13 Jan

2023 USFL Championship picks, best bets by proven expert

One of the USFL’s best defenses will face one of the league’s best offenses in an intriguing 2023 USFL Championship matchup on Saturday night. The Pittsburgh Maulers used their elite defense to punch a surprising ticket to the title game, but they will now be tasked with slowing down the Birmingham Stallions high-powered attack. Birmingham is the defending champion, while Pittsburgh is trying to go from worst to first this season.

Kickoff is set for 8 p.m. ET. Caesars Sportsbook lists Birmingham as the 7.5-point favorite, while the over/under is 46 in the latest Stallions vs. Maulers odds. Before making any Maulers vs. Stallions picks or USFL Championship predictions, see what SportsLine expert Emory Hunt has to say.

Hunt is the founder and CEO of Football Gameplan, which has been supplying analysis of all levels of football since 2007. He is a former running back for the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns and knows the game from a player’s perspective. Hunt’s dedication to analysis of all levels of college and professional football helped him start the USFL season 24-18 last year and he went 25-18 on his XFL spread picks this season.

Now, Hunt has set his sights on Stallions vs. Maulers. You can head to SportsLine to see his picks. Here are several USFL betting lines for Maulers vs. Stallions:

Stallions vs. Maulers spread: Stallions -7.5
Stallions vs. Maulers over/under: 46 points
Stallions vs. Maulers money line: Stallions -300, Maulers +240
Stallions vs. Maulers picks: See picks at SportsLine
Why the Stallions can cover
Pittsburgh is relying on its defense and turnover rate to win the title, but that is not going to be a winning formula against an experienced championship team. Birmingham has been excellent at ball security throughout the season, and its offense can rack up points in a hurry. The Stallions made a statement when they cruised past New Orleans in the semifinals, racing out to a 40-7 lead heading into the fourth quarter.

Quarterback Alex McGough completed 21 of 31 passes for 310 yards and four touchdowns while rushing for 84 yards and an additional score. The Stallions averaged 8.2 yards per carry and 9.9 yards per pass attempt, dominating the Breakers in every aspect of the game. They have the experience and championship mentality to win Saturday’s title showdown against a less experienced opponent. See who to back at SportsLine.

Why the Maulers can cover
Birmingham was ultimately able to escape with a victory when these teams met in the regular season, but it was one of their most challenging games. The Maulers took a 20-17 lead midway through the fourth quarter after quarterback Troy Williams scored on a 34-yard rushing touchdown. They also held McGough to a 58.6% completion rate and forced a pair of interceptions.

Pittsburgh limited McGough to 48 rushing yards, while Williams completed 63.6% of his passes for 217 yards and rushed for another 63 yards. The Maulers ranked second in the regular season in points allowed per game (17.2) and led the league in turnover margin (+8). Their defense will make it difficult for Birmingham to win this game by at least a touchdown. See who to back at SportsLine.

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