USFL Week 8 Odds, Picks, and Predictions: Breakers Pick Up Biggest Win of Season

USFL returns with Week 8 action this weekend as the playoff race reaches a major point in the season. After dropping three straight, our USFL betting picks believe New Orleans will get back in the win column in a crucial game.

Last Updated: May 31, 2023 6:41 PM ET Read Time: 4 min
Mike Stevens New Orleans Breakers USFL
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It was a crucial week for several teams making a bid for a playoff spot last weekend, with USFL Championship odds taking shape. This weekend will be an opportunity for last week’s winners to capitalize and build some breathing room in the standings. 

Play gets underway for Week 8 on Saturday with one game in Birmingham, AL, and one in Canton, OH. The action then continues on Sunday with two more in the same two locations. 

After a 3-1 record last week on picks, I sit 16-12 on the season. Check out my USFL betting picks for Week 8.

USFL picks for Week 8

Picks made on 5/31/2023 at 5:00 p.m. ET.
Click on each pick to jump to the full analysis.

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Week 8 USFL odds and predictions

Houston Gamblers vs Pittsburgh Maulers

Saturday, 12:00 p.m. ET, USA Network

Houston Gamblers Pittsburgh Maulers
-3 (-110) Spread +3 (-110)
-150 Moneyline +130
Over 43 (-110) Total Under 43 (-110)

Odds courtesy of DraftKings as of May 31.

The Houston Gamblers had their four-game winning streak snapped last week by the Memphis Showboats in a 23-20 defeat. That left the Gamblers at 4-3 on the season and in a three-way tie with Memphis and the New Orleans Breakers for second place in the South division. This will be a huge game for Houston to keep its playoff hopes going.    

The Gamblers took a late lead after a touchdown with just under two minutes remaining, but it was immediately answered by Memphis with a 64-yard touchdown pass. It was a really disappointing effort in the run game for Houston and the lack of use of Terry Wilson at quarterback may be playing a huge part in that. Kenji Bahar went 18-for-39 passing for 216 yards and two interceptions while the Gamblers only tallied 64 yards rushing on 18 carries. 

The Pittsburgh Maulers lost to the Philadelphia Stars in a surprising 37-31 shootout last week. However, despite their 31 points, the Maulers still tallied just 202 yards of total offense and turned the ball over twice. Their return game is what kept them in the game with Josh Simmons averaging 33.4 yards per kick return — including a touchdown — and Isiah Hennie averaging 37.0 yards per punt return.   

With Pittsburgh stuck at 2-5, it's getting close to must-win territory to stay alive for the playoffs. However, it doesn't have enough offense to keep pace with the Gamblers. I want to see Houston utilize Wilson more in the offense, but even if it doesn't, I feel it'll pull out the victory in comfortable fashion. 

Pick: Gamblers -3 (-110 at DraftKings)

Philadelphia Stars vs Birmingham Stallions

Saturday, 3:00 p.m. ET, NBC

Philadelphia Stars Birmingham Stallions
+6 (-110) Spread -6 (-110)
+185 Moneyline -215
Over 46 (-110) Total Under 46 (-110)

Odds courtesy of DraftKings as of May 31.

The Stars are back in the conversation for the playoffs after their win last week made it three in a row, improving them to a 4-3 record. That puts them alone atop the North division and gives them a two-game cushion over the third-place team. They will get the chance to secure a playoff berth with a win this week and a little help.    

Philadelphia racked up 347 total yards of offense against one of the better defenses in the league. Case Cookus was 18 of 30 passing for 235 yards, two touchdowns, and an interception to go along with 28 yards rushing. Matt Colburn II rushed for 82 yards and two touchdowns on 20 carries. 

The Birmingham Stallions seem to be best team in the league after their 24-20 revenge victory over New Orleans last week. The Stallions took a 24-9 lead into the fourth quarter and held off a valiant comeback attempt at the end. Their ability to force turnovers and play a bend, but don’t break, defense got them their third straight victory — leading to a league-best 5-2 record.

I like Birmingham to continue its hot streak and win the game, but six points may be a little high for the spread for my liking. The safer bet here is the Over. Philadelphia will be have its best offensive performance and it should lead to a high-scoring game. 

Pick: Over 46 (-110 at DraftKings)

Memphis Showboats vs New Jersey Generals

Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET, FOX

Memphis Showboats New Jersey Generals
+2 (-110) Spread -2 (-110)
+110 Moneyline -130
Over 41 (-110) Total Under 41 (-110)

Odds courtesy of DraftKings as of May 31.

The Showboats have now won four consecutive games after their 0-3 start to the season, and are now part of a three-way tie for second in the South division. Cole Kelley did not have the greatest game going 12-for-24 for 146 yards, two touchdowns, and an interception — but he made the big play when it mattered to win the game. 

Where Memphis exceeded was in the run game. It had 126 yards rushing on 31 carries and lead RB Kerrith Whyte had 81 yards rushing on 19 carries. Defensively, it got after the QB with four sacks and seven tackles for loss. That helped lead to two interceptions as well. 

The New Jersey Generals took another loss last week after falling to the Michigan Panthers, 25-22. It was their fourth consecutive defeat and a fifth consecutive would likely eliminate them from playoff contention. The Generals just could not keep up with the Panthers and that is a problem for their hopes against a hot Memphis team.

After losing to the coldest team in the league, New Jersey is now the coldest team in the USFL. Now it has to face the hottest team in the league. Surprisingly, the Showboats are still underdogs in this game. I firmly believe that Memphis will keep its streak going and pull off another “upset.”

Pick: Showboats moneyline (+110 at DraftKings)

Michigan Panthers vs New Orleans Breakers

Sunday, 4:00 p.m. ET, FOX

Michigan Panthers New Orleans Breakers
+3.5 (-110) Spread -3.5 (-110)
+140 Moneyline -165
Over 43 (-110) Total Under 43 (-110)

Odds courtesy of DraftKings as of May 31.

After finally ending their losing skid, the Panthers now find themselves back in the playoff mix in the North division. At 3-4 they sit alone in the second spot... one game behind Philadelphia and one game ahead of New Jersey and Pittsburgh. With a win and help, they could clinch at least a tie for second in the North. 

Michigan had its best game of the season outside of Week 1 last Sunday, playing turnover-free football with Josh Love throwing 264 yards and three TDs on 16-for-29 passing. Defensively, it held the Generals to only 3.8 yards per carry and 6.6 yards per pass attempt. 

The Breakers suffered yet another loss and have now fallen in three consecutive games after their 4-0 start. They got their offensive mojo back last week but failed to convert in the red zone. New Orleans had 370 yards of total offense but was 1-for-4 in converting red zone attempts to touchdowns. They also turned the ball over three times.  

If these two teams played three weeks ago, I would have taken the Breakers' spread as high as 13.5 points. Now, I am a little more concerned. However, the spread is only 3.5 points and the Breakers are certainly the more talented team when both teams play at their best. I think New Orleans will turn things around and get back into the playoff hunt with a big win. 

Pick: Breakers -3.5 (-110 at DraftKings)

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