USFL schedule Week 9: TV channels, odds, picks, and predictions

With just two weeks left and one playoff berth remaining, here's a look at the matchups on the USFL's Week 9 schedule.

With just two weeks remaining on the USFL‘s schedule, three teams have punched their tickets to Canton, Ohio, for the postseason. The Philadelphia Stars joined the Birmingham Stallions and New Jersey Generals after their Week 8 win eliminated the Michigan Panthers and Pittsburgh Maulers. Philadelphia also became the first USFL team to score 40+ points in any game this season. The Stars still have a shot at stealing the North’s top seed from the Generals but would need a stellar week from Michigan. With two weeks left in the season, let’s look at the USFL’s Week 9 schedule.

USFL Week 9 schedule: TV channel, odds, and picks

The Stars have scored 116 points over the past three weeks. Any concerns of a drop-off without QB Bryan Scott have been ironed out. Head coach Bart Andrus and the Stars are peaking at the right time. A Week 9 matchup against the Maulers gives Philadelphia a chance to push that gaudy point total. But a win can only take them so far. The Stars need Michigan to beat New Jersey to make Week 10’s Stars vs. Generals showdown a tilt for the North’s title.

The South division has already seen its leader wrap up the top seed. The Birmingham Stallions pushed their streak to eight games by taking down the New Orleans Breakers for the second time this season. Second place is still up for grabs, and that race will be on full display in Week 9 as the Breakers take on the Tampa Bay Bandits. Can the Bandits get revenge for their Week 2 embarrassment and knot up second place in the South? Here’s a close look at the USFL’s Week 9 schedule, including previews and predictions.

New Jersey Generals (7-1) at Michigan Panthers (1-7)

  • Start time: 1 p.m. ET, June 11
  • Channel: NBC
  • Live stream options: Peacock
  • USFL Odds: (Odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook)
    • Spread: Generals -7.5
    • Moneyline: Generals -350, Panthers +270
    • Over/Under: 47.5

This Week 9 matchup between the Generals and Panthers gets the action started on the USFL schedule. With two weeks left, the Generals can wrap up the North division with a win in Week 9. Outside the Stars, the rest of the North has shown little resistance in the USFL’s inaugural season. The Panthers’ offense has found some legs as the year has progressed, but the defense has also deteriorated, becoming the first team to surrender 40+ points.

Generals RB Darius Victor leads the USFL in rushing yards and touchdowns. Three trips into the end zone in Week 8 gives Victor a comfortable lead to finish the season, but will he be able to add to that total against Michigan? Probably. It seems highly unlikely for the Generals to drop this game. Even if HC Mike Riley sits a QB, he’s shown both of his guys are capable of running the show. Generals lock up the North division and save themselves from any Week 10 shenanigans at the hands of the red-hot Stars.

Prediction: Generals 34, Panthers 23

Houston Gamblers (1-7) at Birmingham Stallions (8-0)

  • Start time: 6 p.m. ET, June 11
  • Channel: USA
  • Live stream options: fuboTV, Sling, Hulu + Live TV, YouTube TV
  • USFL Odds: (Odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook)
    • Spread: Stallions -12.5
    • Moneyline: Stallions -600, Gamblers +435
    • Over/Under: 47.5

The second game on the USFL’s Week 9 schedule sees the Gamblers taking on the Stallions. They are the only two teams without any postseason implications in their game in Week 9. The Gamblers were eliminated from playoff contention in Week 7, while the Stallions secured the South division’s first overall seed with their Week 8 victory. Even with the playoff spot secure, don’t expect Birmingham to take their foot off the gas. They have an undefeated season to finish.

With eight weeks and eight wins, can the Stallions run the table in the USFL’s first season? The matchup between these two teams in Week 2 featured a classic Gamblers fourth-quarter meltdown. The Stallions have stayed consistent while Houston continues to search for answers. Only the Bandits should stand in Birmingham’s way of regular-season perfection.

Prediction: Stallions 27, Gamblers 17

Tampa Bay Bandits (4-4) at New Orleans Breakers (5-3)

  • Start time: 4 p.m. ET, June 12
  • Channel: FOX
  • Live stream options: fuboTV, Sling, Hulu + Live TV, YouTube TV
  • USFL Odds: (Odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook)
    • Spread: Breakers -3
    • Moneyline: Breakers -155, Bandits +135
    • Over/Under: 43.5

The USFL’s Game of the Week on the Week 9 schedule features the battle for the final postseason spot. The Bandits and Breakers kick off Sunday’s action with their showdown. New Orleans’ Week 8 10-9 loss to Birmingham stung. The Breakers not only blew their chance at the USFL’s top spot but also saw their lead over the Bandits shrink to just one game.

The Bandits will be eager to avenge their 34-3 Week 2 loss, but both franchises have improved. New Orleans QB Kyle Sloter has been one of the best signal-callers in the USFL. Bandits QB Jordan Ta’amu has also impressed, shaking off a rocky start to help put Tampa in this situation. A win for the Bandits would mean a win against the Stallions in Week 10 would clinch their playoff spot. As great of a story as that would be, HC Larry Fedora and the Breakers right the ship after a rough week and try to devise a game plan for Birmingham in the postseason.

Prediction: Breakers 28, Bandits 23

Philadelphia Stars (5-3) at Pittsburgh Maulers (1-7)

  • Start time: 7:30 p.m. ET, June 12
  • Channel: FS1
  • Live stream options: fuboTV, Sling, Hulu + Live TV, YouTube TV
  • USFL Odds: (Odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook)
    • Spread: Stars -8.5
    • Moneyline: Stars -380, Maulers +290
    • Over/Under: 47

The final game on the USFL’s Week 9 schedule sees the Stars challenging the Maulers. The Stars have been awe-inspiring over the last few weeks as Case Cookus has settled into the offense. Both North division playoff teams are locked in, but there is an outside chance at some movement with wishful thinking. The Stars would have to win the next two games, with New Jersey losing their final two. Not likely, but still possible. But if it doesn’t happen, Andrus must get Philadelphia healthy and ready for the postseason.

A change back to QB Bryan Scott seems ill-advised at this time, given how Cookus has progressed under center. Philadelphia is surging at the right time, and the Maulers could give them a gauge of where they currently are. Pittsburgh’s defense is a bit stronger than the Stars’ last three opponents. Should Philadelphia continue its offensive extravaganza in the Battle of Pennsylvania, they could live up to their dark horse USFL championship label from the beginning of the season.

Prediction: Stars 34, Maulers 20

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