The seventh week of the 2023 USFL season begins with an exciting match-up between the Birmingham Stallions and the New Orleans Breakers. The game will take place at Birmingham’s Protective Stadium on Saturday, May 27.
- Game: Breakers (4-2) vs. Stallions (4-2)
- Weather Forecast: Sunny, 79 degrees, Humidity 54% Wind 3MPH
- Location: Protective Stadium – Birmingham, Alabama
- Day/Time: Saturday, May 27, 4:00 p.m. ET
- Spread: NO +1.5 (-110), BHAM -1.5 (-110)
- Moneyline: NO +105, BHAM -125
- Total Over/Under: 45.5 (-110)
In an eagerly anticipated rematch, two early season favorites in the USFL Championship odds, the Birmingham Stallions and the New Orleans Breakers, will clash for the second time in just five weeks. The Breakers pulled off an impressive upset in their first encounter, defeating the Stallions 45-31 in a high-scoring affair. Running back Wes Hills stole the show, rushing for a remarkable 191 yards and three touchdowns, while the Breakers dominated in total yardage, outgaining the Stallions 483-253.
However, the Stallions rebounded strongly in their previous game, securing a convincing 27-13 victory over the Michigan Panthers. Quarterback Alex McGough continued his exceptional form, throwing for two touchdowns and running for another. Despite their success, the Stallions faced difficulties in defending against the formidable wide receiver Trey Quinn.
On the other hand, the Breakers suffered their second consecutive defeat, falling 16-10 to the Philadelphia Stars. After an explosive start to the season, averaging 35.0 points per game in the first three weeks, their scoring output drastically dropped to just 13.3 points per game in the past three weeks. Quarterback McLeod Bethel-Thompson, in particular, has struggled, with a costly pick-six in the previous game proving to be the deciding factor.
With the upcoming match taking place in Birmingham, the Stallions hold the advantage of playing at home. It’s unlikely that they will succumb to the same team twice in one season on their own turf. McGough has been outperforming Bethel-Thompson, and the Stallions will focus on containing Hills’ ground game. Currently in better form, the Stallions are poised to seek redemption for their earlier loss.
Key Storylines for Breakers:
Despite encountering a two-game losing streak, the New Orleans Breakers exhibit a formidable defense that stands out in the league, allowing a mere 214.3 total yards per game. This defensive prowess provides a strong foundation for the Breakers as they seek to reverse their recent fortunes.
One of the Breakers’ key strengths lies in their ground game, which has the potential to exploit the vulnerabilities of the Birmingham defense. The Stallions have struggled to contain opposing rushing attacks, surrendering an average of 129.2 yards per game. This opens up opportunities for the Breakers’ rushing unit to make significant gains and establish control on the field.
A notable contributor to the Breakers’ success is Wes Hills, their power-packed running back. Hills played a pivotal role in their earlier victory over the defending champions, showcasing his skills by accumulating a remarkable 191 rushing yards and scoring three touchdowns. His impact on the game cannot be understated, and the Breakers will undoubtedly look to utilize his talents once again.
However, the Stallions, renowned for their defensive prowess, are expected to make strategic adjustments to prevent a recurrence of Hills’ dominant performance. Drawing inspiration from the defensive strategies employed by the Generals and Showboats, who successfully limited Hills to an average of 3.2 yards per carry in their recent encounters, the Stallions aim to neutralize the Breakers’ ground attack and regain control of the game.
As both teams prepare for this highly anticipated rematch, it is evident that defensive adjustments will play a crucial role. Armed with insights gained from their previous meeting, both the Breakers and the Stallions will strive to tighten up their defensive lines, seeking to disrupt their opponents’ offensive strategies and gain an edge in the game.
Transferred to Active Roster:
The Breakers have added several players to their active roster, bolstering their team depth. Safety Adonis Alexander, wide receiver Jovon Durante, safety Greg Eisworth, defensive end Justin Cates, and offensive tackle Salesi Uhatafe have all been transferred to the active roster. These additions bring valuable skills and depth to the team as they continue their season.
Transferred to Inactive Roster:
While the Breakers have added players to the active roster, they have also made adjustments to their inactive roster. Linebacker Zakoby McClain, free safety Sidney McCloud, safety Saquan Hampton, and wide receiver Dee Anderson have been transferred to the inactive roster. This decision may be due to various factors such as injury recovery or strategic considerations.
In addition to the roster moves, the Breakers have provided a game status report for their upcoming matches. Here is the current status of several key players:
- Safety Jarey Elder: Listed as probable with a left shoulder injury. There is optimism regarding his availability for the game.
- Offensive guard Kirk Kelley: Listed as probable with a right knee injury. He is expected to be ready for the upcoming game.
- Wide receiver Johnnie Dixon: Listed as probable with a left quad injury. He is likely to be available for the game.
- Running back Wes Hills: Listed as probable with a right low leg injury. He is expected to play in the upcoming match.
