The USFL playoffs have arrived, and the spotlight is firmly on the South Division. The stage is set for an epic showdown between the teams boasting the best records this season. On Sunday, June 25, 2023, the Protective Stadium in Birmingham, Alabama, will be the battlefield where the New Orleans Breakers (7-3) and the Birmingham Stallions (8-2) will lock horns. This much-anticipated face-off will be broadcast live on Fox at 7 p.m. ET. Get ready for a thrilling encounter as we delve into an in-depth preview of this pivotal game.
- Game: Breakers (7-3) vs. Stallions (8-2)
- Line: Breakers +2.5 (+105), Over/Under 43.5 (-110)
- Location: Protective Stadium, Birmingham, AL
- Day/Time: Sunday, June 25, 7 p.m. ET
- Weather Forecast: Thunder ,80 degrees, Humidity 70% Wind 3-8MPH
- Breakers vs Stallions Live stream: Fox.com
The Breakers, finishing the regular season with a commendable 7-3 record, are set to face the Stallions, who ended with an impressive 8-2 record. The Breakers have shown they can pull off an upset, having defeated the Stallions in a high-scoring 45-32 victory in Week 3. However, the Stallions retaliated in Week 7 with a 24-20 win. This semifinal is set to be a thrilling rematch, with both teams having a lot to prove.
Key Storylines for Breakers:
The Breakers’ commendable performance this season is largely due to their standout players. Their quarterback, McLeod Bethel-Thompson, has been a driving force behind the team’s success, leading the league in passing with an impressive 2,433 yards. Another Breaker to keep an eye on is running back Wes Hills, who has stormed through the season to become the league’s top rusher with 679 yards.
On the Stallions’ side, quarterback Alex McGough has been a touchdown machine, leading the league with 20 TD passes. His favorite target, tight end Jace Sternberger, is the league’s top receiver in terms of touchdowns with seven. Also, wide receiver Davion Davis has been a crucial part of the Stallions’ offense, ranking second in the USFL with 575 receiving yards.
While both teams have high-scoring offenses, it’s worth noting that the Stallions’ defense has been a weak link, allowing a league-worst 309 yards per game. This could be a significant factor in the upcoming game, potentially giving the Breakers an edge.
The New Orleans Breakers have undergone several roster changes in anticipation of their upcoming games. Here is the current game status report:
- LB Shaheed Salmon: Expected to play (Right Shoulder)
- OL Kirk Kelley: Expected to play (Right Knee)
- WR Eli Stove: Cleared to play (Head)
- S Jarey Elder: Expected to play (Left Shoulder)
- DE Justus Reed: Expected to play (Left Knee)
- S James Wiggins: Uncertain availability (Right Shoulder)
FanDuel currently lists the Breakers as a +2.5 underdog against the Stallions. However, given the Breakers’ past performances and the Stallions’ defensive vulnerabilities, placing a bet on the Breakers could prove profitable. The Stallions’ defense has been a weak spot, allowing a league-worst 309 yards per game, which could provide an opportunity for the Breakers to capitalize.
The Breakers’ quarterback, McLeod Bethel-Thompson, who led the league in passing with 2,433 yards and was third in passing touchdowns with 14, is a key player to watch. Bethel-Thompson, a former champion with the Toronto Argonauts in the Canadian Football League, is looking to add another championship to his resume. Running back Wes Hills, the league’s leading rusher with 679 yards, is another potent weapon in the Breakers’ arsenal.
In last year’s semifinal, the Stallions managed to beat the Breakers 31-17, but not without a fight. The Breakers are expected to keep it closer this time around, with a real shot at an upset. Given these factors, betting on the Breakers could be a savvy move for those looking to make the most of their wagers.
While the Stallions have been dominant this season, the Breakers have shown they can pull off an upset, having defeated the Stallions in a high-scoring 45-32 victory in Week 3. Given the Breakers’ resilience and the Stallions’ defensive vulnerabilities, this game is expected to be a close one. The prediction leans towards the Breakers, not just covering the +2.5 spread, but potentially pulling off an upset victory. However, regardless of the outcome, fans can expect a thrilling game filled with high-stakes action.
Final Score: New Orleans Breakers 30 – 27 Birmingham Stallions