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Houston Gamblers
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Houston Gamblers at Michigan Panthers 4/17/22 - USFL Picks & Predictions

Michigan Panthers vs Houston Gamblers Odds & Info

Game Michigan Panthers vs Houston Gamblers
Date & Time Sunday April 17, 2022, 12:00 PM (EDT)
Location
Protective Stadium Birmingham, AL
Latest odds
MICH -3.5 ; O/U 43.5
TV Channel
NBC/Peacock

The Houston Gamblers visit the Michigan Panthers on Sunday in the opening game of the USFL regular season for both teams. Kevin Sumlin is the head coach for Houston, while the starting quarterback will be Clayton Thorson, who has several speedy wide outs as targets including Isiah Zuber and JoJo Ward. Mark Thompson is expected to be the top running back for the Gamblers in Week 1.

On defense, the Gamblers will be led by defensive coordinator Tim Lewis, who was a DC in the NFL for seven years. Houston's pass rush will be led by Chris Odom and Ahmad Gooden on the outside and Beniquez Brown will be the top inside linebacker for a squad that is expected to blitz early and often and put as much pressure as possible on the Michigan quarterback. The top defensive back will be Jamar Summers at cornerback.

Michigan will be led by former NFL head coach Jeff Fisher, who has not coached for any team since 2016. Fisher is expected to have a run-first offense and has former Indiana Hoosier running back Steven Scott III and Reggie Corbin. Quincy Adeboyejo will be the top wide receiver for Michigan along with Jeff Badet. Former Ole Miss and Michigan quarterback Shea Patterson will start under center for the Panthers.

Cornerback Jameson Houston is the only player on the defense for Michigan with NFL experience. In 2020, Houston spent time with the Philadelphia Eagles before being traded to Jacksonville. Tino Ellis will play opposite Houston and give Michigan a very strong secondary. Michigan’s front seven will be led by Cavon Walker, who is the all-time leader in sacks for the XFL. Jaquan Bailey led Iowa State in sacks and will be a threat to sack the quarterback on any given passing play. 

Free USFL Pick:

Michigan Panthers -3.5

The advantage here goes to Michigan, with an experienced coach in Jeff Fisher, a solid quarterback in Shea Patterson and a defense that has had experience in the NFL and has players that led the XFL in tackles and sacks. The talent level from Michigan is much deeper than that of Houston and with only a spread of 2.5 points, take the Panthers to win and cover at home behind a defense that should make it difficult for Houston's offense to generate any type of sustained drive and likely settle for field goals. Final Score Prediction, Michigan Panthers win and cover ATS 26-16.

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