Sloter, Breakers Looking To Air It Out
It will be strength against strength when the Pittsburgh Maulers meet up with the New Orleans Breakers on Sunday. New Orleans leads the USFL with an average of 238.4 passing yards per game while Pittsburgh ranks third in the league in pass defense allowing 167.4 yards per contest.
The game will feature the USFL’s passing leader and leader in receiving yards. New Orleans’ Kyle Sloter has thrown for 1,226 yards while Pittsburgh’s Tre Walker has 287 receiving yards. Both teams have some individual offensive stars, so those who bet online might want to consider taking the under based on last week’s results.
The Maulers are seventh among eight teams with 127 rushing attempts through five games. Pittsburgh almost completely abandoned the running game and used the passing game to come from behind the last time out.
According to the USFL betting lines, New Orleans (+375) has the third-best odds to win the USFL championship while Pittsburgh ranks last at +4000.
Breakers Getting Passing Grades
There might not be future Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterbacks like Jim Kelly and Steve Young slinging the ball around as was the case when the original USFL started play in the 1980. However, the New Orleans Breakers are doing their best to live up to the pass-happy past of the USFL.
Kyle Sloter has been spreading the ball around. Receiver Johnnie Dixon leads the team with 22 catches, 237 yards, and four touchdowns, tight end Sal Cannella has 230 yards on 18 catches, former NFL receiver Taywan Taylor has 179 receiving yards and Shawn Poindexter has contributed 132 yards.
The Breakers have averaged 17.7 points in the last three games after putting up 57 points in the first two games. Even with those recent struggles, the Las Vegas odds list New Orleans as the favorite with the largest point spread of this weekend’s four games.
Maulers Score Late To Pick Up Elusive First Win
The Pittsburgh Maulers finally got its first win as Bailey Gaither caught a nine-yard pass from Vad Lee with four seconds left to play to give Pittsburgh the 21-20 win over Houston.
— Pittsburgh Maulers (@USFLMaulers) May 17, 2022
The Maulers had lost by 14 and 24 points in two of their first three games and were held to 260 yards of offense to fall to 0-4 with a loss to the New Jersey Generals in Week 4.
Pittsburgh only averaged 2.1 yards per rush so Lee and Kyle Lauletta combined to throw 41 passes with the final pass being enough for the Maulers to get into the win column.
The Maulers were 5½-point underdogs with the game going over the 33½-point total.
Maulers vs Breakers Game Information
- Game: Maulers 1-4 (tied for third in the North Division); Breakers 3-2 (tied for second in South Division)
- Location: Protective Stadium, Birmingham, Alabama
- Day/Time: Sunday, May 22nd, 12 p.m. ET
- Maulers vs Breakers Live Stream: NBCSports.com
Take a Look at the Other 2 Picks for This Week’s USFL Games
Maulers vs Breakers Betting Lines
|Team||Point Spread||Moneyline||Total||Team Total|
|Pittsburgh Maulers||+8 -105||36-110o|
|New Orleans Breakers||-8 -115||36-110u|
Maulers vs Breakers Prediction
Both teams could be down a pass catcher. Pittsburgh’s Jeffrey Thomas is dealing with a hamstring issue while New Orleans tight end EJ Bibbs has an undisclosed injury.
The Breakers are second in the USFL in third-down conversions, picking up first downs 43.2% of the time. Pittsburgh has gone for it on fourth down 12 times, three more than any other team in the league.
Pittsburgh’s E.J. Elija is fourth in the USFL with 42 tackles and third with 25 solo stops. New Orleans has the Nos. 2 and 3 tacklers. Jerod Fernandez had 50 tackles and Vontae Diggs 43.
New Orleans (+550) was tied for the second-best championship odds coming into the season while Pittsburgh came in at +800.
New Orleans should be able to get back to its winning ways against perhaps the worst team in the league although Pittsburgh could cover as eight-point underdogs.
Pick: Under 36
Pick: Maulers +8 (-110)