This weekend, fans can finally get their first football fix since February. The new version of the USFL kicks off its season with four games on Saturday and Sunday.
Eight teams will play a 10-week regular season. Unlike some of the other smaller football leagues, all of the USFL games will played in Birmingham, Alabama, through the regular season. Once the playoffs get started on June 25, all of the league’s postseason action will happen at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton, Ohio.
The action gets underway on Saturday night with a matchup between the New Jersey Generals and Birmingham Stallions. Both of those teams currently have the longest odds of any to win it all, according to the DraftKings sportsbook. But since this is a new league with different rules from the pros, it’s going to be tough to get a good sense of who’s who until we see a few weeks worth of action. The Generals are coached by former Nebraska head coach Mike Riley. The Stallions are three-point favorites.
The Michigan Panthers and Houston Gamblers keep things rolling on Sunday afternoon. NFL fans might recognize a few faces on the Panthers. The team is coached by former NFL head coach Jeff Fisher, and former Denver Broncos quarterback Paxton Lynch is under center. The Panthers are favored by three.
The last two games of the week feature the Stars vs. Breakers and the Bandits vs. Maulers. On the sideline for Tampa Bay is another former NFL head coach, Todd Haley. As for players, keep your eye on Stars defensive lineman Freedom Akinmoladun.
The Bandits are favored by four, while the Breakers are favored by 2.5 points.
Here’s the full schedule for the first week of the 2022 USFL season.
USFL schedule: Week 1
April 16, 7:30 p.m. ET — New Jersey Generals vs. Birmingham Stallions — FOX, NBC
April 17, 12 p.m. ET — Houston Gamblers at Michigan Panthers — NBC
April 17, 4 p.m. ET — Philadelphia Stars at New Orleans Breakers — USA
April 17, 8 p.m. ET — Tampa Bay Bandits at Pittsburgh Maulers — FS1