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New Jersey Generals vs. Houston Gamblers Breakdown

9 days ago



The weekend of action in the USFL ends late Sunday afternoon. Simmons Bank Liberty Stadium in Memphis plays host to the last game of week six.

After the Philadelphia Stars take on the New Orleans Breakers in the Detroit hub, the stadium formerly known as the Liberty Bowl is the scene for the final game of the weekend. One day removed from Simmons Bank Liberty Stadium’s primary tenant kicks off the second half of the season, its other hub team takes the field in part two of a doubleheader.

It’ll be a battle of squads going in opposite directions under the FOX Sports spotlight.

New Jersey Battles Houston to End Week Six Sunday

Last year’s runners-up, the New Jersey Generals (2-3), currently sit in a four-way tie for first place in the Northern Division in the USFL.  Just as a refresher course, the first tiebreaker in the event that three or more teams are in a dead heat for first place is head-to-head results.

In this case, the Generals have the advantage for the No. 1 seed in the North. A week ago, they dropped a narrow 24-21 game against the Philadelphia Stars.

This Sunday, New Jersey travels down to Tennessee to take on the Houston Gamblers. Last Saturday, Houston bested the Birmingham Stallions on the road, 27-20.

Live coverage of the New Jersey/ Houston game begins at 4 pm ET/ 3 pm CT on FOX. But what will the weather be like?

Fair Weather in the Forecast for Generals/ Gamblers

Current weather forecasts for the Memphis area on Sunday indicate a partly cloudy afternoon with high temperatures topping out near 80 degrees. If this forecast holds true, the USFL will have gone six consecutive weeks of play without a lightning delay in the vicinity of an outdoor stadium.

The players will need to contend with a slight north-northeast breeze on gameday, no stronger than 10 MPH. If you’re planning a tailgate party or going to the game itself, leave the umbrella at home and take the sunscreen.

New Jersey Generals vs. Houston Gamblers Betting Odds

As of late Friday afternoon, the oddsmakers have the visiting New Jersey Generals installed as a -5-point favorite on the spread and a -227 favorite on the money line. The Gamblers counter as a +175 underdog on the line.

Sunday’s over-under is set at 45 1/2 points. If you plan on betting on this or any other game happening this weekend in the league, please wager responsibly.

New Jersey Has to Have More from Two Receivers Named Moore

Despite the defeat to the Stars last weekend, the receiving game was on point for New Jersey in Detroit. Among the cogs: Two men with the same exact last name.

Wide receiver Alonzo Moore finished the game as the No. 1 target with five receptions for 58 yards. In his second year with the Generals organization, the former Nebraska Cornhusker under Bo Pelini and Mike Riley has caught 12 passes for 180 yards and one touchdown so far this season.

Last week was his breakout game. His teammate J’Mon Moore, a 2018 NFL Draft selection by the Green Bay Packers, was no slouch with five receptions for 32 yards.

If they can get one or both of these receivers in the end zone on Sunday, the Generals could be on their way to win number three.

Toby Johnson Has to Apply Pressure

If there’s one constant about the USFL this season, it’s that Philadelphia quarterback Case Cookus has proven to be an easy guy to sack. New Jersey defensive lineman Toby Johnson got in on the action on Mother’s Day, recording 1 1/2 sacks of Cookus.

So far, Johnson, an alum of The University of Georgia, has notched three sacks in five games, averaging just over a half of a sack a game. He’s already bested his output from the entire 2022 USFL season.

Last year, he only netted two quarterback sacks, but can he muster the confidence to grab more sacks this week? Tune in and find out.

Gamblers Hot in the Red Zone

In a football game, aside from the success rate on third down conversions, red zone touchdown percentage is a key offensive statistic. When a team gets within their opponents’ 20-yard line, they can’t afford to bog down and settle for a field goal attempt  by the placekicker.

A week ago versus the Stallions, the Gamblers converted on three of their four red zone opportunities with trips to the end zone, including their final score of the game, when tight end La’Michael Pettway hauled in a 10-yard reception to give them the eventual difference maker. To that extent, when the Gamblers get inside the red zone, the mission is simple: Give Mark Thompson the rock.

As we mentioned last week in the run-up to the Houston/Birmingham contest, all Thompson needs to do is find a lane. While his yardage was limited to 76 in week five when compared to his 134-yard output in week four, this man is a bruising halfback.

 Look for Tolson to Have a Good Day

On the defensive side of the ball, Gamblers linebacker Khalan Tolson recorded a breakout game last Saturday afternoon in Birmingham’s Protective Stadium. The University of Illinois product notched seven tackles.

Tolson, who spent time in the Carolina Panthers organization as an undrafted free agent last spring, is in his first season in the USFL. If he has another performance like the one he had on Mother’s Day in this week’s game, you have to believe that Tolson will be getting some looks from teams as NFL training camps draw closer.

Final Thoughts

This is a seminal game in the season for both clubs. Will New Jersey hang onto the division lead if the results go their way this weekend? Can Houston hang with New Orleans with a victory on Sunday?

Prediction: New Jersey 24, Houston 20.

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