- Safety Greg Eisworth: Listed as questionable with a head injury. His status for the game is uncertain and will be evaluated closer to the game day.
- Safety Jamar Johnson: Listed as out with a right hamstring injury. He will not be participating in the upcoming game.
- Outside linebacker Jordan Brailford: Listed as out with a lower back injury. He will not be available for the upcoming match.
- Offensive lineman Jack Kramer: Listed as probable with a right ankle injury. He is expected to be ready for the game.
- Safety Derrion Rakestraw: Listed as probable with a right ankle injury. He is likely to be available for the upcoming match.
- Offensive lineman Marquis Lucas: Listed as probable with a right ankle injury. He is expected to play in the upcoming game.
- Cornerback Adonis Alexander: Listed as full go after recovering from a left hamstring injury. He is ready to contribute to the team.
- Wide receiver Dee Anderson: Listed as out with a left groin injury. He will not be participating in the upcoming game.
- Linebacker Shaheed Salmon: Listed as full go after recovering from a right wrist injury. He is ready to contribute to the team.
- Cornerback Alex Thomas: Listed as full go after recovering from a dental issue. He is ready to contribute to the team.
As the eagerly anticipated rematch between the New Orleans Breakers and the Birmingham Stallions draws near, oddsmakers have positioned the Stallions as the favorites, with a spread of -1.5 points and a -133 favorite on the money line. However, for those willing to take a chance, the Breakers offer enticing odds as +105 underdogs. The over-under for the game is set at 45.5 points.
If you’re considering placing a bet on this USFL match or any other game this weekend, it is crucial to wager responsibly. However, there are compelling reasons to believe that the Breakers have what it takes to secure victory and defy the odds.
In the first meeting between these two teams, the Breakers’ offense, led by the dynamic Wes Hills, had an outstanding performance, accumulating an impressive 483 yards and averaging 7.3 yards per play. Hills himself amassed 191 rushing yards and scored three touchdowns, leaving a lasting impression on the Stallions’ defense. With revenge on their minds, the Breakers are eager to replicate their previous success and claim victory once again.
The Stallions, however, are well aware of the challenge they face. To improve their chances, they will need to control the clock, as they did in their recent 27-13 win over the Michigan Panthers. However, it’s important to note that the Panthers’ offense is not on par with the Breakers, making it a different proposition altogether.
The pivotal question remains: Will the Breakers’ offense be able to recapture their previous form, or will they continue to struggle as they have in the past two weeks with low-scoring losses? The outcome of this game hinges on the answer to that question.
Considering the Breakers’ impressive offensive display in their first encounter with the Stallions, it’s reasonable to expect a closely contested match this time around. With that in mind, taking the points and betting on the Breakers seems like a wise decision. While the Stallions may be the favorites, the Breakers’ desire for revenge and their explosive offensive capabilities make them a formidable underdog bet.
As the teams prepare to battle it out on the field, the Breakers have a genuine chance to prove the oddsmakers wrong and emerge triumphant. So, if you’re feeling bold, take a chance on the Breakers to secure victory and enjoy the thrill of the game.
One crucial aspect lies in the performance of their starting quarterback, McLeod Bethel-Thompson. In recent weeks, Bethel-Thompson’s play has been in decline, culminating in a subpar outing in their last game against the Philadelphia Stars. The talented quarterback completed 22 of 38 passes for 192 yards, with one touchdown and two interceptions. It is clear that for the Breakers to emerge victorious, Bethel-Thompson must regain his early-season form and, most importantly, take care of the ball. Limiting interceptions and making smart decisions will be vital in securing success for the Breakers’ offense.
On the defensive side, the Breakers must focus on pressuring the Stallions’ quarterback, Alex McGough. Last week’s game against the Stars saw Philadelphia’s QB, Case Cookus, remain unscathed by sacks, which is a rarity. The Breakers cannot afford to let that happen again. Sacking the quarterback disrupts the opposing team’s rhythm and significantly impacts their offensive effectiveness. Although McGough has proven elusive, having been sacked only 10 times throughout the season, the Breakers’ defense must rise to the challenge and apply relentless pressure. Success in bringing down McGough will be a determining factor in New Orleans’ victory.
If the Breakers can execute these crucial elements—Bethel-Thompson taking care of the ball and the defense consistently sacking McGough—they stand an excellent chance of securing a win. However, if these factors falter, their prospects diminish significantly.
Saturday’s game at Protective Stadium holds immense importance for the New Orleans Breakers. A victory will not only boost their morale but also reestablish their early-season success. With the right combination of disciplined play from Bethel-Thompson and a relentless pass rush, the Breakers can confidently step off the field as triumphant contenders. Failure to accomplish these goals, however, may result in disappointment once again. The stage is set, and it’s up to the Breakers to seize the opportunity and claim victory in a game that holds immense significance for their season. Final Score: 28-25