First-place Generals look to keep on rolling
The New Jersey Generals are a late defensive stand (in the season opener) away from entering Sunday’s game undefeated.
The Generals already have a two-game lead in the USFL’s North Division, the only ‘winning’ team in the division.
The mere mention of the New Jersey Generals to a casual football fan recounts images of Herschel Walker rushing for more yards than any other professional running back. While the Generals don’t have the services of Walker, Darius Victor is the league leader with five rushing touchdowns, Houston’s Mark Thompson is the overall leader in rushing.
The Generals have been one of the surprises, as New Jersey was tied for highest odds to win the championship, priced at +800 entering the season.
According to the USFL betting line, the Generals now come in at +250 in odds to win the USFL title, currently second-lowest to Birmingham. Houston is well back at +2800.
Odom wreaking havoc for Gamblers
Nobody can accuse USFL sacks leader Chris Odom of the Houston Gamblers of being an overnight sensation.
The former Arkansas State star was in training camp with three different NFL teams, and was in seven games with the Green Bay Packers in 2017. Then, two seasons later, he was back in the NFL, compiling two sacks in Washington’s win over Carolina. Odom had 16 tackles over 11 career games in the NFL.
Odom also played for Salt Lake in the Alliance of American Football (2019), and signed with the Canadian Football League’s Calgary Stampeders (2021). This is his fourth different prof league.
Odom has 14 solo tackles and 5½ sacks in five games for the Gamblers. He might add to those numbers against a New Jersey team which leads the USFL with a completion percentage of 68.9.
Houston’s lost four games in a row, albeit by a total of 14 points.
Generals hit the ground running
If there has been one constant in the first five games of the 2022 USFL season, it’s that New Jersey is eager to establish a running game. Also, their kickoff return team is the most dangerous around.
The Generals lead the league with 196 rushing attempts, 901 rushing yards and 10 ground touchdowns. Only the Michigan Panthers average more yards per carry than the Generals’ 4.6.
Jersey isn’t relying on one player to carry the load. Darius Victor has 308 yards on 66 carries, De’Ándre Johnson has 54 rushes for 269 yards and Trey Williams has added 247 rushing yards.
— New Jersey Generals (@USFLGenerals) May 15, 2022
Asking New Jersey to cover the 6½-point line set by the sportsbook seems reasonable, and the total of 38½ could also be eclipsed.
Gamblers vs Generals Game Information
- Game: Gamblers 1-4 (fourth in the South Division) vs Generals 4-1 (first in the North Division)
- Location: Protective Stadium, Birmingham, Alabama
- Day/Time: Sunday, May 22nd, 4:00 p.m. ET
- Gamblers vs Generals Live stream: NBCSports.com
Take a Look at the Other 2 Picks for This Week’s USFL Games
Gamblers vs Generals Betting Lines
|Team||Point Spread||Moneyline||Total||Team Total|
|Houston Gamblers||+6½ -105||38½-110 o|
|New Jersey Generals||-6½ -115||38½-110 u|
Gamblers vs Generals Prediction
New Jersey could be without tight end Braedon Bowman (injured quadriceps), while Houston running back Devwah Whaley has an undisclosed injury.
The game could have a little bit of everything, as Houston’s Thompson is the top running back in the league, but New Jersey counters with three of the top seven rushers.
Both teams have playmakers on defense and top-notch returners on special teams.
It will be hard for those making USFL predictions to pick against a New Jersey team that’s won four games in a row. Houston’s dropped four consecutive games.
New Jersey has moved to second in the USFL power rankings, while Houston has fallen to last (eighth).
Both teams could eat clock with physical running games, this game could top the Las Vegas total of 38½.
Pick: New Jersey Generals -6½ (-115)
Pick: Over 38½ points (-110)
Parlay: New Jersey Generals -6½ (-115) and Over 38½ points (-110) at +256