The first round of the USFL playoffs kicks off Saturday at 3 p.m. ET on FOX. It’s a four-team playoff with all games taking place near the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. Win and you’re in the championship — it’s that simple!
The first matchup features the New Jersey Generals (9-1) and the Philadelphia Stars (6-4). New Jersey established itself as a team to beat and is lined as the favorite. Will the favorite advance, or will Philadelphia spring an upset for a berth in the finals?
Check out our USFL betting picks and predictions for the Stars vs. Generals on Saturday, June 25.
Stars vs Generals odds
|Philadelphia Stars||New Jersey Generals|
|+4.5 (-110)||Spread||-4.5 (-110)|
|O 47.5 (-110)||Total||U 47.5 (-110)|
Odds courtesy of DraftKings as of June 23, 2022.
WRITER ANALYSIS (Where it opened, line moves at time of writing).
Stars vs Generals predictions
Predictions made on 6/23/2022 at 11:00 a.m. ET.
Click on each prediction to jump to the full analysis.
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Stars vs Generals game info
• Location: Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium, Canton, OH
• Date: Saturday, June 25, 2022
• Time: 3:00 p.m. ET
• TV: FOX
Stars at Generals betting preview
Weather should not play a big impact in this game. It’s supposed to be a mostly sunny day with a high of 90 during the day, so it’ll be hot.
Stars: No injuries to report.
Generals: No injuries to report.
Stars vs Generals picks and predictions
Our side and total predictions are based upon our analysis of the line and total in this game. Our best bet is our favorite pick across all markets.
We don’t have any recent history to use for analyzing the USFL playoffs considering that this is the league’s first year back in operation. We do have some recent data on these two teams given that they squared off just last week. The Generals won that battle in a close 26-23 game.
Let’s dive into that game. The Generals outgained the Stars with 410 total yards to their 328, and averaged a whopping 7.5 yards per play. That doesn’t seem like an outlier considering that New Jersey has the league’s best offense statistically (349 ypg) and the Stars struggle to hold up defensively.
New Jersey ranks first in the league in both rushing offense (160 ypg) and rushing defense (73 ypg allowed). That’s a tried and true recipe for winning football games — dominate the trenches, play sound football, and give yourself the best chance to win. It should work here against a Philadelphia defense allowing the most rushing yards in the league (151 ypg).
The Stars have struggled defensively all year long, allowing 21.5 ppg — most among playoff teams. They’ve primarily made their hay thanks to a good offense. Coach Bart Andrus has employed his 3WR sets across various football leagues, and he’s done so yet again in the USFL. The offense hasn’t fully clicked for most of the season, as they rank last among playoff teams in total offense (287 ypg).
I love what Mike Riley and this Generals team are doing. I’ve mentioned in my columns over the last half of the season that New Jersey has a strong case to make as the best team in the league. I’m not jumping off the train now.
Prediction: Generals -4.5 (-110 at DraftKings)
The total of 47.5 is pretty high for a USFL game. I believe it’s justified, as Overs in Philadelphia games are one of my favorite bets to target in this league.
I outlined it above, but the Stars simply aren’t good defensively. They’ve been giving up points all season long, and as recently as last week allowed 7.5 yards per play to this very same Generals team.
New Jersey isn’t a one-dimensional offense, as it averages the most passing yards among all playoff teams. Quarterbacks Luis Perez and DeAndrea Johnson form a nice tandem and both have been effective.
Bart Andrus’ pass-happy system hasn’t always clicked at times this year, but I’m willing to give them a pass. Bryan Scott was supposed to be the quarterback of this team and play an integral role, but he was lost due to injury early in the season. Case Cookus has stepped in and has been up and down.
I liked what I saw from Cookus a week ago when he threw for 244 yards on 7.4 yards per attempt against this same New Jersey team. Philadelphia managed 6.6 yards per play as a team and I believe it’ll move the ball in this matchup, too.
Both teams should be capable of scoring so I’m taking the Over.
Prediction: Over 47.5 (+100 at FanDuel)
Statistically, the Stars have the worst offense and defense among playoff teams. Getting outgained by 58 yards per game is not a good recipe for winning championships.
I believe both teams will score points in this matchup, but totals have been a bit tricky to call in this league. I do like to target Overs in Stars games and will be placing a bet on that as well, but I’m looking toward the side for the best bet.
The Generals have the best offense in the league and the second-best defense. They take care of business running the ball and have two capable quarterbacks in Luis Perez and DeAndre Johnson. They should be able to move the ball effectively against a bad Philadelphia defense and advance to the championship.
Pick: Generals -4.5 (-110 at DraftKings)
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