With the PGA Championship taking my full attention last week, the USFL took a backseat. I’m back this week and ready to continue on this season of learning. What I’m learning is that there’s no defense in this league. Overs are 8-0 in the last two weeks and 11-1 in the last three. This is starting to sound a lot like midweek MACtion, except this is the USFL and it’s reasonable to assume that an adjustment will be made, perhaps not with the teams but certainly with the sportsbooks.
Sure, overs are having themselves a moment, but through six weeks, more than half have also been lined at 40 points or below. As the season progresses, we could see a shift — and possibly starting this week. Here’s what caught my eye for Week 7.
New Orleans Breakers (-5.5) vs Michigan Panthers (+220)
These are two of the better defenses in the league, holding opponents to an average of 16 and 17 points per game, respectively. As far as yardage, they are ranked second and third best for yards allowed per game, while the Breakers are fourth in sacks. Getting to the quarterback could definitely come in handy if you are trying to limit scoring. Michigan also happens to be the losing team in one of the two lowest-scoring games of the season, a 10-6 loss in Week 2 to the New Jersey Generals, the second-best team entering Week 7.
Looking at the offenses, the Breakers lead in passing yards per game while the Panthers are second in rushing yards per game. Thing is, both offensive strengths fall into each other’s defensive strengths, with the Panthers ranking as the No. 1 passing defense and the Breakers ranking second in rushing defense. With the defenses sound from both units, which gives?
If the Panthers can’t get the ground game going, I don’t have much confidence in the passing game getting the job done, as Panthers quarterback Shea Patterson has been largely inconsistent thus far. In Week 2, Patterson completed 14 of 29 passes for 124 yards, with more than half coming in the Panthers’ final possession. In Week 5, Patterson had his best performance, completing 23 of 37 passes for over 300 yards. Which version do we see?
On the flip side, the Breakers have a corner in Ike Brown who had a stout Week 6 performance with two interceptions. The Breakers are now second in the league in interceptions. The defenses from both sides will be the deciding factor here.
The bet: Under 41.5