Getting by the awful Maulers is one thing but the Breakers have the ability to play well. Their margin for error is tiny right now.
Breakers Winning Projection
The Breakers must enter this game with a focus on preventing negative plays. Birmingham has a stellar defense that was able to rack up five tackles for loss and three pass deflections.
That's not disastrous but those are the areas that can be the difference between a loss and a win. New Orleans is a solid team that had to overcome their own questions last week.
Quarterback Kyle Sloter emerged through some adversity when head coach Larry Fedora gave backup Zach Smith the chance to prove himself over Sloter.
Smith was fine but not good enough, and Sloter ended up responding with a great fourth quarter en route to the comeback win.
One thing that has hurt this passing game is the lack of a dominant run game. Jordan Ellis is a good back who can pop off a solid gain at any time but he's not someone who will win games on his own.
Stallions' Offense Might Surprise Us
The Breakers have a quarterback ceiling that is unfortunate because they could be undefeated if they didn't.
Regardless, this will be a battle. Because we don't exactly know what the Stallions' offense will be, we'll take the Breakers.
A healthy Smith would mean a six-point line but he's not, so we'll take the cover in a close finish.
USFL Pick: Breakers +3 (-110) with BetOnline
*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.