USFL Playoffs odds: How execs are betting the large video games

By Sam Panayotovich
FOX Sports activities Betting Analyst

The USFL semifinals get underway this Saturday at Tom Benson Corridor of Fame Stadium in Canton, Ohio, and boy are we in for a pair of doozies.

First up, the New Jersey Generals (-4.5, O / U 47.5) battle the Philadelphia Stars whereas the Birmingham Stallions (-5, O / U 44.5) tackle the New Orleans Breakers within the nightcap.

I reached out to my buddy Eric Longing for his two cents on each contests. Keen runs analysis and improvement for Professional Soccer Focus, and his skill to create energy scores and high-quality tune superior analytics gave him fairly the leg up on the sportsbooks all through the USFL season.

For starters, Keen is anticipating fireworks within the matinée.

“Philadelphia and New Jersey are the 2 greatest offenses within the league for anticipated factors added and the 2 worst defenses in anticipated factors added,” he instructed FOX Sports activities. “I don’t assume both of those groups will cease anyone. If the tempo begins fast, look out.”

It is value nothing that each groups had been 7-3 to the “Over” this season.

Birmingham is a 5-point favourite at evening, however Keen disagrees with that betting line as a result of the Stallions loved lots of residence cooking this season since each recreation was performed in Alabama.

Given the Stallions are hitting the freeway for the primary time, the analytics imagine the purpose unfold is a number of factors too excessive.

“There was a reliable home-field benefit for Birmingham this 12 months,” Keen defined. “Stallions’ video games clearly had essentially the most followers within the stands and with these playoff video games being performed in Canton, that benefit is gone.

“Birmingham is laying -4.5 or 5 and I make the sport extra like Birmingham -2. I like New Orleans even with all their deficiencies. You might have two stable defenses, and New Orleans’ unit is a bit of bit higher. I am digging the canine and the ‘Underneath.’ “

Laying factors was not precisely a fool-proof system for USFL bettors over the course of the common season. Favorites took care of enterprise straight up (30-10 SU), however they had been nothing particular in opposition to the unfold (21-19 ATS).

“Favorites had been protecting early on,” Keen recalled. “They had been 3-1 in Week 1 and 3-1 in Week 2, then the books caught on. As we acquired nearer to the tip of the season, the duvet charges declined drastically for favorites. Take a group just like the Stallions. They have not coated the unfold in three weeks as a favourite.

“And let’s not neglect that lots of covers got here in opposition to Pittsburgh. The Maulers (1-9 SU with a -96 level differential) had been eight or 9 factors worse than the common group on a impartial area. Everyone acquired proper in opposition to them, which skewed the ATS document for favorites.

“Typically, it was robust to put factors on this league.”

Keen is unquestionably drawn to the 2 groups catching factors this Saturday and he isn’t ruling out the potential of both one successful two video games to say the crown this inaugural season.

However there’s at all times a way to the insanity with arithmetic.

“With 4 groups remaining, you are by no means getting a ok edge taking underdogs to win championships within the futures market,” Keen stated. “You are at all times getting a greater wager if you roll over the moneyline.

“Reasonably than take New Orleans [+320 at FOX Bet] or Philadelphia [+333 at FOX Bet] to win all of it, you wager the moneyline within the first spherical and if it wins, you possibly can resolve whether or not or not you wish to run it again within the title recreation.

“It could not shock me within the slightest if each underdogs win outright.”

Sam Panayotovich is a sports activities betting analyst for FOX Sports activities and NESN. He beforehand labored for WGN Radio, NBC Sports activities and VSiN. He’ll most likely choose in opposition to your favourite group. Comply with him on Twitter @spshoot.

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