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    Picks last week: 3-1

    How’s your USFL Pool working out? We went 3-1 with our Week 1 picks (props to Michigan for cashing things in against Houston). So who will win in Week 2? Let’s get into the picks.

    Houston Gamblers at New Orleans Breakers APR 22 | 12:30 pm | USA

    QB Mcleod Bethel-Thompson is the league’s top passer after week 1, having posted 23 completions 41 attempts for 302 yards, and 1 TD. The Breakers also boast the league’s top passing defense, allowing just 156 yards and 9 points against in Week 1, while recording one sack and one forced fumble. NO kicker, Matt Coghlin leads the league in kicking points with 16. Houston, meanwhile, is ranked a sloppy 7th in passing offense, but 2nd in rushing after posting 27/98 vs MICH — just 3.6 per attempt.  On defense, HOU gave up 327 yards in the season opener (237 passing, 90 rushing), while generating 2 sacks. The Gamblers have yet to attempt a field goal and have missed 1 of their 2 XP attempts. HOU QB Kenji Bahar may need more help this week than his offensive running mates are able to provide.

    Straight-up pick: New Orleans to win.

    Memphis Showboats at Birmingham Stallions APR 22 | 7:00 pm | FOX

    Birmingham looked vulnerable at times but pulled out a 27-10 win in their week 1 contest vs NJ. QB Alex McGough may be the week 2 starter with J’Mar Smith banged up. Gough is a capable ball distributor and a willing rusher, going for 7 for 11 with 1 TD through the air, and 6/51/1 on the ground against the Generals, after taking over late in the second quarter. Memphis, meanwhile, will look to bounce back from a tough week 1 loss to PHI 27-23. The Showboats’ defense is ranked #3 after allowing just 281 total yards in week 1 while posting league-leading 5.0 sacks. Memphis offers a balanced O (ranked third in both rushing and passing) led by fan-favorite QB Brady White, with NFL veteran Rashard Davis providing a deep ball threat. This one will be close. Based on home-field advantage alone, let’s go with the

    Straight-up pick: Birmingham to win.

    New Jersey Generals at Pittsburgh Maulers APR 23 | 12:00 p.m. | NBC

    The Generals’ 3-headed running game monster, composed of RB Darius Victor, QB De’Andre Johnson, and RB Kingston Davis, is the league’s best by a long shot, having combined for 23/165 in week 1. QB Dakota Prukop, who came in for Johnson in Week 1, is an efficient game manager who can spread the ball around. On defense, the Generals look to rebound after giving up 310 yards and 27 points to the Stallions in the season opener, while generating just one interception and one sack. The Maulers were game against NO in week 1, but ultimately couldn’t stop the Breakers’ efficient passing attack, or generate much of anything on offense. The Maulers posted just 134 yards of offense in week 1 behind the uninspiring QB duo of James Morgan (6/15/58) and Troy Williams (4/12/23). Pittsburgh is likely in for another difficult week as the Generals look to bounce back.

    Straight-up pick: New Jersey to win.

    Michigan Panthers at Philadelphia Stars APR 23 | 7:00 p.m. | FS1

    Michigan is celebrating their season-opening win over Houston last week, having pulled out a 29-13 road victory. QB Josh Love looked good, going a very impressive 18/20/250 yards for 3 TDs while not being sacked all day. RB Stevie Scott heads the steady if unspectacular rushing attack. WR Joe Morgan stepped up to claim the WR1 role and record 7/105/1TD in week 1 — good enough to lead the league in receiving yards. The Stars are also coming off a win, having downed MEM 27-23 in week 1. QB Case Cookus looked sharp, tossing for 3 TDs, while WRs Gray and Coleman combined for 11/142/1TD in the season opener. The Stars rushing attack generated 84 yards in week 1, but just 3 first downs — worst in the league. On defense, PHI will need to improve on the 295 total yards given up last week. Good game overall here, I think.

    Straight-up pick: Michigan to win.

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