• US States

Explore sports news

8 min read

Birmingham Stallions vs. New Orleans Breakers Breakdown

129 days ago


It’s been a wild sophomore season in the USFL. Heading into week seven, every one of the league’s eight teams is still mathematically alive. No one has been eliminated from contention, and no one has clinched a playoff berth.

Even better from a neutral standpoint, the division lead in both the North and South isn’t greater than a single game. As we enter the stretch run of the 10-week season, there’s a rematch from earlier in the year to begin week seven this Saturday.

Stallions and Breakers Play Each Other a Second Time to Start Week Seven

Saturday afternoon, four weeks to the day removed from their first meeting of the season, two of the co-owners of the best record in the league do battle once more. The Birmingham Stallions (4-2) will enter Protective Stadium as the visiting team this time around to play the New Orleans Breakers (also 4-2). Take note that the starting times for all four of the ballgames this weekend are going to be a little bit later than they were in the past few weeks.

Kickoff time of game one of Saturday’s doubleheader will be at just past 4 pm ET/ 3 pm CT on FOX. It’s the lone game of week seven to be seen on an over-the-air network.

As previously mentioned, both Birmingham and New Orleans enter this week tied for the best record at 4-2, but it’s a three-way tie. The Stallions and Breakers are also joined in the clubhouse by the Houston Gamblers in that category.

Clear Skies in the Forecast in Birmingham on Gameday

Throughout the season in the USFL, there still has yet to be a single game delayed by lightning in an outdoor stadium. Inclement weather won’t be a problem on Saturday.

Much like when Birmingham and New Orleans played a month ago, the rematch will be played under clear skies. Current weather forecasts call for a sunny Saturday with a one percent chance of rain.

Both teams will have to contend with a slight east-northeast breeze at 9 MPH with temperatures topping out at 79 degrees.

Birmingham Stallions vs. New Orleans Breakers Betting Odds

As of Thursday afternoon, the oddsmakers have the Birmingham Stallions installed as a – 1 1/2-point favorite on the spread and a -133 favorite on the money line. New Orleans counters as a +105 underdog on the line. The over-under for Saturday’s game is set at 45 1/2 points.

If you plan on betting on this or any other game happening in the USFL this weekend, please wager responsibly.

When Last They Met…

This is the second head-to-head meeting between Birmingham and New Orleans this season. On April 29, the teams played one another to open up week three of the campaign.

That afternoon, New Orleans bested Birmingham, 45-31. Breakers running back/ kick returner Wes Hills had a banner day with three touchdowns along with 191 yards.

How will the rematch go? Let’s break these teams down once again.

Stallions Have to Give Marable the Rock

Even though CJ Marable was kept out of the end zone on rushing attempts, the Coastal Carolina product who was selected to the East/West Shrine Bowl in 2020 had a decent afternoon on the ground. Marable gained 100 yards on 18 carries in addition to a four-yard touchdown reception at the beginning of the fourth quarter of last Saturday’s ballgame.

His 100-yard showing was Marable’s best game of the season and the first time that he’s eclipsed the century mark this year. CJ Marable has been kept in check for much of the year, but he can light up the stat sheet on any given weekend.

You can only contain a running back for so long.  When Marable gets a lane, he can become a pain in the opposing defense’s backside.

Look for CJ Marable to have a great day in the rematch. If the Stallions feed him the ball, he’ll carve up the Breakers defense like a Thanksgiving turkey.

Look Out for Quentin Polling

Defensively, the Stallions were led by linebacker Quentin Polling. A former seventh-round NFL Draft selection by the Miami Dolphins in 2018, Polling never gained traction in the league, only playing once for the now-Las Vegas Raiders in 2019.

Last week, the Ohio University product notched seven tackles, including a tackle for loss in the win. This is a man who was out of football for a couple of years until the USFL came calling ahead of the 2022 season.

Can he keep it up on Saturday? Watch to find out.

McLeod Bethel-Thompson Has to Take Care of the Ball

A week ago Sunday, the New Orleans Breakers lost a narrow 16-10 game to the Philadelphia Stars in Detroit. In recent weeks, the play of New Orleans starting quarterback McLeod Bethel-Thompson has been sliding.

Last weekend’s contest at Ford Field was his worst outing of the season. The former starter for the CFL‘s Toronto Argonauts went 22-of-38 passing for 192 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions.

On opening weekend of the season, Bethel-Thompson threw for 302 yards and a touchdown versus Pittsburgh. Since then, however, he’s only gone without throwing an interception once, the very next week.

Beyond that, he’s been intercepted at least once in each of the Breakers’ last four games. If nobody’s open downfield, there’s no shame in Bethel-Thompson tucking the ball away and scrambling. It’s much better than getting picked.

Breakers Need to Sack McGough

The Breakers/Stars game last Sunday marked a rarity for Philadelphia starting QB Case Cookus: He wasn’t sacked. Prior to last week, the Northern Arizona alumnus was sacked at least twice per contest through each of the first five games.

A team can’t win a ballgame if they’re unable to sack the quarterback. At the same time, however, Alex McGough is a difficult quarterback to bring down.

Through six weeks of action in the USFL, he’s only been sacked 10 times all told, including just once last weekend. The Breakers have to apply the pressure up front and drop McGough.

If they’re able to sack Alex McGough regularly on Saturday afternoon, New Orleans walks out of Protective Stadium with a win. If not, more is the pity.

Final Thoughts

Saturday’s game is the first rematch of the season. Birmingham’s got a score to settle from last month. Will they split the season series or will New Orleans sweep, like the Denver Nuggets did against the LA Lakers last Monday?

Prediction: Birmingham 38, New Orleans 28.

Featured Image Credit:




Subscribe to our newsletter

Receive the latest sports news, exclusive stories, and updates. Stay Up-to-Date!