USFL Odds: Time To Buy Low On Michigan Panthers At New Jersey

The preseason favorite is a dog in Week 2


April 22, 2022

It was only a matter of time before we started betting on the USFL.

I really wanted to watch the first full week of games before diving into another pool, but there’s a very solid wager to be made Friday night. The Michigan Panthers are a 1-point underdog against the New Jersey Generals, but that line is a massive overreaction to a one-game sample size.

Michigan was the preseason betting favorite at most American sportsbooks to win the USFL. FOX Bet was actually dealing the Panthers as low as +333, so a $100 bet would’ve won you $333.

But the Panthers were upset by the Houston Gamblers 17-12 in Week 1 despite having more possession (36:49 to 23:11), yardage (363 to 174) and total plays (79 to 45). They also turned the ball over three times, including a horrendous fumble inside the red zone.

So you know I’m champing at the bit to buy low on Michigan.

Oddsmakers — who are still playing the guessing game with USFL lines — opened up New Jersey as a 1-point favorite with a total of 41. I feel like Michigan moving from a 3-point favorite to a short underdog after the smallest of sample sizes is too much of an overreaction.

New Jersey racked up an impressive 408 yards of offense against the Birmingham Stallions in its opener, but that’s likely because Birmingham’s defense is below the league average. We’re all still learning a lot about this league, but I would rather focus on preseason analytics and metrics than rely too much on one regular-season football game.

“Michigan should be favored,” Pro Football Focus director of research and development Eric Eager told NESN. “The Panthers thoroughly outplayed their opponent last weekend, but lost because of some pretty fluky plays. I still have Michigan with the third-best chance to win the USFL. It’s also not a bad idea to bet some Panthers futures at +600, either.”

I agree with Eager and think the wrong team is favored Friday night.

Michigan Panthers +1

RECORD: (110-104, +33.0)

Thumbnail photo via Vasha Hunt/USA TODAY Sports Images

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