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Gamblers vs. Panthers prediction, odds, spread: 2022 USFL picks, Week 1 bets by expert who went 16-4 on XFL

The 2022 USFL season shifts into high gear Sunday with a triple-header from Birmingham, Ala., that kicks off with the Michigan Panthers “hosting” the Houston Gamblers. Michigan has a notable coach in longtime Tennessee Oilers/Titans boss Jeff Fisher and also had the top pick in the draft. It used that selection on former Michigan QB Shea Patterson and later added 2016 NFL first-round draft pick Paxton Lynch. Former Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin, who first built his reputation at the University of Houston, leads a Gamblers team that has two lesser options at quarterback with Clayton Thorson and Kenji Behar but has a ton of speed at wideout.  

Kickoff at Protective Stadium in Birmingham, Ala., is set for noon ET. Michigan is a three-point favorite in the latest Gamblers vs. Panthers odds from Caesars Sportsbook, while the over-under for total points scored is 43. Before locking in any Panthers vs. Gamblers picks or 2022 USFL predictions, be sure you check out what SportsLine football expert R.J. White has to say.

White is CBS Sports’ Fantasy and gambling editor and is SportsLine’s No. 1 NFL expert in against-the-spread picks. White went 445-378-24 on ATS picks on the NFL from 2017-21, returning $2,542 to $100 players. It’s no surprise, as White has cashed huge twice in the world’s most prestigious football handicapping competition, the Las Vegas SuperContest. 

His many years of experience in analyzing statistics and trends allowed him to crush his picks in the last startup league. He hit 16 of his 20 spread picks on the XFL in 2020 before the league folded after five weeks, nailing nine of those by double digits. Anyone who follows White’s picks cashes in big.

Now, White has set his sights on Gamblers vs. Panthers, and he just revealed his expert picks and USFL predictions. You can head to SportsLine now to see his picks. Now, here are several USFL odds and betting lines for Panthers vs. Gamblers: 

  • Gamblers vs. Panthers spread: Michigan -3 
  • Gamblers vs. Panthers over-under: 43 points 
  • Gamblers vs. Panthers money line: Houston +130, Michigan -150 
  • HOU: Clayton Thorson had 10,371 passing yards at Northwestern (2015-18) 
  • MICH: JaQuan Bailey had 25 sacks and 44 TFL from 2017-20 at Iowa State

Why the Gamblers can cover

Houston might have the edge in coaching despite Fisher’s pedigree. Sumlin has had more recent success, and the longtime Titans coach’s approach appeared stale in his final seasons with the Rams. Sumlin can turn to either Thorson, a prototypical passer who fits the coach’s typical style, or the more athletic Behar. The latter was a constant presence on the Ravens’ bench and practice squad last season amid their many COVID and injury issues. The Gamblers could rely on speedy slot receivers like JoJo Ward and Isaiah Zuber who can run past the DBs. 

Dalyn Dawkins is the probable starter at running back, but the 5-foot-7, 183-pounder is likely to do much of his damage in the passing game. The Gamblers should turn to 235-pound former Florida RB Mark Thompson for the tough running. The tone on defense should be set by LB Beniquez Brown, a strong side-line-to-sideline player out of Mississippi State who excelled in the XFL and AAF. Former Jaguars LB Donald Payne and Raiders sixth-round pick Azeem Victor, whose NFL career was derailed by off-field issues, make this a strength of the team.

Why the Panthers can cover

Between Patterson and Lynch, Michigan should be able to find a stable option, with both providing the athleticism to extend plays. Lynch seems to have more upside, but his pro forays with the Broncos and Seahawks and in the CFL have gone poorly. He was the 26th overall pick in 2016 but was cut in 2018 after struggling with sacks and poor decision-making. At receiver, Quincy Adeboyejo failed to report, but Lance Lenoir and Jeff Badet both have NFL experience and the speed to beat defenders. Badet can make big plays on runs and short passes.       

The traditional rushing production should come from Stevie Scott out of Indiana and Illinois’ Reggie Corbin, who also is a strong receiver out of the backfield. The strength of the Panthers should be the defense, especially along the defensive front. Cavon Walker, who led the XFL with 4.5 sacks in five games and Iowa State all-time sacks leader JaQuan Bailey should be the anchors. With tackling machine Frank Ginda backing them up at linebacker, it should be a sturdy front seven. Ginda led the nation in tackles at San Jose State and has starred in the XFL and the AAF .         

How to make USFL 2022 or Gamblers vs. Panthers picks

White has scoured the rosters and analyzed this matchup from all angles, and he is leaning under on the point total. He also has found a critical X-factor that has him jumping all over one side of the spread. He’s only sharing that Panthers vs. Gamblers pick, and the rest of his expert USFL analysis, at SportsLine.

So who wins Panthers vs. Gamblers in Sunday’s 2022 USFL matchup? And which critical X-factor makes one side of the spread a must-back? Visit SportsLine now to see R.J. White’s Gamblers vs. Panthers pick and analysis, all from the expert who has the knowledge and experience to nail his picks on new leagues, and find out.

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